Review: Every Last Word

9:28 AM Serena 1 Comments

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Format/Source: ebook, purchased
Rating: 5/5 stars
Part of a series? Nope! 

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 bought a Kindle copy of this book a month or so ago because it was on sale, but I was unsure about it, as I normally am with books that are so well-loved. None of the people I follow on Goodreads had anything negative to say about it, which was intimidating but also exciting. Now that I've read Every Last Word, I hope that people who were intimidated by it like I originally was give it a chance because it is so worth it.

“I'm going to show you something that will change your whole life.”

Books that deal with mental health can be worrisome at times because I never know if it's going to be one of those books where the author sort of glazes over the issue and romanticizes it. That is not an issue with Every Last Word. Stone wrote of Sam’s struggle with such truth and grit that I, as a person who does not have OCD, felt like I was able to learn so much.

And Every Last Word doesn't just deal with issues like mental illness; Sam goes through things every teenager does. Stone writes about friendship and crushes and finding yourself in high school in such an honest and insightful way. Some of the things Sam said about finding who she is when she's not with her friends really resonated with me.

If you're looking for a poignant novel that accurately portrays the realities of mental illness and high school life, consider picking up Every Last Word. It is a beautiful read that packs quite the feelsy punch.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review, Serena! I am glad that more books are bringing more awareness to mental illness topics. I'll need to read this book soon. :)