What If? by Anna Russell

What If?

Josh Baker isn’t sure why his brain tells him to do things that other people don’t need to do: checking his locker again and again, counting cracks in ceilings, and always needing to finish a song, for starters. He is a talented drummer, a math genius, and he knows everything about rock and roll. Yet, he knows his problems have the power to hurt his family and make him fail at school. When Josh is diagnosed with OCD, it’s a blessing and a c...

Details What If?

TitleWhat If?
Release DateDec 1st, 2018
PublisherWest 44 Books
GenreYoung Adult, Poetry, Contemporary, Health, Mental Health, Fiction, Music

Reviews What If?

  • Schizanthus
    Josh is a drummer, is good at maths and loves The Beatles. He also needs to count the cracks in the ceiling and perform specific rituals exactly the right way or something really bad will happen. Josh has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and that is why I needed to read this book.I have a family member with OCD and I was the one that unofficially diagnosed them several years before someone qualified to do so concurred. Besides living with it I’ve ...
  • Steff
    What If  by Anna Russell is the second bit of poetry fiction that I've read so far this week and I'm finding that I really enjoy this type of storytelling. Poetry collections are nice and all, but they are infinitely more appealing when they follow an actual story and plot. Young Joshua's grades have slipped and his family has moved to a new school where he finds himself stuck at his locker, opening and closing it exactly a hundred times before ...
  • Manon
    I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Josh Baker has OCD, but he doesn't know that. All he knows is when he gets stressed, he starts counting things. And since he just moved because of his school results, and the pressure his dad puts on him, he is very stressed. Thankfully, he has the drums. He loves drumming and is very good at it.This book is written in verse. I really like books told in verses, especially since ...
  • Tahlia
    Blog Post: https://museofnyxmares.wordpress.com/...Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/museofnyxma...*I was provided with an ARC of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. All quotes used may be subject to change upon publication.This is my second YA Verse from West 44 Books, and again I was blown away. I loved this story so much, it was so touching and I really felt for Josh. Yes, this is a 200 page book and it’s writt...
  • Caterina Gagliardi
    *4,75 stars**ARC kindly provided by West 44 Books in exchange for an honest review*What if? by Anna Russell is a poetry book about a kid, Joshua, affected by OCD.He’s a teenager who’s just moved to a new school where he’s supposed to make new friends and start a new life.But that isn’t exactly easy to him. Whenever Josh has to face a new situation his mind gets stuck. So he counts and repeats actions.Nobody, not even his family, understan...
  • Giuls
    BOOK REVIEW- WHAT IFTHIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME BY EDELWEISS+ IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW, THANK YOU SO MUCH!Josh Baker isn’t sure why his brain tells him to do things that other people don’t need to do: checking his locker again and again, counting cracks in ceilings, and always needing to finish a song, for starters. He is a talented drummer, a math genius, and he knows everything about rock and roll. Yet, he knows his problems have the ...
  • Kimberly (kimberly_reads)
    Thank you to NetGalley and West 44 Books for allowing me to read What If? in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 starsA full review for What If? can be found on my blog here: https://kimberlyreads97.wordpress.com...I really enjoyed the format this book was in (being in verse) because (at least for my reading experience) it made reading about Josh’s experiences with OCD that much more impactful. I found this to be very well written in showing w...
  • Dorie
    What if?By Anna Russell Due January 2019West 44 BooksShort but important and impactful YA book about a young boy, Josh Baker, who has always been obsessed with counting things-over and over. He is intelligent, a math-wiz and a talented drummer, but his low grades constantly disappoint his father. When Josh is diagnosed with OCD it is a blessing and a curse. Writing this in lyrical prose was brilliant-sharing with the reader the fragmented, often ...
  • Cait S
    Because of how short the book is while also being written in verse I never connected to any of it or the characters enough to care. So it was fine but completely forgettable. Next week I won't remember any of it.
  • Sabrina
    "He wouldn't force people to listen to his songs, but they'd want to." What a beautiful and important book.
  • Savannah
    Thank you to Netgalley and West 44 Books for the eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I requested this book because I really enjoy reading books about mental illness and I also like books written in verse. This book, although good, seemed too short. It seemed a little to rushed. Josh is a teenager who has OCD but don't know it. He moved schools because he was falling behind in his old school. He finally sees a doctor who diagnoses ...
  • Bonnie Evie Gifford
    What If? Centres around the rituals, compulsions, and anxiety of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), as felt by a teenager struggling pre (and mid) diagnosis. Looking at the impact others can have on our mental health (and how able we feel to seek help when we are struggling), Russell’s book imparts the overall message that you don’t need to be fixed – just helped.(I’m not crying, you’re crying).OCD, unlike anxiety and depression, isn...
  • Reading Bifrost
    “I think she wants all the pieces of us- who we used to be.” I looked out the car window, saw Mom walking toward us, sunshine grin lighting up her face.“Julia?” I asked. “Do you think that means she’s afraid of who we’re going to become?” It’s always hard to rate a book about a disorder you’re not familiar with or do not have experience with, but the way the author describes the anxiety Josh felt and the way he struggled with...
  • Sinamile
    Raiting:4 1/2 🌟ARC Review: Received for free via Netgalley for an honest reviewCW: ableist slursI guess it's official: I love West 44 books!First I had Some Girls Bind by Rory James which was kind of really important to me because of its premise and my attachment to it. And now I have What If.I don't have OCD so I don't quite understand what it's like. Sometimes I have impulses to count thing or check and recheck things, but those moment are f...
  • Ruthsic
