What If
Josh Baker isn’t sure why his brain tells him to do things that other people don’t need to do: checking his locker again and again, counting cracks in ceilings, and always needing to finish a song, for starters. He is a talented drummer, a math genius, and he knows everything about rock and roll. Yet, he knows his problems have the power to hurt his family and make him fail at school. When Josh is diagnosed with OCD, it’s a blessing and a curse. Can he overcome his thoughts, or will they break him?

What If Details

TitleWhat If
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 2019
PublisherWest 44 Books
ISBN-139781538382585
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Realistic Fiction, Poetry

What If Review

  • Schizanthus
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come closer to the publication date. 😊
  • Caterina Gagliardi
    January 1, 1970
    *4,75 stars**ARC kindly provided by West 44 Books in exchange for an honest review*What if? by Anna Russell is a poetry book about a kid, Joshua, affected by OCD.He’s a teenager who’s just moved to a new school where he’s supposed to make new friends and start a new life.But that isn’t exactly easy to him. Whenever Josh has to face a new situation his mind gets stuck. So he counts and repeats actions.Nobody, not even his family, understands why he’s struggling so much to get good grades and adap *4,75 stars**ARC kindly provided by West 44 Books in exchange for an honest review*What if? by Anna Russell is a poetry book about a kid, Joshua, affected by OCD.He’s a teenager who’s just moved to a new school where he’s supposed to make new friends and start a new life.But that isn’t exactly easy to him. Whenever Josh has to face a new situation his mind gets stuck. So he counts and repeats actions.Nobody, not even his family, understands why he’s struggling so much to get good grades and adapt to the change.Josh in fact still has now idea why he needs to lock and unlock his school locker so many times before he goes to class or why he needs to count to 100 for things to feel right.That wasn’t until the teachers suggested he might need to be seen by a professional.That’s when Josh finally has an answer to his questions. He feels different, alone and he doesn’t tell anyone about his intrusive thoughts for fear of being abandoned. However Mage, his classmate, doesn’t seem to care about his oddities. She’s always beaming and understanding and that’s how their cute and genuine friendship begins.Josh though is not just his condition, he likes the Beatles and maths and has a passion for playing drums. Together with his sister and Mage they start a rock band and that’s finally an environment where he feels safe and free to express himself.But all chickens come home to roost, in fact the family’s responsibility for Josh’s struggles gets more evident as Josh tries to carve out his own space.His father, who initially not only didn’t care about the diagnosis but also was even annoyed by this news, now actively works against his son’s attempts at establishing relationships. Although the book was in the form of a collection of poems, it still read like a novel.The modern poetry made it seem like a flow of thoughts and a description of what was going through Josh’s mind at the time things were happening.The use of repetitions and the way the words were visually displayed on the page sort of helped explaining the rituals and intrusive thoughts also in a graphical way.The narration was fluid and pretty accessible, since this read was ideated as a way to introduce OCD to those who’ve never come across it in their lives.Josh is a vulnerable kid, troubled by things he cannot understand yet and that makes him question how much different he must appear to his peers. I enjoyed reading the story in Joshua’s perspective, it made it easier to understand for someone who doesn’t really have a clear idea of what OCD feels like.Mage on the other hand must’ve been my favourite character: her never-ending cheerfulness made the entire scene brighter. Even Josh started opening up with her. I really enjoyed this book and it gave me a better idea of what a person who’s diagnosed with OCD has to go through every single day.This was eye-opening, especially since these days there’s either so much stigma around mental illnesses or they get to be romanticised and carelessly belittled.I look forward to read more books from this author, because the style, although simple, still conveyed an important message without resulting too overwhelming.
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  • Kimberly (kimberly_reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and West 44 Books for allowing me to read What If? in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 starsA full review for What If? can be found on my blog here: https://kimberlyreads97.wordpress.com...I really enjoyed the format this book was in (being in verse) because (at least for my reading experience) it made reading about Josh’s experiences with OCD that much more impactful. I found this to be very well written in showing what it’s like in the starting stages of beginning to Thank you to NetGalley and West 44 Books for allowing me to read What If? in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 starsA full review for What If? can be found on my blog here: https://kimberlyreads97.wordpress.com...I really enjoyed the format this book was in (being in verse) because (at least for my reading experience) it made reading about Josh’s experiences with OCD that much more impactful. I found this to be very well written in showing what it’s like in the starting stages of beginning to understand mental health and when someone’s impacted (in this case Josh’s) and how their life can change with that discovery.This for me was a great book and I can’t wait for its release so more people can read it!
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  • Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    This was a quick read book but it had a very interesting story line. This book is written in verse all about our main character Josh who suffers from OCD dealing with a new school and ultimately finding friends and his family's acceptance. I enjoyed this book because the little verses gave you enough information to know what was going on but still left you with enough slack to let your imagination take over and fill in the blanks however you'd like. I did like however how this book showed the st This was a quick read book but it had a very interesting story line. This book is written in verse all about our main character Josh who suffers from OCD dealing with a new school and ultimately finding friends and his family's acceptance. I enjoyed this book because the little verses gave you enough information to know what was going on but still left you with enough slack to let your imagination take over and fill in the blanks however you'd like. I did like however how this book showed the struggle that not only Josh faced with his disease but also the struggles that his family went throughin trying to help and understand him. Cute book. There aren't many books that can pack a huge punch with so little words and pages however Ann Russell somehow managed to do both. Great read.
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  • Kaili (Entertainingly Nerdy)
    January 1, 1970
    What If is a quick read written in play format. It follows Josh who is learning to deal with OCD. I like how this book explains OCD because even though I know what it is I've never been around anyone who has it. It's nice getting a better understanding of how those who have it manage to get through the day. This book does very well with how some families might manage to deal with having a kid who has it.
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