Book: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published June 2015 by Disney Press|257 pages
Where I Got It: I own the e-book
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
This book is so, so special! It’s my favorite book of the year so far, and I love it for so many reasons!
Like, I love that there’s a book about a character who’s OCD. It’s nice to see a book about someone who’s not depressed/suicidal. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic books that deal with depression/suicide, but it’s really nice to see a book that deal with mental illness- and something that’s not depression. Reading this book really makes me want to read more books that deal with mental illness that’s not depression.
I also love that she sees a psychiatrist, and that we actually see her sessions- and that while she worries about her friends finding out, she does work hard to not let it take over her life. I loved that she had swimming and that she had the Poet’s Corner, and that poetry became such a great outlet for her. The poetry throughout the book was beautiful, and she has such good friends in the Poet’s Corner.
The ending had me crying, and it was one I didn’t see coming, but at the same time, it somehow fit with what was going on in Sam’s life.
I also really liked the aspect of Sam’s friendships with the popular girls. It was interesting to see her have such toxic relationships, and how hard it was for her to let them go because they had such a shared history. But she really did become a lot stronger than she already was, and she really become someone completely amazing.
The note that Stone had at the end of the book was also really nice to read because it felt like Stone put a lot of care into the book, and into making sure that her portrayal of Sam was authentic and accurate as possible. Something about Sam’s story rang true, and while it isn’t representative of every single experience of OCD, I also thought it was a really great representation of one person’s story.
5 stars. I think this book is really special and amazing, and words cannot express how much I loved this book!