I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review… and honestly: this book is INCREDIBLE and everyone reading this should read Checked. From the blurb, I assumed it would be a sweet, perhaps predictable, story about a woman overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder while falling for her new therapist. I love it when a book surprises me.
Everything about this book was unpredictable: the extent of Callie’s OCD, her ability to attend school, work and family functions despite it, her sessions with Dr. Aiden, and I’m not the only one who didn’t see the last few chapters coming. I’m also not the only who loves this book. As of today, Checked has fourteen 5-star reviews on Amazon and a 4.7 average on Goodreads; the book has been out about 3 weeks.
One of my favorite qualities about this book is how well written it is. The storytelling is stellar. Checked is told from the point of view of Callie, the main character. Her narration is frequently supported by popular song lyrics that pop in her head during uncomfortable situations. This inner soundtrack provides an entertaining and compelling layer to Cassie’s condition. She also gives the time of day – and by following the entries, you discover Cassie starts the “leaving the house routine” at 3:05 pm and then “on my way” at 3:45. Its not until 25% in the book that you learn what she must do to leave the house, and I will never think of OCD the same way again.
Cassie is such a likable character, and I cheered for her wholeheartedly as she begins an alternate therapy technique with Dr. Aiden Blake. He is incredibly knowledgeable in OCD and very determined to avoid medicating Cassie if it can be helped. Their professional relationship becomes friendly and hints at becoming more. I wanted her recovery to work so that she could have a day that was not “approximately eighty-five percent” occupied by obsessions. I rooted for Cassie and Aiden to become more than friends, even though it was unprofessional. An unexpected event in the final chapters leaves much unresolved; and if you’re asking me: Book 2 can’t come fast enough.
Callie spends countless hours staring at appliances to make sure they are really unplugged. She wastes obscene amounts of time checking for murderers in various corners of her house and entire sleepless nights performing pointless checking rituals. Then every spare minute is filled with inspecting doorknobs, chairs, floors, etc. for minuscule traces of germs. Oh, and she does all of this as she counts to three over and over again in her head. She does this every day. Without fail. Dr. Blake just doesn’t fit into her schedule. Until he does. Until Callie begins to trust him. Until she starts to need him. And want him. And . . .
She also directs a musical production each school year. Her most recent show was Beauty and the Beast.
Jennifer lives with her husband and her four-year-old son.
She, like the main character in her debut novel, has a rather hopeless case of OCD.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jamellijennifer