blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Lycanthropy & Other Chronic Illnesses – Kristen O’Neal*

Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship and the hairy side of chronic illness.

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were.

Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement.

With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.

My thoughts: as someone with several chronic illnesses (so much fun guessing what’s trying to kill me today) I totally related to Priya and her friends, life is no fun when everything hurts.

The book is laugh out loud hilarious as Priya and Brigid, with the assistance of their Discord server pals and hot animal control guy Spencer, attempt to cure Brigid’s lycanthropy, and help her stop wolfing out. I loved the scientific approach they tried to take and then abandoned for slightly mad “cures” from old folkloric books in the antique shop Brigid works in.

I also loved their friendship, the way that they bonded over old TV shows and stupid internet jokes and being let down constantly by your own body – cos hard same.

I can’t believe this is a first novel, it’s so strong and well written and enjoyable, can’t wait to see what the author does next.

And now I have to go take my meds. Fun.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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