Thursday, June 20, 2013

Character Guest Post: Danielle Levine from OCD, The Dude, & Me

Hello Fellow Readers!

Today I'm welcoming the main character, Danielle, from the book OCD, The Dude, & Me to Melissa's Midnight Musings, as part of a blog tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours. Read on to find out more about the book, the author, and Danielle's struggles with OCD and ADHD.

About The Book:

Title: OCD, The Dude & Me
Author: Lauren Roedy Vaughn
Publisher: Dial
Published: March 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240

With frizzy orange hair, a plus-sized body, sarcastic demeanor, and "unique learning profile," Danielle Levine doesn't fit in even at her alternative high school. While navigating her doomed social life, she writes scathing, self-aware, and sometimes downright raunchy essays for English class. As a result of her unfiltered writing style, she is forced to see the school psychologist and enroll in a "social skills" class. But when she meets Daniel, another social misfit who is obsessed with the cult classic film The Big Lebowski, Danielle's resolve to keep everyone at arm's length starts to crumble.

Seventeen-year-old Danielle Levine is your typical high school teen-ager – if you count having OCD and ADHD as typical. Danielle’s “special” conditions lead her to a school for students with learning disabilities, and, even here, she struggles to fit in.

How Danielle navigates her status as a “learning-challenged” teen pariah is told, with equal parts pain and hilarity, in Lauren Roedy Vaughn’s debut Young Adult novel, OCD, THE DUDE, AND ME, which Kirkus Review has hailed as a “must-read.”

Told through a mélange of Danielle’s class assignments, journal entries, emails, texts, and letters to the school psychiatrist, OCD, THE DUDE, AND ME chronicles Danielle’s efforts to fit into a world that, to her, can be as alien as a distant planet. Yet, Danielle will be recognizable to her readers, with her body-image issues, her crush on an unattainable boy, and her feelings of insecurity over the rigid social code of high school life.

Just as things seemingly couldn’t get worse for her, Danielle meets a new friend, Daniel, who turns her on to the Coen Brothers’ classic cult film THE BIG LEBOWSKI and its indelible main character, the ever-cool, ever abiding Dude. Daniel and Danielle end up going to the prom together and to Lebowski Fest, an annual event celebrating the Dude and his Buddha-like philosophy, which says that things will work out if you “abide.”

Purchase your copy online:


Character Guest Post
From inside Danielle Levine’s OCD brain

I’m sitting at dinner with my mom and dad and staring down at my thighs. They take up way too much space on the chair. I’m trying to mentally suck in my thighs. My mom’s thighs only take up a fraction of space on the newly upholstered dining room chairs; her thighs are as lovely as the chairs. Not so much mine.
I’m currently worried that the mash potatoes I’m eating will travel straight down to my thighs and burst open the seams of my jeans. I know that’s impossible, but I can’t stop myself from thinking about it. These are the kinds of thoughts I have during dinner. This is just how my mind works.I put the cloth napkin over my thighs so a huge portion of their real estate is hidden from view. Okay, Danielle, stop thinking about your thighs. Force yourself to have some other thoughts.
Good thoughts I force myself to have during dinner:
1.      I’m on page 226 of Pride and Prejudice. I’m rereading it for the fourth time. Very satisfying.

2.      If my thighs don’t explode during dinner, maybe I can watch a Jake Gyllenhaal movie before bed. Awesome.

3.      Aunt Joyce is coming over this weekend. Fabulous. She’s taking me to a see theRestoration comedy that she designed the costumes for. Can’t wait.

4.      I hope she can snag me a dress and a few hats after the run of the show.

5.      Will try on all my hats after dinner.

6.      Had to have a sixth thought because I don’t like to end on odd numbers.

I’m uber glad people can’t hear my thoughts. They would think I’m as nuts as I know I am. That reminds me that I better check the lock on my me-moir binder. All my writing, all my thoughts, all my emails and secret journals live there, and I can’t remember if I locked it.
           “Mom, may I be excused?”
           “You just sat down to dinner.”
           “I’m not that hungry and I’m protecting my thighs.”
           “Finish your dinner and then you can be excused. Your thighs are perfectly fine.”
           Sometimes my mom is clueless.

Connect With Lauren Roedy Vaughn:

Ms. Vaughn is especially equipped to write Danielle’s story. She has been a special education teacher and a writer for nearly 20 years. In 2005, she received the Walk of Hearts Teaching Award, and she serves on the Board of the International Dyslexia Association’s Los Angeles Branch. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, when she was in elementary school. She came to California for college, met her husband at the University of California, Irvine, and they have lived in Southern California ever since. Together, they share a love of The Big Lebowski. When not teaching, reading, or writing, Lauren is usually on a yoga mat.

Her latest book is the contemporary humorous young adult fiction, OCD, the Dude & Me.

You can visit Lauren Roedy Vaughn’s website at