Blog Tour: Book Review – Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe

Today has to be perfect.
I look at the clock.
10:14 am.
Ten fourteen. One plus one is two plus four is six plus ten is sixteen minus one is fifteen minus two is thirteen. OK.
I turn from the clock and walk into the hallway. “Ready.”

Saturday will be the third state soccer championship in a row for Jake Martin. Three. A good number. Prime. With Jake on the field, Carson City High can’t lose, because Jake has the magic: a self-created protection generated by his obsession with prime numbers. It’s the magic that has every top soccer university recruiting Jake, the magic that keeps his family safe, and the magic that suppresses his anxiety attacks. But the magic is Jake’s prison, because getting it means his compulsions take over nearly every aspect of his life.

Jake’s convinced the magic will be permanent after Saturday, the perfect day, when every prime has converged. Once the game is over, he won’t have to rely on his sister, Kasey, to concoct excuses for his odd rituals. His dad will stop treating him like he is some freak. Maybe he’ll even make a friend other than Luc.

But what if it doesn’t work?

What if the numbers never go away?

Acclaimed author Heidi Ayarbe has created an honest and riveting portrait of a teen struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder in this courageous and breathtaking novel

This won’t be much of a review because it is difficult to fairly review a book I couldn’t finish. I signed up to review this book through The Teen Book Scene’s Blog Tours. The synopsis of the book fascinated me since I have a son who has had some obsessive behaviors around studying math.  I read a few reviews that were very positive and it sounded like a book I would enjoy so I signed up for the tour.

Unfortunately the reviews I read failed to mention the amount of language in this book. I’ve not come across a book with as much language as this one had in it.  I’m a little surprised this is being marketed to teenagers grade 9 and up. Being someone who generally speaking chooses book that are free from graphic sex, gratuitous violence and strong language this book was one I just couldn’t keep reading.  I’m very sensitive when it comes to language in literature.  I tried skipping ahead a few chapters but it was more of the same which was really disappointing to me because without the language this is a book I would like to have been able to finish. So reader beware there is a lot of strong language in this book including dozens of uses of the F word in just the first chapter.

On a positive note here is a really cool thing about Compulsion.  The main character has an obsession with prime numbers…. Thus the chapters are all prime numbers, there is no chapter 1, 4, 6, 8, etc.  The portions of the book I did read were eye-opening for understanding what life is like for someone suffering from OCDs.

For all the Compulsion Tour Stops please visit: