I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published by Disney Electronic Content on June 16, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Fantasy & Magic
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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 the 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.
If you looked at her from the outside you would think Samantha McAllister had a perfect life. A champion swimmer, one of the pretty girls who has a super close group of friends, she seems to have a charmed life. But under the surface she is struggling with Purely-Obsessional OCD, and she can’t risk anyone finding out she isn’t perfect. But then she meets a group of poetry nerds and they lead her on a path she isn’t sure she can go down. Is that path her saving grace or her downfall?
So I had very high expectations for this book. The reviews were amazing and I joined NetGalley just for this book. So I was hoping for a lot, and at first I was not impressed. But then the story built in such an artful way. The interplay between Sam and her old friends, her new friends particularly Caroline who becomes a lifeline, and her therapist weave so beautifully together. The delicate interplay between the characters walks a fine line that could have become trite but instead became a rich tapestry of life, love and loss. Then about three-fourths through a gut-punch…I do not want to spoil a second of this book for anyone, but wow I did not see it coming. This book is marketed as a YA but the nuances make it seem much more mature. A powerhouse of a book, Every Last Word, lived up to its hype.