Usually, I post book reviews as round ups, but this one had me thinking a lot. After I finished reading Melissa Storm’s Manic Monday, Inc., I felt seen. The book is the third in her Sunday Potluck Club series, but I did not read the previous two books and it reads just fine that way. There were some moments that refer to previous events, but there was enough context that the reader could move on without the backstory.
Nichole is a member of a group of women who formed a close bond when they met at the hospital when their parents were ill. The group moved from the hospital cafeteria to each other’s homes to continuing meeting through a weekly potluck. The women are all different, but are very supportive of each other. I do wonder though if they had any friends before their parents got ill because there is no mention of other friends.
Nichole has just been diagnosed with OCD but she doesn’t think she really is. Sure she is always writing down notes, making lists, keeps multiple calendars, researches everything, is in love with office supplies, obsessing over every possible thing that could go wrong, and planning all the details of everything…but that just means she cares, right? Caleb certainly likes that part of her. Sure, she is obsessed with her Instant Pot, but who isn’t?
Storm based the character of Nicole on her own experiences being diagnosed with OCD. Something I found interesting is that OCD is part of the Anxiety and Depression spectrum and it is not always the Monk, As Good as it Gets, and Howie Mandel types of OCD being obsessed with cleanliness and avoiding germs. I kinda thought the ritualistic pattern thing was a requirement too, but nope. In fact, the Mayo Clinic says the symptoms of OCD are the following, but may differ in severity and number:
-Fear of contamination or dirt
-Doubting and having difficulty tolerating uncertainty
-Needing things orderly and symmetrical
-Aggressive or horrific thoughts about losing control
-Washing and cleaning
-Following a strict routine
Someone with OCD could also have just the compulsions or just the obsessions too. A lot of this I thought was just part of anxiety. My therapist says that a lot of these are used as self-soothing techniques by those with anxiety to try and get a little control in their lives. However, these can take on a life of their own and turn into larger problems and that is when OCD becomes the concern.
Now why do I feel seen? Because I am the type of person who researches the heck out of everything, have multiple planing apps with multiple calendars, love spreadsheets, use Google street view to plan out conference routes and food breaks, and thrive on structure. I am also obsessed with my Instant Pot…there are way too many similarities between me and Nichole. I acknowledge that anxiety is an issue, but there definitely is a control factor at play too. I do not have OCD, but I do acknowledge that I have issues.
While there was romance in the book, I wouldn’t call this a romance book. It was more of a self-actualization and acceptance journey. The book made me feel uncomfortable because of the similarities between Nichole and myself, but I enjoyed reading it. #NetGalleyARC #October2021