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 am giving Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone 4/5 stars.
Every now and then a young adult book comes out that makes me think about life and how hard others have it, and Every Last Word is one of those books. For me, Every Last Word was about to achieve this, by tackling the subject of OCD. I feel that as a society we are still not comfortable talking about OCD, especially in young people as we view mental health issues as a bit taboo. However, Stone was able to tell a story that showed OCD in a pure way, but also made it quite interesting. I love that Stone did the research she needed to do to write the story the best she could to show OCD and therapeutic techniques that are used to help in the treat.
I honestly think my favorite part of the story was the use of poetry or songs to tell the story and how the characters felt. It truly helped me as a reader get a better understanding of the characters and also spiced it up from just the regular prose.
About the Author:
TAMARA IRELAND STONE is the author of the New York Times bestseller, EVERY LAST WORD, a story about a teen with OCD who discovers a secret poetry club that changes her life in unexpected ways.
Stone is also the author of TIME BETWEEN US, which has been published in over twenty countries, and its companion novel, TIME AFTER TIME. The series follows a teen time traveler from present day and a girl in 1995 he can’t seem to leave in his past.
A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Stone enjoys skiing, traveling, and going to concerts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children.