Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

July 2, 2015 Review 2

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland StoneEvery Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published by Disney-Hyperion on June 16th 2015
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley
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My Rating:

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.

 My Thoughts & Review
I was really looking forward to picking up Every Last Word when I got it from Netgalley. I hadn’t actually paid much attention to it until I got the invitation in my email, but once I read the synopsis I knew I had to try it!

I immediately liked Samantha. Instantly. She has such an endearing personality, and her struggles with friendship, OCD, writing poetry, they were all realistic and really, really well done. I was just rooting for her from start to finish, she was a fantastic main character and definitely one I was sad to leave at the end of the book. I also fell in love with AJ, their friendship, and relationship. And Caroline the mysterious. I loved her, she was by far my favorite. She was such a great support system for Sam, just when she needed her the most. AND SAM’S FAMILY! Wow, I was thrilled to finally see such a great, supportive family system. Sam had some huge struggles with OCD, but her Mom was definitely in her corner, helping her with that battle.

When Sam was introduced to Poet’s Corner, I was thrilled. I was never someone who liked poetry, or was remotely interested in it but way back when I read Slammed by Colleen Hoover I realized that I love it in storylines. I really enjoyed listening to each of the members individual poems and how supportive of one another they are. They were really a fantastic group of people to come into Sam’s life, and it’s what helped her leave that horrendous, fairweather friend group that she was with since childhood.

Every Last Word took a turn towards the end of the book and I did not see that coming at all. When this ‘twist’ was upon me I was thinking what was coming, was coming, and I was silently saying to myself, “NO NO NO”. It broke my freaking heart. And then it happened again in the poetry club a few chapters later. Gosh, this practically ripped my heart out of my chest. I was so heartbroken for Sam, for Caroline, just for the entire situation.
WHY?!

There was nothing that I didn’t enjoy about this book (well… except what I explained above but it definitely played it’s own part in the book and was an important part of Sam’s journey to wellness). I thought it was incredibly well done, and the OCD aspect was thoroughly researched and true. It was heartfelt, endearing, sad, angering… just basically ALL THE FREAKING FEELS. I love feeling like this when a book is done.

Every Last Word was an amazing read. I don’t even know how to properly explain how wonderful this book is while doing it justice, so my best suggestion is to just read it.

Lauren

2 Responses to “Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone”

  1. Maraia

    I read Every Last Word last week and YES to all of your review. I pretty much loved all of the characters (except her awful friends), I loved that meds and therapy are portrayed in a positive light, and I love that Sam grows but isn’t “magically cured” at the end of the book.

    I am so happy to hear you talk about the twist. I haven’t heard anyone else mention it, and I was starting to think I was the only one who was surprised! I had the same “no no no” reaction as you when I suddenly realized what was about to happen. I almost always hate plot twists like that in books and movies, and I was so upset! But I do think it was handled really well, especially when Sam talked about it with her therapist, so it didn’t end up being as bad as I thought. And it still didn’t stop me from loving the book.

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