ARC Book Review: Because We Are Bad by Lily Bailey


ashley | It seems that I’ve been obsessively reading books about obsessive disorders and mental illnesses lately, so it was natural that I picked up Because We Are Bad by Lily Bailey when I did. This book was subtitled “OCD and a girl lost in thought”, which definitely spoke to me.

I loved this book. So much. It’s more of a memoir than anything else, but written in the unique voice of “we”, which refers to Bailey herself and She, her — invisible friend / voice in side her head / OCD. This was a bit weird to get used to at first, but I thought it did a great job at depicting what Bailey lives with on a daily basis and gave an intimate look into her thought process and how she felt. Just by that referral of we, the reader learns so much about what she was dealing with.

This was a very powerful and eye opening read. I think we all have a preconceived notion of what OCD means, stereotypes about washing your hands too much or touching objects multiple times. But I haven’t read anything before the delves so deeply into the core of it and so clearly lays out the struggles and helplessness that dealing with something like this gives a person.

Bailey addresses this, too, and it’s done so thoroughly that you feel like you’re looking up a definition in a medical text, but it’s written succinctly and clearly without feeling harsh or too much like a statistic. She uses perfect examples and perfect explanations to draw a super clear picture, making OCD almost seem like the most simplest thing in the world… though it’s far from it.

I also really admired how well Bailey has put what she feels and experiences into words on a page so that a reader like myself, who has no insight into this disorder, can get a somewhat accurate feel of what she is going through. I can’t imagine being so self-aware of myself to be able to describe all the chaos in my head, let alone something far more chaotic. It’s really impressive and inspiring.

Above anything else, this book made my anxiety skyrocket. If I get this anxious just reading about Bailey’s thoughts and obsessions, I can’t even imagine what she must actually have been going through, with all these thoughts overtaking her mind at all hours of the day and night. And yet, she talks about it so casually, has accepted it as part of herself like one would accept having blue eyes or red hair

Bailey’s rollercoaster of a journey trying to figure out how to live while struggling with such debilitating worries and thoughts really affected me. I can’t relate on a personal level, at least not to the same degree, but I admire so much how she kept fighting and kept trying to push through. Not only was the story inspiring, but it was also very well written and well laid out.

I can’t recommend this book more and would give it more than 5 Glasses of Wine if I could.


more information
amazongoodreads website

april 3, 2018

copy provided for honest review by