Review: Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released April 10, 2012
240 pages
Where I got it: E-galley received from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Description (from Goodreads):

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.

Every once in a while, I want a book that is light, makes me laugh, and has a happy ending. Something that brings some chuckles and smiles, then is easy to move on from when you’re finished. That’s what Aaron Karo’s Lexapros and Cons was for me.

Lexapros and Cons is a story about a teen boy overcoming his mental disorder. More than that, though, it’s a coming of age story. Chuck grows up and learns about how to deal with himself and the people around him, which prepares him to be able to move forward with his life and to break from his cycle of OCD habits. This is a narrator driven book, so it was important for us to be on board with Chuck from the beginning. Even though he makes some poor choices along the way, I think Karo succeeds at fleshing out a protagonist that readers root for.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for some, the ending of the book seemed to wrap up too easily, and with too much “and the all lived happily ever after.” It seemed unrealistic, but if you’re just in it for the ride and don’t mind overly happy endings, you’ll probably love this. While it wasn’t a life-changing story, I definitely got a kick out of Lexapros and Cons.

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