I have to say that reviewing books was never something that I really thought about or intended to do – all the free time I have is spent either with my boyfriend or blogging, I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like. BUT. When I heard about this book I just had to give it a read. Clearly I am interested in mental health but particularly child mental health. I had a bit of time coming up over the Christmas period so agreed to give The Goldfish Boy a try. Boy, am I glad that I did.
Firstly, I’m glad I made the time to read again. I forgot how much I love it. Secondly, what a book to get me back into regular reading. I finished this in two evenings and I was a bit gutted when it had finished.
‘A story about finding friendship when you’re lonely and hope when all you feel is fear.’
The Goldfish Boy gives an insight into the life of Matthew, a twelve year old boy with debilitating OCD. He is housebound. To keep himself busy, Matthew looks out of his window every day and watches his neighbours go about their daily lives. I don’t want to spoil the book, but when a toddler goes missing from the house next door, Matthew’s observant eye and weeks-worth of notes come in very handy for the investigation and thanks to his regular people-watching, he was the last person to see the toddler before his mysterious disappearance.
Whilst presenting a fantastic storyline for the reader to follow – I was desperate to work out what happened to young Teddy – the book gives a brilliant insight into a life affected by OCD. The Goldfish Boy educates on OCD and gives an interesting insight into how much OCD can affect your life and in what ways, without any stigma or stereotypes. I feel like I learned loads about OCD whilst reading this book. I think a lot of the time people associate Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with cleanliness, which is present in the book, but amongst many other things. I thought it was great to learn about many other aspects of the illness. Matthew’s story is incredibly moving, not only for the reasons behind his OCD but also how he feels and behaves as a result.
This is a brilliantly written, insightful, interesting book that encourages education and understanding towards OCD and anyone who suffers. In actual fact I don’t have a bad word to say about it – maybe that I would have liked it to last a bit longer?! I found the storyline really interesting and feel more educated about OCD as a mental illness, which I’ve found has given me a whole new level of respect and admiration for anyone who suffers. We really don’t realise just how much lives can be affected by mental illness.
I’d recommend this to anyone, particularly those interested in mental health, and I might even read it again. Good job, Lisa.