by Heidi Ayarbe

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Today has to be perfect.
I look at the clock.
10:14 AM.

Ten fourteen. One plus one is two plus four is six plus ten is sixteen minus one is fifteen minus two is thirteen. OK.

I turn from the clock and walk into the hallway. "Ready."

Saturday will be the third state soccer champion­ship in a row for Jake Martin. Three. A good number. Prime. With Jake on the field, Carson City High can't lose because Jake has the magic: a self-created protection generated by his obsession with prime numbers. It's the magic that has every top soccer university recruiting Jake, the magic that keeps his family safe, and the magic that suppresses his anxiety attacks. But the magic is Jake's prison, because sustaining it means his compulsions take over nearly every aspect of his life.

Jake's convinced the magic will be permanent after Saturday, the perfect day, when every prime has converged. Once the game is over, he won't have to rely on his sister to concoct excuses for his odd rituals. His dad will stop treating him like he is some freak. Maybe he'll even make a friend other than Luc.

But what if the magic doesn't stay?

What if the numbers never leave?

Acclaimed author Heidi Ayarbe has created an honest and riveting portrait of a teen struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder in this breathtaking and courageous novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062076991
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 7 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Heidi Ayarbe grew up in Nevada and has lived all over the world. She now makes her home in Colombia with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of Compulsion, Compromised, and Freeze Frame.

What People are Saying About This

Francisco Stork

COMPULSION is a starkly honest, compelling read. It will grab you and plunge you into the unusual, yet strangely familiar mind of Jake Martin and you will come out different.

