Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“If you could my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.”
“Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.”
I really loved reading this book, enough that I read it in one sitting and stayed up late to do so. Every Last Word gave me a better understanding of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) which I knew hardly anything about. Reading about Sam’s experience was an eye opener to what people go through with that disorder and makes me disappointed in my friends when they use OCD lightly. I however do not know if this is accurate representation for OCD, if not, please let me know.
Tamara’s writing is so poetic and flows really nicely, which creates an addictive story. Tamara also creates characters that I can form bonds with and fall in love with. I love Sam, and in a way, I can relate to her about her problems with her friends. Sam is this girl who is afraid to leave the people she’s known for a long time. And when she’s made new friends, she’s not sure what to do. She also is kind of left out from the group, something I’m familiar with (but that’s another story).
I loved everyone in Poet’s Corner. They all had such sweet friendships with one another. AJ was adorable and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED HIM. And Sydney’s food poetry was humorous and her upbeat personality always lifted the mood. I think she might be my favourite character. Casey had hardships at home but you could tell that she adored her friends and is grateful for them.
I love how Tamara wove in poetry into this book because it made the experience much more fun to read, and it combined two of my favourite things. Cute stories and poetry.
BUT THAT ENDING THOUGH!! AND THE TWIST! I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING AND IT JUST HONESTLY BROKE MY HEART. BECAUSE I ACTUALLY DIDN’T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN AND UGH. I CAN’T SPOIL ANYTHING. BUT READ IT TO FIND OUT!
Overall I really enjoyed this novel which, according to all the Goodreads reviews I’ve seen, has a good representation of OCD. I loved the writing, the characters and poetry, just everything. Hoping to read more of Tamara’s writing in the future because it is so addicting.