Saturday, April 21, 2012

ARC Review: Lexapros and Cons

Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo, April 10, 2012. 240 pages. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux. Source: Publisher for review.
Chuck Taylor’s OCD has rendered him a high school outcast. His endless routines and habitual hand washing threaten to scare away both his closest friend and the amazing new girl in town. Sure he happens to share the name of the icon behind the coolest sneakers in the world, but even Chuck knows his bizarre system of wearing different color “Cons” depending on his mood is completely crazy.

In this hilariously candid debut novel from comedian Aaron Karo—who grew up with a few obsessions and compulsions of his own—very bad things are going to happen to Chuck. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because with graduation looming, Chuck finds himself with one last chance to face his inner demons, defend his best friend, and win over the girl of his dreams. No matter what happens, though, he’ll have to get his hands dirty.
Lexapros and Cons is turning out to be the hardest review I have had to write. On the one hand I thought that it was an interesting story; while on the other the language and some of the content in it very nearly made me just stop reading.

What drew me to wanting to read Lexapros and Cons would have to be curiosity. I was curious to see how the author would portray the characters OCD and whether it would be any different from a couple of other books with characters that suffer from it. It was. I thought that it was interesting to see how fully it encompassed Chuck's life and if he would make any progress in taking back his life from it.
One of the things that was the most interesting in the book would have to be Chuck's obsession with Converse shoes and how you could tell his mood/feeling by what pair he was wearing. It was both different and a cool way to see behind what the character was feeling at the moment.

Chuck, not exactly my favorite character, but I did enjoy seeing whether or not he would be able to overcome the obstacle that was his OCD and take charge of his life. While Chuck's struggle is what made him an interesting character I did not like the way that he treated his family. A little more respect for his parents, and less swearing, would have made him a more favorable character to read about.
Amy was the one character that I truly enjoyed reading about in Lexapros and Cons. What I liked about her was that she was different and not the general carbon-copy female love interest. Plus, who doesn't like reading about military brat (okay, that might just be me).

What I did really enjoy about Lexapros and Cons was Mr. Karo's writing. I liked that while the book was mainly about Chuck trying to get control over his OCD that the writing and pace of the book were kept light and fast, which made it pretty hard to put down. So, while a couple of factors my not have set to well with me, the writing is definitely not to be missed.

So, y'all want to know what really held me back from fully enjoying this book? Well, that would have to be the language in the book. I am not a huge fan of swearing in the books that I read and was put off by all the foul language in Lexapros and Cons and a couple other things. If you want more information on the content just highlight the portion below.

Content (WILL contain spoilers; highlight to see):
Language: I'll start this section off with the biggest offender in the book. The f*** word, good gracious was it used entirely too much. It's one thing when swearing is used to sparingly, but the fact that it was used at least ten times a chapter (and the chapters were short) was just a little overkill.
Not sure if teen guys really throw that word around, like, every other sentence, but I would have enjoyed the book more if 90% of the swearing had been cut out because it kind of bogged down the story.

Sexual content: Again, pretty high in regards to the fact that both Chuck and his friend, Steve, admit to watching porn on TV (ick),  and that they both think about sex-seems like all the time. Other than the f-word, the first page of the book was part of the reason I almost did not finish it.

Final Verdict: While having its faults, Lexapros and Cons was definitely a unique read.

Lexapros and Cons earns 3 out of 5 pineapples.

1 comment:

  1. OCD runs heavily thru at least 3 generations in my birth family, and, that said, it can really be a difficult illness to *conquer*, if you ever actually DO manage to conquer the darn thing lol


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