Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses: A Novel (Paperback)
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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
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 the fallout from undiagnosed Lyme disease sends her back to her childhood home in New Jersey during her sophomore year—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.
Kids’ Indie Next List Pick
A SIBA Read This Next Selection for Spring 2021
A 2022-2023 South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominee
“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
“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
“Clever, original, entertaining, and all the more impressive when considering that Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses is author Kristen O'Neal's debut as a novelist.”—Midwest Book Review
“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