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The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B    by Teresa Toten order for
Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
by Teresa Toten
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Teresa Toten co-wrote The Taming with Eric Walters. Having enjoyed that book very much, I opened The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B with great anticipation and was in no way disappointed.

Adam Spencer Ross is an unlikely hero and the novel presents an equally unusual boy-meets-girl scenario. When Robyn Plummer walks into the room, 'within the space of a heartbeat', Adam is lost - 'It was like he had drowned in a wave of want.' Sound familiar? Perhaps, but this is room 13B and everyone is there for the Young Adult OCD Support Group run by psychiatrist Dr. Chuck Mutinda.

Falling for Robyn makes Adam want to get normal in a hurry, and to help her do the same. He does help Robyn, whose problems started after her mother's untimely death. In fact he helps everyone else in the group by encouraging them to take on superhero identities for the meetings. Adam becomes Batman, and he is indeed a hero, but he has trouble helping himself.

Adam's parents are divorced and his father has remarried and has a second son, nicknamed Sweetie, who is very attached to his big brother - only Adam is able to help Sweetie when the little boy gets into one of his states.

Adam's stepmother Brenda is fond of him and vice versa. She gets along with his mother Carmella too. But the latter, a hospital nurse-supervisor has some serious issues. Though she loves Adam dearly, she's a hoarder, big time, and has pressured Adam to keep her secret, even as their home becomes more and more impassable. And Carmella starts receiving regular hate mail, increasing her stress and Adam's.

As matters escalate, Adam's friends in Group have his back and Robyn is totally there for him, even though she has improved so much herself that she no longer needs treatment. And after the crisis erupts, Adam finally cries. I did too. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B is an amazing book; I strongly recommend you read it.

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