Book Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

12:30 PM

every last word by tamara ireland stone

Every Last Word
by Tamara Ireland Stone
E-book edition, pages
Published June 16th, 2015 by Disney Press

If you could read 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 was in the middle of reading The Knife of Never Letting Go, when suddenly, the contemporary mood kicks in. So I just scrolled through my e-reader, and find this book being the only contemporary there I haven't read. I know nothing about this book (which is the first time, since I always read the summary before reading) and take a leap of faith. Turns out it was really worth it. I really liked this one.

I think this book sends a really great message to readers. Our main character, Sam, has pure-O OCD. She's not tidy or keep fixing things, like common perception of OCD. But she thinks about something, she couldn't stop thinking about it. She can't sleep, she'll get anxiety, and just interferring with her daily life. This book really potrays that part accurately. The author has done research before writing this book, and it's shown in the way she potrays Sam. Her stream of thoughts from when she's fine to when she's obsessing are gradual and nicely paced. The great things are Sam has great, supportive family that always by her side, and has really healthy relationship with the psychiatrist. I mean, she's hiding her OCD from her friends, but she's seeking for help. And I think that's a really great message. This book also deals with typical high school life; popular cliques, toxic friendships, and crushes, which makes this book even more relateable and heartfelt.

Another reason why I really liked this book is I find the main character, Sam, relateable. I find swimming and morning walks calming (swimming does this for her) and as she find outlet with poetry, I also find outlet in writing. I don't know, reviews, short stories, imagines, lists, anything. When I'm stressed out, or when I can't sleep, my mind tend to get really crowded and buzzed, and sometimes it's exhausting. I find writing lists or whatever in my head in chaotic ways really help, even though it's incomprehensible sometimes XD

I was really surprised when I read about Caroline though, because I just finised The Dream Thieves and I can't have Noah 2.0. But I'm really glad that's not the case, even though that chapter really broke my heart. I felt really sorry for Sam.

I'm not an expert on poetry, nor have I ever understand one, so I won't give any review about that aspect. But I really like the people in Poet's Corner, how open and friendly they are, and how acceptable they are with Sam. 

So overall, I really enjoyed this book. The story is simple and really heartfelt. It doesn't have memorable characters, but the story itself is really beautiful.

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  1. I really liked this book as well! I really liked how Sam was portrayed not as a stereotypical person with OCD. So many people have stereotypes on how OCD works, and this book (and many others) clears it up. I really didn't see that plot twist with Caroline too! I was so surprised! Really, with all the YA Contemporary books dealing with mental illnesses I read, I should have seen it coming... :) Great review!

    Cloe @ Mornings and Epilogues

    1. This book really breaks my stereotypes about OCD. And I didn't see that twist with Caroline too! At that point I feel really sad for Sam :(

  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only person who will switch books when the mood hits! XD I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction, but the OCD storyline does sound really interesting. I can usually get into contemporary if there's something unusual about it, so I may put this one on my list. Sam sounds like a great protagonist too! Great review :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. I also don't read contemporary, but when the mood hits I usually just switch it up! XD I really hope you'll enjoy it, this one is really good!

  3. I'm really glad that you could relate to the main character because I know that it's really hard relate to books. I'm also happy that you enjoyed reading the book because I really enjoyed it when I read it. This is also another book where the characters aren't perfect, which to me just makes them more realistic.


    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this book! The author has done such a fantastic job in writing the characters! :)

  4. I read this one last year and loved it! I am so glad you did too.

  5. This is one of my favorite books too. I wasn't expecting it to hit me so hard with the feels, but it totally did and I was so happy I picked it up.
    I thought the OCD was handled really tactfully too.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this, Tasya!
    Lovely review!

    1. Ooh yeah this book also took me by surprise! I didn't expect to like it as much as I did! Thank you!

  6. I remember reading this one ages ago too Tasya and really enjoyed it. It was one of those books that explored mental illness before it became the next in thing. I did want to know more about Poets Corner though, that was the highlight for me. I was hoping she might have brought out a follow up about the side characters, but sadly I don't think that was ever the case. If you enjoyed this one, you might like The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B. A younger set of characters but it's so lovely. Wonderful review Tasya, really enjoyed it <3

    1. I also really enjoyed the Poets Corner! (even though I understand nothing about the poetry) Their friendship just feels so authentic and beautiful! Thanks for the recs Kelly, I would definitely check it out! :D


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