In the book The Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten, readers are invited to witness and follow the protagonist, Adam, on an emotional journey throughout the daily events of his life, over the course of several months. The book begins with Adam, a 15 year old kid who suffers from OCD, attending group therapy for many other kids with OCD. This is also where Adam meets Robyn, with whom he instantly falls in love. He immediately makes it his goal to win her affections and to protect her from the scarier parts of the world. Adam goes in between both houses of his divorced parents, his mother who suffers from mental illness, and his father, who has a new wife and kid, who is also starting to show signs of OCD. So, clearly, Adam already has some tough issues that he has to deal with in his life, and that is before a new element is thrown into his life, that ensues chaos. In fact, Adam’s OCD starts to increase to the point where he has a half an hour ritual that he needs to perform in order to step into his house. He is constantly counting in his head and it was starting to affect his newfound relationship with Robyn, who’s OCD is coincidentally improving to the point where she no longer needs to go to group therapy.
In the meantime, Adam is constantly struggling with the way he is seen by other people. In part, this is due to the fact the Adam still wants to protect Robyn, which increases his desires to become normal. His self esteem is at an all time low towards the end of the novel, until something happens to change a lot of Adam’s problems.
Fans of realistic fiction will especially be sucked into this tale of adolescence, courage, and love as author Teresa Toten molds a young man just starting to learn about all of the previous elements, as well as the true meaning of becoming an adult. Throughout the course of the novel, Adam also discovers the fact that there is no one true definition for normal, and about how the kindness of others can help you when you cannot even help yourself. Because the book was written in Adam’s point of view, readers get a glance into the thoughts and struggles of an OCD patient, which was very eye opening. This story was entertaining from beginning to end, and raised awareness to issues that often go overlooked in our society. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B is a must read for bibliophiles in need of a mentally and emotionally eye opening novel that will change the way that you look at the world. As the famous newspaper Toronto Star stated about said book, “Emotional recovery is not a new tale, but Toten writes it with depth, understanding, and wisdom.” -Toronto Star.