Every Last Word

Every Last Word

4.7 27
by Tamara Ireland Stone
     
 

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A New York Times Best Seller

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:

Overview


A New York Times Best Seller

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.

Praise for Every Last Word
"Clueless meets Dead Poets Society with a whopping final twist." -Kirkus Reviews
"This book is highly recommended-readers will connect with Sam, relating to her anxiety about her peers, and root for her throughout the book." -VOYA

"A thoughtful romance with a strong message about self-acceptance, [this] sensitive novel boasts strong characterizations and conflicts that many teens will relate to. Eminently readable." -Booklist

"A brilliant and moving story about finding your voice, the power of words, and true friendship. I couldn't put it down " -Elizabeth Eulberg, Author of The Lonely Hearts Club

"Brilliant, brave, and beautiful." -Kathleen Caldwell, A Great Good Place for Books

"A riveting story of love, true friendship, self-doubt and self-confidence, overcoming obstacles, and truly finding oneself." -Melanie Koss, Professor of Young Adult Literature, Northern Illinois University

"Romantic, unpredictable, relatable, and so very enjoyable." -Arnold Shapiro, Oscar- and Emmy-winning Producer

"Characters to love and a story to break your heart. Readers will want to turn page after page and read every last word. Then do it all over again." -Marianne Follis, Teen Librarian, Valley Ranch (Irving) Public Library

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/20/2015
Stone (Time After Time) delves into the mind of an obsessive-compulsive teenager to explore how her mental disorder affects her relationships and interactions with the world. “Debilitating, uncontrollable” thoughts are nothing new for 16-year-old Samantha, but fearing rejection, she’s kept her disability (and her treatment for it) secret from her popular friends. But now, intrigued by a group of offbeat poets, Samantha begins to want to open up and express herself. The secret room where the poets meet becomes her place of refuge. One member, Caroline, becomes her confidante, while another, A.J. (who Samantha bullied as a child), becomes a romantic interest. As Samantha is caught between conflicting loyalties to her old and new friends, she realizes that her perceptions may be distorted. Although it’s somewhat hard to believe that none of Samantha’s friends notice her obsessive patterns of thinking, her emotions—ranging from panic to insecurity and elation—are very real. The story’s surprising climax will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Ages 12–up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (June)
VOYA, August 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 3) - Stacy Holbrook
At the beginning of her junior year, Samantha McAllister must leave behind the relaxed, confident, happy “Summer Sam” she becomes when she is away from the popular group of friends she has had since kindergarten, the Crazy Eights. To the Eights she is “Samantha”—a follower who maintains her role within the group in worry that they will kick her out, especially if they found out about her OCD. To ease a panic attack, Sam finds a quiet place to control her thoughts—the school’s theater. There she meets Caroline who quickly becomes a friend that shows up when Sam needs her most. Caroline brings Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room where a group of students secretly share their poetry, opening up Sam’s world to new friends, to writing poetry, and to AJ, a boy she tormented as “Samantha” but falls in love with as “Sam.” An on-page sex scene brings Sam and AJ emotionally together, which helps Sam strengthen her resolve against the Eights. Sam just wants to be normal, but when she learns the truth about Caroline, she fears that she might be crazy. This tender novel shows how powerful and helpful the brain can be under stress without being clinical or detached. Sam’s supportive therapist, parents, and boyfriend all play important roles in Sam’s mental health and show her that she is not “crazy.” This book is highly recommended—readers will connect with Sam, relating to her anxiety about her peers, and root for her throughout the book. Reviewer: Stacy Holbrook; Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA, August 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 3) - Victoria Quint
Every Last Word portrays—incredibly well—the daily hardships of being a teen with OCD. Readers will immediately connect with Sam and be able to see their own school’s popular posse reflected in the Crazy Eights. As they empathize with Sam’s journey to join the exhilaratingly fresh Poet’s Corner, readers will also become fascinated with the terrifying aspects of OCD through a constant view into Sam’s ever-churning mind. High schoolers who enjoy realistic fiction will be eager to pick this novel up. Reviewer: Victoria Quint, Teen Reviewer; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
06/01/2015
Gr 8 Up—Sixteen-year-old Sam spends her summers training at the private club pool, working to earn the county title and a college scholarship. Her school-year counterpart, Samantha, is tied to a toxic group of popular besties-for-life, trying to keep her Purely Obsessional OCD a secret. Running with a crowd who takes hostile notice of every social misstep, every misapplied bit of makeup, and any move that is less than normal, keeping her diagnosis a secret is not easy. Out of the blue, Samantha meets Caroline, who introduces her to a secret society called the Poet's Corner. Slowly, Samantha begins to discover how she can remain Sam and be true to herself outside of summer and the pool, and even trust the cute musician AJ enough to fall in love with him. Just when Sam begins to feel confident in herself, the very thing that helped her feel normal is what ultimately makes her question her sanity. Approached in a very respectful and informative manner, this story of coming to terms with a difficult diagnoses and being less-than-normal is in no way didactic. While the beginning is slow and requires some suspension of disbelief, the climax and resolution are resounding enough to rise above any shadows of doubt. VERDICT While the story's romance falls almost too easily into place, this title will do well in libraries where Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins are in high demand.—Brittany Staszak, St. Charles Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
2015-04-01
Spa days. VIP concert tickets. The envy of the girls in the lunchroom. Sixteen-year-old Samantha and her friends, the Crazy Eights, have it all—at least, that's what Samantha has always let everyone believe. Nobody can know the real Sam, the crazy girl with OCD. If they found out, it would cost her everything. But when an unlikely new friend introduces Sam to a secret society of student poets, speaking her truth becomes increasingly appealing. While the novel gets off to a misleading start as Sam battles violent, obsessive thoughts that are unlike anything else she experiences in the rest of the story, Stone does offer readers a fresh take on OCD by focusing on Sam's internal struggle as opposed to the external behaviors that are typically associated with the disorder. Sam is an endearing protagonist readers will find familiar and enjoy rooting for. And while the Eights come off as flat, stereotypical cool girls, the oddball members of Poet's Corner are genuinely intriguing. With the exception of Caroline, who introduces Sam to the group, and AJ, Sam's new boyfriend, who are fully developed, readers, like Sam, will be left wishing they'd been allowed to get to know the rest of the crew better. Clueless meets Dead Poets Society with a whopping final twist. (Fiction. 12-18)
From the Publisher
"Every Last Word is brilliant, brave, and beautiful. I can't wait for my readers to get their hands on this book. They'll fall in love, just like I did."—Kathleen Caldwell, A Great Good Place for Books

