Holly Bourne ( @holly_bourneYA ) has currently written four Young Adult novels Soulmates, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? (To be released on the 1st Feb). She has a first class degree in Journalism and spent two years working for the Sunday Mirror. She is currently a journalist on TheSite ( http://www.thesite.org/) , a website that gives sixteen to twenty-five year olds advice on topics such as body image, relationships, mental health and sexuality.
The main character Evie has OCD and it has started to lessen off and she is excited and nervous for what is ahead of her in college. This a blank page for her, here nobody knows her story, nobody understands what is going on in her head, besides her one friend, Jane, and this is the way she wants to keep it.
She makes new friends Evie and Lottie, after Jane changed herself for her boyfriend Joel, she doesn't tell them about her OCD and she feels like everything is going great for her, she's reducing her medication, going to therapy less and has a possible love interests. Along with her new found friends they create 'The Spinster Club', a club where they discuss all things feminist, they entitle it this because they feel that the word 'Spinster' is derogatory and they want to create a new meaning for it.
This novel is completely honest and true to the life of a OCD suffering teenager, it also goes through the different stages of the illness and how people mistreat the use of the term, such as 'OOhh, I like my pens in a line. I'm soooo OCD.' It shows us how mental illness is perceived in modern day society and how it doesn't treat a mental illness as an actual serious illness. It is an outsider insight to what it would actually be like to grow up with OCD and it makes you more empathetic towards sufferers.
It was such a realistic book and because of that it was quite scary and sad at times and made you root so much for the main character because she gets her life on track and then suddenly, Bam, another one of her Bad thoughts comes back. It also touches on the topic of feminism and I am so glad to see this represented in literature meant for teenagers because the more people made of aware of it, the more people we will have fighting for gender equality, which is always a good thing!
I have always been a massive fan of Holly Bourne's writing ever since I picked up 'Soulmates' because her writing is just so real and honest, she doesn't shy back from writing the stuff that we are all thinking. This is why I would recommend all of her writing to anyone that is 14 plus because she does touch into some dark topics at times.
By Eilis Cooney