C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, best-of-2015, contemporary, read-2015, young-adult, mental-illness, ya-male-narrators

This book is INCREDIBLE. Seriously I...I don't even know where to start. But I wasn't expecting to be this emotionally involved in this book, or this sucked in by it, but I literally just glued my eyeballs to the 270 pages and COULD NOT LET GO. I maybe cried a bit. I maybe became an emotionally roiled wreck. So basically: What are you waiting for?! GO READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW AND LET YOUR HEART CRY AND BE MELTED AND SMUSHED LIKE MINE WAS.

I don't know what's going on with the cover, though. Is it a honeycomb? Who knows.


So this book is about OCD and growing up. It's really, really poignant. I felt so sucked into Adam's POV (even though it's in 3rd) and I just was....in his life. It was so real. i loved his thought process! He pretty much had a bounce in his attitude the whole time, which was refreshing to read, because we know he's being brave and helpful and friendly to just about everyone...and inside he's suffering with crippling anxiety. Anxiety is not a "aw that's not a real thing". Anxiety is HUGE. It's absolutely life-destroying. And Adam wants to get better and he's going to support-group-meetings and taking his medication, but life isn't always that simple. There is so many complications in Adam's life I just need to sniffle and hug him and perhaps cry. Basically, Adam is incredible and I loved him. ALSO. He is wickedly good with his little brother, 5-year-old "Sweetie" (Wendell) who also is showing huge signs of severe-anxiety/OCD and the kid is only in preschool. But Adam is like totally there for his half-brother, and their relationship kiiiiills me with happy feels.

Like I said, though, Adam's family is COMPLEX. He lives with his mum, who has anxiety issues that come out in hoarding (their house is stuffed with junk). But his Dad and step-mum and Sweetie also are a big part of his life. And Adam feels really torn between them. Like he LOVES his mum, but she's not helping his own anxiety. It's such an emotional tug-of-war. I WAS FEELING IT. (And, peoples, I do not usually feel. I am Vulcan. But this Vulcan was an emotional mess.)

THEN THERE'S ROBYN. Okay, if you loathe insta-love, you'll probably open this book and scream. Right there on pg 1, Adam first sets eyes on Robyn and falls hopelessly in love.

I mean, calm down dude. But at the same time it's totally sweet.

Adam is 15, and Robyn is 16 aaaaand he's decided she is HIS WORLD AND SUN AND MOON ADN STARS. And then he has to get up the courage to speak to her and to offer to walk her home and to talk and to share...and it's such a sweet but slow-burning romance. IT develops into friendship first, which is afjkdlsfad. I am so so happy. AND IT IS NOT ALL THAT IT SEEMS. It takes a direction I so did not expect.(view spoiler) I just loved that their romance was so so realistic and sweeeeet. *melts*

Also there's a huge superhero vibe. HELLO I AM A SUPERHERO FAN. I nearly cried of happiness. But there's this "thing" they do in the support-group where they leave who they're supposed to be at the door and they take on new names. Basically everyone just picked a superhero name. And so, for the rest of the book, Adam refers to these other kids by their superhero names (like Wonder Woman and Wolverine and Green Lantern and Thor) and gradually they just become those names too. Robyn is Robin and....Adam is Batman. It's SO STINKIN' ADORABLE. *ahem* I loved the friendships in the group too.

+ The fact that medication and therapy was painted in a positive light...but it wasn't the "be all and end all". Often I feel like therapy is sooo negative in YA. Like, you're really sucky if you "give in". But that's such rubbish. GETTING HELP IS GOOD AND SOMETIMES SURVIVAL. But at the same time, it wasn't the therapy and medication that fixed Adam's problems. You can't put a bandaid on what's wrong when it's a deep deep issue. You have to go at it from all angels.
+ Did I mention comics?! I love this.
+ The huge focus on friendship and love. It was PERFECT. I loved how Adam was friends to everyone, despite being worried about different things and thinking he was sucky. And also Adam has this best-friend (Ben) that he's always had, and their relationship is so...dudeish. Like they play video games and grunt and get "drunk" on red bull. But they're totally THERE for each other. :')
+ Also the huge emphasis on family. This really is a family book. I LOVE THAT. I love books about siblings and parental relations. It was really poignant and perfectly written and aahhhhh I had all the feels of ever. This family is messed up and broken and so strung-out with anxiety. And just completely realistic and relatable.
+ It really dove into OCD. Like it wasn't brushed over at all. It talked about different aspects and ways OCD manifests. And it felt so so real. This author has done impeccable research.
+ THE ENDING. OMG. It wasn't a tidy wrap-up-with-a-bow, but it was perfect. (view spoiler)
+ It broke me. Who doesn't like to be an emotional mess when they finish reading? COME ON NOW. DON'T BE CHICKEN. WE ALL LOVE IT.

Also, I tried to think of something negative to say but...for once I HAVE NOTHING. I know! Take a moment with me! Since when do I have nothing snarky to say?!!

Basically this book blew me away. I LOVE IT. I AM IN AWE OF IT. I didn't expect this...and woah. If you're at all curious about what it's like to live with anxiety (OCD in particular, but anxiety is the root of OCD) then read this book because it's an A+ representation. (This is coming from a person [me, duh] who lives with severe anxiety. This author got it.) SO YEAH. I'm just gonna be here with my mouth open because...

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Quotes C.G. Liked

Teresa Toten
“I sweat terror, Robyn! I'm scared every single second about every single goddamned thing. I worry obsessively about being buried under an avalanche of fear. Jesus, Robyn, I'm scared like only the truly crazy can be.'
'But that, you dope, is the definition of courage: you go on despite the fear.”
Teresa Toten, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Teresa Toten
“I believe that I am unclean and will harm those I care about the most and that there is too much noise in my head and that I am so goddamned tired.”
Teresa Toten, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Reading Progress

April 7, 2015 – Started Reading
April 7, 2015 – Shelved
April 7, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
April 7, 2015 –
page 200
73.53% "Yes it was insta-love from page 1 (not even exaggerating) BUT I STILL LIKE THIS BOOK."
April 8, 2015 –
page 244
89.71% "This book is so wonderful I'm struggling to breathe."
April 8, 2015 – Shelved as: best-of-2015
April 8, 2015 – Shelved as: 5-star
April 8, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary
April 8, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
April 8, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 8, 2015 – Finished Reading
May 18, 2015 – Shelved as: mental-illness
November 17, 2016 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Hannah (Ivyclad Ideas) This sounds like the best book ever written. Family and friendship are two of my favourite fictional things ;)

Unfortunately, it is new and I am skint, so I will have to wait to read it :(


C.G. Drews @Midnight Rain Dragon: THE TROUBLE OF MONEY IS REAL. But maybe your library will have it?? I don't think it's actually new...it's just being published in Oz for the first time.



C.G. Drews @Taylor: HELLO. WHO ARE YOU? Haha. I'm just teasing. xD (But I have missed reading your blog!)

M (RAIN CITY READS) I'm reading this now 95% based on your incoherent raving!

Andrea Fantastically excited to read this! Thanks for pointing me in its direction

message 7: by Izzy (new)

Izzy I got an ARC of her new book Beware that girl, saw this book in the library, and was thinking of reading it and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Definitely gonna read it now :)
Also your batman GIF is A+++
Also yes I did just comment how I did not like your other review but I did like this review I'm weird like that

Dorrit I did not like this book Cait.

message 9: by Elwen (new)

Elwen Your review made me instantly go and buy this book <3

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