    A beautifully written poetry book, What If? is about a boy who is diagnosed with OCD and starting to find a method that makes it manageable. First, while I am generally not a fan of verse (I keep saying this, don't I, but I genuinely didn't know this was verse when I requested it) but it worked especially well for Josh's first person POV, as it gave us a view into the structure of his thoughts, the compulsions intertwined with regular thoughts an...
  • Kayla
    I'm really starting to learn to appreciate free verse books. Crank by Ellen Hopkins remains one of my favorite books of all time so I was really excited when I won this book and saw that is was written in a similar fashion. The story follows a young man struggling with compulsive thoughts and rituals. At first we don't know why Josh is the way he is (although I'm sure most of us have a pretty good guess as to what's wrong) and pretty early into t...
  • Emily
    *I received a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I had a lot of hope for this book but sadly it didn't really do anything for me. There was so much potential in the story. There could have been so much more included in the narrative and I was a bit disappointed. What if? follows Josh, who struggles with OCD. He loves music and is an awesome drummer. He starts to fall behind in school due to his undiagnosed OCD. Thi...
  • Staci Campbell
    Given to me on behalf of Netgalley, through the publisher in return for my honest opinion.Josh Baker has thoughts, lots of What If? thoughts. It isn't until he sees a Dr. He finds out these thoughts and the rituals that come with them are effects of OCD - mental illness that often makes the brain feel like it is on repeat, and more. He also finds out how is Father views it, and a secret his mother has kept for so long. Through music though Josh l...
  • Hayley
    This was a quick read book but it had a very interesting story line. This book is written in verse all about our main character Josh who suffers from OCD dealing with a new school and ultimately finding friends and his family's acceptance. I enjoyed this book because the little verses gave you enough information to know what was going on but still left you with enough slack to let your imagination take over and fill in the blanks however you'd li...
  • Damien
    I found this novel to be fascinating. I thought it was well-written in verse. I found this format to be in tune with what Josh was going through. He has OCD and anxiety. The challenges he faces with this disability are profound. He was able to make a friend in the novel that helped him to open up, but that was challenging as well. His fear of others finding out why he was acting strangely caused him to push those close to him away. He was able to...
  • Zach
    Thank you to NeGalley for sending me this book for an honest review. I was sent this book to review and I read in one sitting. The book is told in verse and I absolutely loved the story about a young boy coming to terms and identifying with OCD and it’s behaviors. The way it was written did a good job of getting the reader inside of Josh’s head and his thoughts. I liked the way the author integrated how this mental illness effects everyone fr...
  • DJ
    Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.What If is every thing I LOVE about verse. It's the perfect story for this format. It follows Joshua who wants to be a drummer. Seriously all he can think about is drumming and rock music. Until he finds out he's OCD, then he must navigate this new diagnosis and his life. This story is emotional, and wonderful. The verse format was the perfect way to translate Joshuas t...
  • Maddie
    This was a stupidly quick read. But I thought the way OCD is presented was super unique and I loved the imagery of the rhythm to represent the never-ending flow of thoughts in our main character's brain. It just ended so quickly! I wish it had lingered on more plot lines rather than running through it at breakneck speed. Again though, this offers an insanely good representation of OCD and the irregular rhythm that goes along with it. If you come ...
  • Joanna Goodrich
    Beautiful book written in prose about a boy struggling with OCD. He starts off not knowing that he has OCD...he goes through the motions until he gets reprimanded by the school for running out in the middle of the day. I really appreciated how the author explains through the therapist that medication isn't the problem solver. You don't need to be fixed, just helped. Medication is there to help you while you go through therapy, figuring out what m...
  • Tracey
    teen fiction (OCD, novel in verse)I don't usually like novels in verse unless they are done really well (it helps if you are
  • Carol
    I rate this 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐’s I won this arc (advanced reader copy) from west 44 books through a giveaway on Instagram. I want to say thank you to the publisher I thoroughly enjoyed this book it is the first book I've read that is written in verse. I can't wait to read more from this publisher. What if by Anna Russell will out in January of next year. :) This book takes a bold look at the struggles a person has coping with OCD and how not to j...
  • MC Hall
    I received a copy through Netgalley for a review. Josh is a 16 yr old who has a passion for playing the drums but is secretly struggling with OCD. As someone who suffers with OCD, i thought the way it was explained and demonstrated was very acurate. The constant need to quiet that voice telling you if you dont do this certain thing a particular way that something bad will happen. All the while, knowing it is complete crap but not having the abili...
  • Alyssa
    WHAT IF? is about a boy named Josh struggling with an OCD diagnosis, a new school, a new best friend, and a family trying to understand his disorder. The book has a clear, yet expected, emotional arc, and while I think teens will respond to the verse, I don't know if the verse was essential. A book that I think teens will read and like, and I'm glad to have in my collection, even if it wasn't my personal favorite.
  • Amanda Sanders
    This is the story of an OCD teen. The book is written in verse. It's a great subject and fairly well written. I did not get a true feeling for what the teen was experiencing with his OCD and his fear of being found out. Other books have done a better job with this. Josh is a high school drummer trying to hide his OCD from family and friends. When he finally admits he has a problem, he then looks for a solution.
  • Kaili Taghon (Entertainingly Nerdy)
    What If is a quick read written in play format. It follows Josh who is learning to deal with OCD. I like how this book explains OCD because even though I know what it is I've never been around anyone who has it. It's nice getting a better understanding of how those who have it manage to get through the day. This book does very well with how some families might manage to deal with having a kid who has it.