Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Pub Date: June 16, 2015
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Mental Health
[Goodreads] ● [Amazon] ● [Book Depository]
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
“You are still here stitched into the words on these walls.”
Wow. I was expecting a fluffy contemporary. And honestly, I was very skeptical about the representation of OCD that’s hinted at in the synopsis.
I’m happy to say that I am more than pleasantly surprised. This story is heartfelt and serious, and does an amazing job of depicting the obsessive side of OCD. Of course, that is just my personal opinion as someone who struggles with OCD, so maybe this isn’t representative of everyone. I just really appreciated this perspective in teen literature.
There was a major plot twist around page 280. It caught me totally off guard. And then I was tearing up within the next 40 pages. So yeah, I have to say that the emotions this story elicited out me deserves some more stars.
Also, the romance didn’t even bother me? I actually liked it? Interesting.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for teen literature that tackles mental health and illness in a realistic way.
There’s also a poetry aspect to this story that you may find absolutely endearing!