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Kissing Doorknobs

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,522 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
During her preschool years, Tara Sullivan lived in terror that something bad would happen to her mother while they were apart. In grade school, she panicked during the practice fire drills. Practice for what?, Tara asked. For the upcoming disaster that was bound to happen?

Then, at the age of 11, it happened. Tara heard the phrase that changed her life: Step on a crack, bre
Mass Market Paperback, 149 pages
Published March 10th 1998 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1998)
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Mellisa Rock
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Middle grade to YA book about OCD disorder and the havoc it can wreak on people & their families. I enjoyed it.
I do like books that show the effects of various psychological disorders in a way that young adults can understand. I think it's important that teens and children understand that they're not alone, that there are people out there like them, and that there are ways to find treatment for problems if they so wish.

I liked this book in that it showed a young girl struggling to come to terms with her OCD, and how her family reacted to it. Hesser also explained some of the compulsions Tara goes through
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was extremely good! It taught me so much about OCD (a lot that I had no idea) and told it in story form! I suggest this book to everyone!! A great read to grow and expand the mind :)
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
What an interesting story. Tara is a young girl with undiagnosed OCD she feels crazy and her family thinks she’s crazy and her behavior is causing them to go crazy.
This was a fascinating look into the mind of someone with OCD how awful it must be to have these compulsions .
When Tara first hears ‘Step on a crack and break your mothers back’ it gets stuck in head and she cannot ever step on another crack and starts counting them.
The journey she goes on from there is so sad , her parents take her
Vanessa Ornelas
Well I thought overall this was a great book, i loved reading it. It seriously blew my mind how much this poor girl had to suffer. No one understood what she went threw suffering with OCD.
I liked this book in that it showed a young girl struggling to come to terms with her OCD, and how her family reacted to it. It made me really sad to see how the mom reacted though. She took things to the extreme even threatening to kill her if she did not stop with this kind of behavior. Tara has a OCD with c
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7th-grade-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
711Isabel B
Oct 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 7th-grade
There all kinds of stories about kids that are struiggling in the world....And they usually are kids that seem fairly average.
But KISSING DOORKNOBS, by Terry Spencer Hesser opened up a whole new world.

I felt like the writing in KISSING DOORKNOBS was very similar to MYTHIRTEENTH WINTER, by Samantha Abeel. Both characters were dealing with things inside of their heads, things that other people couldn't understand, and things that they couldn't control. It took over their lives, turned everything
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is about a girl named Tara. She has always been on the nervous side-but around 10 years old she starts developing some strange habits. These habits include counting cracks, kissing her fingers before she can touch the front door knob, and crossing herself. This takes place before OCD was a commonly known disorder, and the story betrays the emotions and feeling Tara had to live through.

This book was very good. It was short, (I read it within one school day), and the characters were very
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazingly descriptive book that firmly and realisticly describes a teens lifr in the hands of OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER.
I know this since I have been personally affected with this torchering mental illness.
I strongly recommend the reading of this novel since I have not read any other that shows as much truthfulness and personality as any other book of this genre.

NOTE: OCD comes in many different and specific forms. This book, nor any other book could possibly describe ALL types an
Glenda Rojas
Apr 22, 2015 is currently reading it
I am currently reading the book Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser and the book is a story of a young girl who grew up with ocd.
Sasha Smith
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Story. I read this last year and decided to read it again because of how much i enjoyed it.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read Kissing Doorknobs after Mara Wilson aka Matilda wrote about it and the author in her book Where am I Now?
INTENSE just like the burdening feelings of OCD. I am a counter, tapper and checker. I live with different levels of anxiety and agoraphobia every day. This book was written for people like me and those who love us and want to help us with our state of mind.
The Afterword and Resources sections are exceptional support to the author's characterization appearing in this book.
Heather (hungrycookiemonster)
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: so-high-school
Confessions review? Oh yeah.

I give Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser 5/5 stars for being life changing and teaching me that I wasn't the only one suffering from this disease.

Kissing Doorknobs review:

Throughout my teenage years, I suffered from severe OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I cannot even go into details the rituals I performed daily from this disease. I remember being in 8th grade and picking this novel at the library. I read the synopsis and immediately knew I neede
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So, I read this because a friend of mine from work and I decided to exchange our most favorite books so that we could read them. She gave me this one, today. Of course I read it all, just finishing only a few minutes ago... It was a short read, sort of. But I did enjoy it. I can relate to Tara and her OCD because my father basically has the same thing, but it's just.. little ticks, sort of. Like.. if we put the toilet paper in the wrong way, he has to fix it; the roll has to be facing a certain ...more
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5. This book was eye opening. It gave such a sad, realistic portrayal of what it's like to be a young girl suffering with extreme OCD, and the effect it has on everyone around her. Yet ultimately hopeful, because it shows that with a proper diagnosis, a competent therapist, and a commitment to the hard work of change, there can be recovery. Although it's fiction, I think if you have anyone in your life who struggles with any form of OCD, this book is helpful reading.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book is about obsessive compulsive disorder. One day a small girls starts realizing that if she steps on a crack in the sidewalk, the she will literally break her mothers back. And the story progresses from there. It shows how obsessions can become so ritualistic that people can't cope without them. And the fear of leaving those rituals was palpable. Interesting read but kind of disturbing.
David Schaafsma
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-psych
You know, I don't love this book. There's in my opinion some very bad and wooden writing in it.... but having said this, when I teach my YA class, ANYONE who has OCD LOVES it because they can relate to it... so I usually have it on my list of "choice" books to read... and inevitably, someone does a project about OCD... so is this is really a very good book, is my rating low?
Dec 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Eleanor Klein
Jun 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE
Recommended to Eleanor by: Kindle store, since I like books about kids with problems (like Wonder, Out of my Mind, Fish in a Tree)
I have no idea why people even like this book, or whyh it only has one 1-starred review on Amazon.
First of all, this book is boring and a TOTAL waste of time to read. I kept reading because I was hoping it would get better. NO IT DID NOT. I think it started out as a great story idea but Terry Hesser just threw it away. It is inappropriate, SO INAPPROPRIATE. They cuss all the time. Her mother treats here badly, slapping her, punching her, wishing her dead. Her mother gets drunk. And even worse t
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tara suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which includes counting cracks, praying, and kissing doorknobs. Her family doesn't understand and slowly loses patience with her. Until one day, a family friend figures out what the psychologist couldn't: Tara doesn't want to do these "tics", she has to because of the "tyrants in her head."
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was one of those big surprise "Wow, this is great! " books. We are having a book give away at work and I picked it up while waiting for a student. As soon as I started reading it, I was hooked. It was a fascinating look into an OCD suffers life.
Michelle Hart
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
OCD is often made light of. If you're too neat or you like things to stay in a certain place, you have OCD hahaha is the joke, but the real disease is terrible and alienating for those who suffer.

3 stars for the writing, which is not very good, 5 stars for showing how awful real OCD is.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book in my life to have made me cry. This might break your heart.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very helpful insight into the mind of OCD. There was a lot of swearing and stuff I wish weren't part of the book.
Amy Snyder
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elena C
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.” Tara Sullivan, the main character of Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Heffer has been saying that rhyme ever since she could remember. Tara grew up having OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) meaning you have no real control of what you are doing, just have a need to do it. I give this novel a rating of 5 stars for three main reasons, the author’s descriptive detail and how she puts a picture in your mind, how Tara’s OCD shows the affects it has on ...more
Daniel B
To begin,Terry Spencer Hesser's Kissing Doorknobs weirded me out by its main character.“doubt that I’d ever win the war for my freedom.” This book is about the life Tara Sullivan and her battle against her OCD. In the book we follow the up and downs of her life and how hard OCD is to live with. In my opinion of this book it was excellent but it just didn't appeal to me so it just made me feel uncomfortable reading this. I just don't like reading things that make me depressed.

Furthermore, the t
Sarah C
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a girl named Tara who has obsessive compulsive disorder but no one knows it. I wanted to read this book because it was Tara narrating the book and you go through all of her every day struggles that we would find easy to go through. I’m giving this book 5 stars and recommending it for two reasons. The first one is because the book kept you on the edge of your seat and second is how Tara’s disorder affected her whole family.
The author did a great job keeping you on the edge of
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Kissing Doorknobs 3 18 Jul 26, 2014 08:57PM  
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“My friends tried to ignore my quirks since they didn't have a clue what to do about them. It didn't seem hard on them though. They were already trained to ignore their parents' alcohol abuse, constant bickering, serial marriages, and nonsensical advice.” 6 likes
“Keesha looked at me for a long time. "I did leave you alone. We all did. But you didn't get better. You didn't stop. You're still doin' all your weird shit. And I think it's time to stop."
"You think it's time to stop!" I exploded, and lunged at her with my hands outstretched. I pushed her real hard. She almost fell down. "I don't care what time you think it is!" I screamed. "Do you think I want to do this! Do you think I like it?"
"You pushed me!"
"Yeah. So what?"
"You're so afraid of being interrupted that you pushed me!"
"I'm not scared of being interrupted, you jerk! I'm . . . I'm scared . . . I'm scared of being." I crumpled into a ball and sat down where I was standing. I sat on a crack. Unevenly.
"Who are you anymore, Tara?"
Tears spilled over my frozen lashes and disappeared across my cheekbones. I had never felt so defeated. "I don't know.”
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