I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.List of Ten by Halli Gomez
Published by Sterling Teen on March 16, 2021
Genres: YA Contemporary
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble
A harrowing yet hopeful account of a teen living with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder . . . and contemplating his own mortality.
Ten: three little letters, one ordinary number. No big deal, right? But for Troy Hayes, a 16-year-old suffering from Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the number ten dictates his life, forcing him to do everything by its exacting rhythm. Finally, fed up with the daily humiliation, loneliness, and physical pain he endures, Troy writes a list of ten things to do by the tenth anniversary of his diagnosis—culminating in suicide on the actual day. But the process of working his way through the list changes Troy’s life: he becomes friends with Khory, a smart, beautiful classmate who has her own troubled history. Khory unwittingly helps Troy cross off items on his list, moving him ever closer to his grand finale, even as she shows him that life may have more possibilities than he imagined. This is a dark, intense story, but it’s also realistic, hopeful, and deeply authentic.
I learned a lot from this book. First off, I always thought it was Tourette’s Syndrome. But it isn’t. It’s just Tourette Syndrome. And it wasn’t just that I learned things, this book really made me feel a lot of emotions. Sadness for sure, but also some good hopeful things, as well as definitely some anger at people who acted the way they did. But I get it, I’m sure without realizing it I’ve done similar types of things to people who behaved in ways I was unsure of. I feel like books like this are good for teens to read and learn about other that are unlike them, so that they can understand more about it.
And it’s not just strangers, even those people who were closest to Troy didn’t necessarily realize what they were doing wasn’t helping him. Even his dad had to learn to not just accept the little tics and idiosyncrasies that were part of Troy’s condition, but he had to learn how those things affected Troy as well. It was even more than the Tourette Syndrome and OCD he was dealing with. Those things caused him to have pain in his body from all the time he tried so hard to hold in the tics and keep from doing things that he knew other people would think were strange and look at him funny for. I never really thought about how much pain all the tics would cause, and that trying to keep them from happening would be even more painful.
I definitely understood how he felt it was better to just think about an end and not having to deal with all of it. Those feelings are there for people like myself who just suffer from anxiety and depression, so I can only imagine why it would seem so much like the best option for someone dealing with more than me. Khory was a wonderful person in this, and really her friends were pretty cool too for how quickly they were able to overcome what was the strange behavior and just see Troy as a peer.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to sharing it with my students in the high school library where I work.