Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com
Rhythm is the pulse of life. Everything has rhythm. The waves in the ocean, cars buzzing down the highway, the drip of the rain after a spring shower, the pencil scraping across our paper, even our own pulse in our ears, late at night when all should be quiet.
Fin doesn't know quiet. For her, the rhythm has become more than a beat. It's an obsession. It's good luck to turn a light on three times -- the wrong number could be deadly. The roar of numbers in her head blocks the outside chaos. They offer comfort. Stability. She taps her seat three times. Someone touches her shoulder. She touches the opposite one. It's about keeping life in balance. Control.
Control is something Fin lost when her parents uttered those devastating words, "...this doesn't mean we're abandoning you or that we don't love you anymore." The D-word. Moving from a place she loves, to a place she doesn't. Her mother copes by excessive cleaning. Fin copes by counting.
Soon, Fin's mother has her visiting Dr. Calaban. Fin meets Thayer, who is also being treated by Dr. Calaban, but for ADD. Fin discovers there's a name for what she's feeling: OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She wonders if it's hereditary as her mother rewashes the jeep Fin's just finished washing. With the help of Thayer and Dr. Calaban, Fin rediscovers her love of something she'd lost along the way, something that will help calm the need for total constant order.
TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER is a riveting first novel by debut author Crissa-Jean Chappell. I was sad to end the book because I wanted to spend more time with the characters. I kept trying to slow down as I read, to linger and enjoy, but it was impossible. Each chapter drove me forward to the next and the next until the final page. The characters were fresh and real. I know you'll enjoy them as much as I did!