From the moment I saw this cover while shelving books, I knew I was destined to read it. Curly redhead on cover? I'm a curly redhead! Check. The Dude? My hubby loves The Big Lebowski, so I immediately got this reference. Check. So I brought home the book and read it.
Unfortunately, OCD, the Dude, and Me didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's definitely not a bad book. I give it 3.5 of 5 stars. But I think my hopes were set too high. I remember that about halfway through the book I turned to the hubby and said, "they still haven't watched The Big Lebowski. I'm halfway through." If I remember correctly, the main character doesn't watch the movie until nearly 2/3 of the way through the book, and it doesn't end up being quite as life-altering as I thought it would be, considering that it's mentioned in the title. And I don't know if it was the epistolary format, but the book felt a bit shallow to me.
One thing that's cool and unique about this book is that it's told entirely in the form of essays, journal entries, emails, and letters. Danielle, the main character, has OCD and one way it manifests is that she keeps binders with all important documentation in them. So it feels like we're just reading straight through her senior year binder. I thought that was really neat. Another thing that I really liked about the book is how snarky the main character is. I love snark! She even cusses in two of her class assignment essays. And the third thing that I really liked about OCD, the Dude, and Me is how much character growth we see in Danielle, but not an unreasonable amount. Like, we see her mature a lot over the course of her senior year, and we see her triumph over some of her OCD tendencies, and we see her gain a lot of confidence... but she's still not at 100% at the end. I like how realistic that is. Hurt takes time to heal, but if you can at least move toward accepting yourself, that's a good thing. Oh! And I almost forgot: this is really minor in the book, but Danielle's parents are present and loving and supportive. A lot of YA books either completely ignore parents or don't include them, so that sets this book apart a little.
I would recommend this to someone looking for a quick, fast read. It'd be a good book to hand to a reluctant reader, as the format reads very conversationally; very easy to understand. However, it fell a little flat for me, who wanted a lot more Lebowski.
*I checked out my copy of OCD, the Dude, and Me from my local library.