Customer Reviews

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Compulsion 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
pagese More than 1 year ago
'm draw to books about mental illness. Maybe that's what having a degree in psychology does to you. So, I immediately wanted to read this book based on the OCD fact alone. While, I had a hard time getting into the story, it did not disappoint. While I was intrigued be Jake, I had a hard time with him at first. I didn't understand his OCD and what he was doing to calm himself. And, I was really confused by the "magic". For a little bit I was afraid it was going to have a paranormal accept. It seemed like Jake believed that the numbers actually gave him a magical element. Turns out I was wrong on the fact and then the OCD begins to make sense. He has his rituals which he must go through everyday before he can leave the house. Plus, any time he sees a number (on the clock, etc), he has to add/subtract/ whatever to make it a prime number. It's really crippling him because its starting to effect his everyday life. As the all important soccer game draws closer, Jake's life goes into a tail spin. He think that if he can win that big game and earn a college scholarship, his OCD will go away. But, as with any mental illness, things go crazy. His OCD has lead to one to many tardies and he's in danger of not being able to play in the big game. When the morning before the big game doesn't go according to plan, he's forced to skip class so he can start the day right. But that's not his only problem. His sister has high social aspirations and wants to cement her place before he goes off to college. He makes a deal with her, but his OCD basically lands her in the hospital. This was roller coaster ride for me. I really enjoyed watching how Jake's OCD controls him. I liked watching him get to that point when he realizes he needs help. I also loved who and how he finally reaches out for that help. From about half way through the book I was hooked. So, the 3 rating comes from the slow start and the excessive use of the "F" word.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Jake is a teen just trying to live his life, but his OCD makes it difficult to appear normal. His only real friend is Luc, and even he knows that Jake has something going on with him. But Jake keeps it hidden. He tries to be the soccer champ everyone wants him to be, and his sister helps him appear put together in front of his father...whose broken down by his wife, who deals with her own OCD. Jake has an obsession with numbers. This is something that starts almost every new section and chapter throughout the book. It definitely starts to grate on you as you read, but I think that's part of the point. You get a small peek into the madness of Jake's mind and what he must deal with. I'm pretty sure I have some form of OCD, so I could definitely relate to the repetition of things in your head and how you just want to MAKE. IT. STOP. The overall story is how Jake is desperate to win his upcoming soccer championship. The numbers stop when he plays, and if he can win, he might be able to make the "magic" last and be "normal" for once. Everyone thinks that Jake is some sort of star, but he's just trying to hold on. It was interesting to see inside his family life and how his little sister has to protect him, and how he wishes desperately to help her, and how their father tries to block out the bad, and how their mother is dealing with her own mental issues and how it all affects the way they live. Wow. Long sentence. But that's just it. It's kind of a neverending circle of life they live in, without fully opening up and showing that they need help. Not everything changes in the end. I suppose it can't. But it gets better in ways. It gets closer to a happy ending.
renkellym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Jake suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, but he doesn¿t know it. He¿s fascinated with prime numbers, and finds himself having to repeat certain actions or else things won¿t feel ¿right¿. Jake knows these inclinations are strange, so when he realizes that an upcoming Saturday will align perfectly with the primes, he thinks he¿ll finally be free of his weirdness. Not only that¿Saturday is a big game for his soccer team. Jake¿s future depends on it. Will Saturday be a miracle? ¿Or will it be a disaster?My thoughts: The way Heidi Ayarbe presents obsessive compulsive disorder is stunning. She shows rather than tells, and Jake¿s unflinching narrative sheds insight into the confusing and controlling aspects of the disease. Nothing feels insincere or clinical; it¿s obvious that Ayarbe has done copious amounts of research, and her teen male voice is flawless.Compulsion is mainly a character-driven novel. There isn¿t much of a plot, other than Jake¿s waiting for the big game and fighting the urge to look at the clock. Yet Compulsion still manages to be exciting. Jake¿s stress is palpable, and I felt myself sweating along with him. His thoughts are consuming, and they¿re really all that matter. I found myself caring less and less about the ¿once I win this game, the numbers will go away¿ aspect of the story, and focusing more on Jake¿s inner turmoil.Jake¿s younger sister, Kasey, is a stellar foil for Jake. Their relationship was something sweeter than I¿d ever seen between siblings. The haunting memory they share keeps them close, but it¿s obvious that they truly care about each other.Compulsion is an excellent take on OCD, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the disease. My eyes were certainly opened. The story isn¿t just about OCD, though¿it¿s about learning to live with what you have, and opening yourself up to others. Even those without OCD will find parts of the story they can relate to.
LauraMoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As soon as I heard the premise of this story I know I would be picking it up as soon as possible. I'm always immediately drawn to books regarding mental illness and disorders and am fasinated by the feelings, emotions and behaviors surrounding them. Jake Martin is a high school senior, soccer player extrodinare, who is living with a secret. His life is consumed with his obsession and need for prime numbers. He feels that the prime numbers bring him magic, magic that not only protects his family but brings him luck on the soccer field as well, but these numbers also consume his life, if Jake can just make it through saturdays championship soccer game, he thinks the magic will stay with him forever, but will it, or will the numbers continue to consume his life?I had a very hard time connecting to this story and the main character Jake, not because he was male, but just his character in general. Anyone who knows me knows i'm far from a numbers person, and I think maybe the overwhelming abudance of them make this book a bit taxing for me. Which some could argue may have been the point of the story, that in fact that's how Jake felt in regards to his OCD, but I had a hard time being able to connect. I wish the story focused more on his disease, rather then him trying to keep it a secret, and I wish the ending resolved or came to a better conclusion, because in my opinion it felt like it was left uncomplete, and ended kinda-of abruptly. I did however find this book interesting in the respect that while I have read novels regarding OCD i've never read a book regarding OCD with regards to numbers, and I know thats very common in people with OCD, so I did get to see a whole nother side to the disease that i've never really delved into before.I do think this book is worth picking up and giving a chance, and I do feel that a lot of guys would really enjoy this novel, The protaginist is male, and it deals with an athlete and issues I think a male would be able to relate to better then a female.
katielder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Heidi Ayarbe's main character, Jake Martin, can be judged from the exterior in a similar way to most high school students: friend, son, jock, etc. But the interior of Jake's mind is the axis on which this story turns, for Jake's struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder literally turns his world into a frenzied labyrinth of habit and ritual, and his mind becomes his greatest enemy. The pacing of this novel, which spans only a few days and introduces readers to the complexities of Jake's family members and friends as well, heads irreversibly toward Saturday, the day of the big game that could change Jake's life forever. But can he hold it together long enough to get there? Readers will not be able to put the book down until they find out.
WarriorLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Too much profanity and it made me feel crazy to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This had me sitting on the edge of my seat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book it just got a bit confusing at the end after the party.