by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published by Disney-Hyperion Release date : June 16th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link)
Add to: Goodreads
f 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 received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Every Last Word was immediately added to my TBR list when I first laid my eyes on it. I loved Tamara’s other novels, Time Between Us and Time After Time, and I take pride in myself for my patience waiting for another novel from her.
Not only that. I have an up-close and personal relationship with OCD. I was anxious to see how much of Sam I was going to see and relate to, since she has Purely-Obsessional OCD and my experience has been on the compulsive side of the spectrum. There are similarities but you would be surprised by the vast differences between the two. Either way, the feels were a literal punch to the gut.
I loved how authentic Sam’s character was written. I can’t imagine the research it took to accurately portray the traits and characteristic of someone who suffers from Pure-O or just OCD in general. There are a lot of misconstrued assumptions about this disorder and I was so happy to see the realness of it.
I will admit – there were a few things that Sam did and even thought, that were really hard to understand. Obsessions aside, I felt like her drive to be “normal” really killed my ability to like her at first. I wasn’t a fan of her circle of friends that she held on like a lifeline. Yet at the same time, I get it. I am sympathetic and my heart ached for her. But that’s the beauty in it. I am glad she made the decisions she did, WHEN she did, because it was important for her to come to terms with.
I adored the romance. I was hoping that it didn’t play such a large role – because I wanted Sam to make the right choices by herself, without a relationship motivating and/or aiding her. AJ is a sweet, caring guy and I was so glad that he was able to get over what happened in the past and see Sam for who she is.
The message that Every Last Word gives is a strong, powerful one. Words can be damaging, hurtful and even kind of break us. But they also have the power to be beautiful, healing and full of wonder. Watching Sam slowly discover this was my favorite part of the book.
It was a little slow for me in the beginning, but it does pick up at a rapid pace. There is also quite the plot twist. One I never saw coming, mind you. I should have expected such perfection when it came to the execution because Stone has a way with HER words and is flawless at piecing the small things together.
Overall- I loved Every Last Word. It’s a strong, powerful novel and is a must read for all fans of Young Adult Contemporary. It was beautiful – Every Last Word.
Tell Me Your Thoughts
- Have you read Every Last Word? If so, what did you think?
- How well to you handle books that relate to your life? Do you read them or shy away?