Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses
by Kristen O'Neal
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Pub Date 10 May 2022 | Archive Date 4 Aug 2022
Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship, chronic illness, and . . . werewolves.
Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but the fallout from undiagnosed Lyme disease sends her back to her childhood home in New Jersey during her sophomore year—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.
Average rating from 33 members
Lycathropy and other chronic illnesses was the best book I’ve read in a long time. This book followers Priya, a girl who drops out of college due to Lyme disease. She moves back home and starts talking to her internet best friend Brigid, whose also chronically ill. They join a sort of support group together. But when Priya doesn’t hear from Brigid after days, she gets worried and goes over to check on her. What she finds it surprising!
This book made me feel so seen. There’s a online chronic illness support group that our main character joins, and one of them has endometriosis, another has migraines and another is trying to get a diagnosis. as someone who has endo, migraines and a bunch of other things my doctors haven’t figured out yet, I was just really happy to have so many characters I could connect to. It also goes into how being chronically ill can effect your mental health, both anxiety and depression are represented so well in this book. There’s also tons of LGBT+ characters!
Theres. Even. Playlists. For. The. Characters!!!!!
This book was so clever and funny. I loved all the characters!
I’d recommend for anyone who wants to learn more about what it’s like to live with a chronic illness or likes werewolves.
It's hard for me to articulate what this book meant to me. As someone with Chronic pain and undiagnosed conditions the connections to these characters is something I won't forget. The support group aspect was very clever and I know lots of people will also relate to the discussions that went on in this book.
While it dealt with tough topics like inaccessible healthcare, mental health following diagnosis/injury, and losing things to your condition it also had light-hearted moments in between like... you know.. a werewolf?
A beautiful way to bring chronic illness and lycanthropy together and provide some comic relief in moments that felt heavy.
“You celebrate. You mourn. And most of the time it’s about the exact same thing.”
Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses is one of the most funny, engaging, and quick witted books that I have read in a while. The characters are well-written, and you will genuinely root for them. The story follows Priya, who recently contract Lyme disease and is still suffering its effects. She has an online pen pal, Brigid who soon becomes her closest confidant and friend. They both join a support group for people with chronic illnesses. When Brigid isn’t online for a few days, Priya takes the family car and decides to check in on Brigid. As the title suggests, we are introduced to another side of Brigid.
The online support group that is comprised of people with different chronic illnesses is eye-opening. I wasn’t familiar with a lot of these conditions. The characters discussed their situations frankly, and the reader can’t help but feel emotional when they recount some of the obstacles that they have to overcome. This is a great way of illustrating how illness doesn’t define who someone is. It is just a part of them. The other standout is just the general humor and wittiness throughout the book. I was always engaged in the story.
Kristen O’Neal has written a heartwarming story about friendship, grieving who we used to be, as well as, accepting what we have become. It is a wonderfully written story that also features werewolves.
Chronic illness is hard enough to deal with on it's own. When you add on no help from doctors, no guidance on how to cope and also you're a werewolf? A nightmare. We get to follow Priya, a newly spoonied girl coping with the aftermath of Lyme disease and the irreparable changes to her life. Her online best friend, Bridget, is also dealing with a chronic illness, but one less understood. Both are trying to find a sense of support and understanding through their online support group of people with different disabilities who are just trying to get by.
If you've ever had a loved one with a chronic illness, you'll be able to attest to how true to life this book feels. We witness the uncertainty of not knowing why your body suddenly feels like a hostile environment, the feelings of isolation and the gradual toll this takes on your mental health. It's clear that O'Neal did her research in reaching out to communities of chronically ill people to make sure she was able to tell this story in the most respectful and true way possible.
I do wish there had been more exploration into how people react to a previously unknown illness and perhaps challenging their own perceptions of what a chronic illness can look like and what range of people could be included under the umbrella. As it is though, the accepting and understanding nature of the characters helping their friend deal with lycanthropy is like a warm hug and could be just the right thing for young people starting this journey of discovery for themselves. 100% will recommend.
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