Seventeen-year-old Danielle Levine is your typical high school teenager – if you count having OCD and ADHD as typical. Danielle’s “special” conditions lead her to a school for students with learning disabilities, and, even here, she struggles to fit in.
How Danielle navigates her status as a “learning-challenged” teen pariah is told, with equal parts pain and hilarity, in Lauren Roedy Vaughn’s debut Young Adult novel, OCD, THE DUDE, AND ME, which Kirkus Review has hailed as a “must-read.”
Told through a mélange of Danielle’s class assignments, journal entries, emails, texts, and letters to the school psychiatrist, OCD, THE DUDE, AND ME chronicles Danielle’s efforts to fit into a world that, to her, can be as alien as a distant planet. Yet, Danielle will be recognizable to her readers, with her body-image issues, her crush on an unattainable boy, and her feelings of insecurity over the rigid social code of high school life.
Just as things seemingly couldn’t get worse for her, Danielle meets a new friend, Daniel, who turns her on to the Coen Brothers’ classic cult film THE BIG LEBOWSKI and its indelible main character, the ever-cool, ever abiding Dude. Daniel and Danielle end up going to the prom together and to Lebowski Fest, an annual event celebrating the Dude and his Buddha-like philosophy, which says that things will work out if you “abide.”
Vaughn is especially equipped to write Danielle’s story. She has been a special education teacher and a writer for nearly 20 years. She understands that each student with a learning challenge has a unique profile that requires specialized intervention strategies. Danielle benefits from the guidance of charismatic adults to learn how to socialize and accept herself. She is also able to leverage her affinities—reading and writing—in order to shift her perspective and grow.
Vaughn’s students “live with the stigma” of being called “lazy” and “different,” Vaughn explains. “It is my love for them, my understanding of their diversity that compelled me to write a fictionalized account of one of them and their world. I wanted them to see their value within the context of a story.”
The major reason for the presence of THE BIG LEBOWSKI and the Dude, Vaughn says, is that the Dude is “an iconic character who lived through a dramatic situation and kept abiding. He is a model for dealing with life’s difficult situations. There are other ‘dudes’ in my story who also affect Danielle.”
Vaughn herself says she is a “huge fan” of THE BIG LEBOWSKI. “When I was asking the story Gods to help me come up with what could help Danielle, that film popped into my mind. When Danielle witnesses the film, she realizes that life is unpredictable and often ridiculous … abiding is a saner choice.”
What critics are saying:
Publisher’s Weekly: Pick of the Week
Kirkus Review: “A must-read.” (Starred review)
Star Library Journal: “This one is sure to find an appreciative audience.” (Starred review)
Seventeen magazine online: “The book’s fun format of traditional long-form, texts, letters, and emails make this book easy and fun to read.”
Purchase your copy online:
BARNES & NOBLE
Review by Aspen
This book is about a girl named Danielle Levine and her life as an awkward teenager. You could say that Danielle wasn’t exactly popular. At many times, Danielle becomes the main character of her class mates cruel jokes. In the end, she finds true friendship and begins to accept who she is.
READER BEWARE: This is not a book for children. Let’s just say I learned a few teenage “games” my mom was not prepared to explain. It was pretty funny when mom said “WHAT ARE YOU READING?!!!” I had to skip some parts, but that is okay.
I think this book would be good for high school girls. I also think that the author could have gotten her point across without using so many bad words. Seriously, who wants to hear that? Overall, this book was over my head
ABOUT LAUREN ROEDY VAUGHN
Lauren Roedy Vaughn is especially equipped to write Danielle’s story. She has been a special education teacher and a writer for nearly 20 years. In 2005, she received the Walk of Hearts Teaching Award, and she serves on the Board of the International Dyslexia Association’s Los Angeles Branch. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, when she was in elementary school. She came to California for college, met her husband at the University of California, Irvine, and they have lived in Southern California ever since. Together, they share a love of The Big Lebowski. When not teaching, reading, or writing, Lauren is usually on a yoga mat.
Her latest book is the contemporary humorous young adult fiction, OCD, the Dude & Me.
You can visit Lauren Roedy Vaughn’s website at www.laurenroedyvaughn.com
Connect & Socialize with Lauren!
OCD, the Dude & Me Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule
Monday, June 3 – First Chapter Reveal at Pump Up Your Book
Monday, June 3 – Interview at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, June 4 – Interview & Book Giveaway at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
Tuesday, June 4 – First Chapter Reveal at Mom With a Kindle
Wednesday, June 5 – Book Review & Guest Blogging at Books Beside My Bed
Friday, June 7 – Interview at Gina’s Library
Friday, June 7 – Character Guest Blogging at Star Shadow
Monday, June 10 – Book Review at My Cozy Corner
Wednesday, June 12 – Character Guest Blogging at 4 the Love of Books
Thursday, June 13 – Book Review at Community Bookstop
Friday, June 14 – Book Review at Inside BJ’s Head
Friday, June 14 – Book Review at Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Monday, June 17 – First Chapter Reveal at Little Library Muse
Tuesday, June 18 – Book Review at My Neurotic Book Affair
Wednesday, June 19 – Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, June 20 – Character Guest Post at Melissa’s Midnight Musings
Friday, June 21 – Interview at Chapter By Chapter
Friday, June 21 – First Chapter Reveal at Parenting 2.0
Monday, June 24 – Book Review at Steph the Bookworm
Tuesday, June 25 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, June 26 – Interview at You Gotta Read Reviews
Thursday, June 27 – Book Review & Book Giveaway at Create With Joy
Friday, June 28 – Book Review at YA Books Central