Wednesday, February 15, 2017

REVIEW: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Gifted to Reviewer 
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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.

This book is called Every Last Word and you know what? For me that's what it was. I literally cannot even find the words to describe how I feel after reading it. I was completely enamored with this book from the moment I opened it and as soon as I turned the last page and closed the cover for the final time. I knew that I was in utter shock of how impressed I was with how the story turned out. To sum it up, i'll give you three words (in honor of Sam)-- glue sticks galore!

This story touches a little bit on depression and anxiety while also focusing on mental disorders and bullying. These are all some really important and heavy topics. I think this normally would have been fairly difficult to accomplish successfully, but the author does such a wonderful job at combining all these topics into one story while also giving it a realistic feel and a romantic feel at the same time. Kudos, Ms. Stone, for a job well done!

Sam, the MC who has OCD, was such a great character to meet and grow with. I loved seeing her growth from the beginning of the story to the very end. I think her story was believable and relatable to many young readers, even ones who don't have OCD, because many people go through the same situations as she did. From the crazy, backstabbing friends to the unplanned love interest with the most unlikely person...these things really happen and many people can relate to how everything was dealt with throughout the book.

Something else that I really loved about this book was the poetry. I've been a huge fan of poetry my entire life and from the moment I read that first poem to the moment I read the very last poem, my heart was so very full. It's such a great talent to be able to express yourself through poetry and I loved how the author was able to express so many emotions and sentiments through the eyes of so many different characters. It's a skill not many people (including authors) possess. 

Also important to note that I feel like I need to search the world to find my own version of Caroline because I truly believe that she is the best friend I never had (even though I already have the BEST best friends lol.) She's such a strong and loyal friend to Sam and it breaks my heart when we finally see how her story plays out. I wish that I could bottle up her essence and use it whenever I need to feel brave or smart or caring because those are just some of her qualities that I could always use more of. She's an inspiration to us all. 

Overall, I really loved this book and I wish I could expand my knowledge of the english language just so I could properly describe to you all what this book truly means to me. It's definitely a must read. If this book isn't already on your TBR--add it pronto!

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