The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
Adam falls in love with Robyn Plummer the moment he meets her. After a time in a residency program for people with severe OCD, Robyn joins Adam’s group which consists of a small number of teenagers suffering from all sorts of OCD-related conditions. Adam believes Robyn needs saving and takes it upon himself to help her towards a full recovery and a life she deserves. As the group select superheroes as aliases, Adam decides to become Batman to Robyn’s Robin in the hope of becoming her superhero. But Adam is not OK himself, and as problems at home escalate, his counting and routines heighten into an uncontrollable mess and make him wonder how on earth he can save someone else when he can barely save himself.
OCD is a term often bandied around for people who are a little particular with the way they like things, however, this book shows the true extent of what OCD can be like and how crippling this disorder can be. As Adam’s symptoms escalate you feel both frustrated with and terribly sad about his situation, and you realise that he has no control over what he is doing. I found this novel wonderfully fascinating, laugh-out-loud funny and, above all, quite heart-warming with a great ending that wasn’t too soppy.
A great read for ages 13 and up.
Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.