ARC Review: Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

Posted April 24, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 5 Comments

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.

ARC Review:  Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’NealLycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O'Neal
Published by Quirk Books on April 27, 2021
Genres: YA Paranormal
Pages: 320
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: five-stars
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Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship and the hairy side of chronic illness.

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement. With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.

My Review:

I’ve had this book sitting waiting to be read for a while now but finally when I got to it, I really enjoyed it! It had a lot of really good stuff in it. Not only was it really centered on people with chronic illnesses, it had the little bit extra with the werewolf in it. Parts of the story was done as a chat room. I really liked that, as I’ve always been a fan of stories told through emails, letters, instant messages, texts, etc. It was really interesting hearing the points of view from all different types illnesses.

While there were a lot of characters we knew just through the chat/discussion group, the family characters were awesome. And I loved Spencer! He was so funny! There was a point in the book where one of the characters was suffering from depression, but they told the rest that they hadn’t actually thought about killing themselves, but they had thoughts that they wished they were not alive anymore, that things would be better. That part hit home a lot. I’ve felt the same way. But because I never actually think about committing suicide, I never feel like it is that big of a deal to worry about. It definitely made me think a little. And I think that is something important for teens as well, if I as a grown-up didn’t feel it was that important, but I probably should have.

Definitely one I’ll be promoting and buying for my school library.

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5 responses to “ARC Review: Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

  1. I enjoyed this book, and it had a lot to do with the author’s ability to balance the seriousness of chronic illnesses with lighter moments. I don’t really understand the author’s choice to make the main character South Asian (and she is getting a lot of flack for that), but I liked the book none the less.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I wonder why she’s getting flack? I’m guessing she just chose to add some diversity? Who knows. I didn’t see anything in that part that could cause offense myself. But I did really enjoy the book myself! Thanks for stopping by!

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