July 2010, Egmont
256 pages, Paperback
Lots of humour, serious issues addressed (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, self-harm, anorexia, violence)
Summary by Egmont
My name is Zelah Green and I'm a cleanaholic.
I spend most of my life running away from germs. And dirt. And people. And I'm just about doing OK and then my stepmother packs me of to some kind of hospital to live with strangers. It's stuck in the middle of nowhere. Great. There's Alice who's anorexic. Caro who cuts herself. Silent Sol who has the cutest smile. And then there's me.
I find people who have conditions like these interesting. The way they think is slightly different to the rest of us. Zelah's voice had me laughing most of the way through. Apart from the touching moments where I held my breath, or was reaching for a handful of tissues. There are more people with (or perhaps more people who admit they have) OCD, who self-harm and other issues. In a sad way I'm sure that a lot of readers might know one or more people like Zelah. Zelah lets us into her head, to see how her brain reaches obsessive conclusions about germs. It portrays how family and friends are sometimes unable to cope with it. It also shows that people like Zelah still put a lot into society, and can make a difference to how other people live. And that with the right care, their condition can be managed. (I wouldn't ever say cured, because there is always as chance of a relapse, as book 2 will show).
A brilliant inside into the life of someone with OCD, one book that everyone should read.