What a pleasant surprise! I thought a book about "friendship and the hairy side of chronic illness" (a werewolf reference) might be campy and ridiculous. Instead, I found a sensitive, funny, well-written, #NewAdult friendship tale with quirky characters and unexpected authenticity and emotional depth. It also has spot-on portrayals of the daily physical, administrative, and emotional struggles faced by those with chronic illness, and excellent representation (with a diversity of ethnicities, genders, sexualities, pronouns, and illnesses).
Spring 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“This debut yanked me in and I could not put it down. Poignant and hilarious, this young adult story delves into the mental landscape of chronic illnesses but also brings werewolfism into the storyline. I love Brigid’s sense of humor, and her and Priya’s friendship is one we all need in our lives. A great recommendation for readers who are looking for a solid friendship-themed book. There is a fun hint of romance, but it doesn’t shift the story’s focus.”
— Candice Conner, The Haunted Book Shop, Mobile, AL
One of POPSUGAR's Best YA Books of April Kids’ Indie Next List Pick for Spring 2021 A SIBA Read This Next Selection for Spring 2021
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 a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—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.
About the Author
Kristen O’Neal is a freelance writer who has written for sites like Buzzfeed Reader, Christianity Today, Birth.Movies.Death, LitHub, and Electric Literature. She lives on the internet. You can find her at @Kristen_ONeal on Twitter and kristenoneal on Tumblr. Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses is her first novel.
Kids’ Indie Next List Pick for Spring 2021 One of POPSUGAR's Best YA Books of April A SIBA Read This Next Selection for Spring 2021
“Emotional, thoughtful, and a true testament to the power of friendship, Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses is a werewolf novel that will make you look at navigating illness, supernatural or not, in a whole new way….O’Neal breaks new ground with this book and accomplishes something truly wonderful.”—Locus Magazine
“Your next favorite horror-comedy.”—Syfy Fangrrls
“O’Neal persuasively pulls from her own experience with chronic illness to inform her depiction of the topic, using interactions between support group members to layer comedic banter and vulnerability that specifically addresses aspects of disability experiences.”—Publishers Weekly
“A heartwarming, quirky take on chronic illness in all its hairy detail.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A fresh and original twist on the werewolf legend.”—Booklist
“A must-read for anyone with a chronic illness or who loves someone with a chronic illness.”—School Library Journal “An electric tour de force of hilarity and humanity. Oof, ouch, my heart! It bleeds for this book.”—Preston Norton, author of Where I End and You Begin
“Poignant and hilarious….a great recommendation for readers who are looking for a solid friendship-themed book.”—Candice Conner, The Haunted Book Shop