PRAISE FOR TIME BETWEEN US

"Time Between Us is the very best kind of love story-heart-pounding, intense, and unputdownable!"—Elizabeth Scott, author of Bloom and Perfect You

PRAISE FOR TIME BETWEEN US

"A compelling story of love, fate, and consequences . . . with plenty of sigh-worthy moments, this novel is the perfect choice for readers who want a romance that leaves them with something to think about when it's over."—Bulletin of the Center for Children?s Books

PRAISE FOR TIME BETWEEN US

"The story will hold readers with its twists and turns, present and future; its love, sadness, and anger; and especially, its surprising secrets."—Booklist

PRAISE FOR TIME BETWEEN US

"Romantic and passionate, Stone's debut novel is swoon-worthy . . . will resonate with readers who enjoy their romance mixed with adventure."—School Library Journal

PRAISE FOR TIME BETWEEN US

"A warm, time-bending romance . . . [that] will have readers rooting for the couple that keeps daring fate."—Publishers Weekly

PRAISE FOR TIME BETWEEN US

"A beautifully written, unique love story."—Melissa Marr, New York Times best-selling author of The Wicked Lovely series

"Romantic, unpredictable, relatable, and so very enjoyable. This important story must be made into a movie."—Arnold Shapiro, Oscar & Emmy-winning Producer

"Tamara Ireland Stone has delivered a brilliant and moving story about finding your voice, the power of words, and true friendship. I couldn't put it down until every last word was devoured."—Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club and We Can Work It Out

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781484705278
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
06/16/2015
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
9,895
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
HL750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author


Tamara Ireland Stone (www.TamaraIrelandStone.com) is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which Melissa Marr praised as a "beautifully written, unique love story," and has been published in over twenty countries. A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco.

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Every Last Word 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review. I fell in love with this book from the first few pages. I was very intrigued to see where this story was going to take me. I was very very impressed with this story and this is an author I plan on reading more of her work as she publishes. Every Last Word is about a young girl named Samantha who is in high school she suffers from OCD but only her family knows, not even her closets friends the Crazy Eights don't even know. This is something she fights and deals with on daily basis. Some days are better than others. She goes and sees a therapist who is helping her and for Samantha it doesn't seem to work she wants a normal brain. Though as the story progresses we see a change in her and I have to say it is for the better. One day she meets a new person Caroline and she introduces Sam to the Poet's Corner and I have to say I wish they had this in our school. The person who decides if she can come in is someone that has a past with Sam and her friends and it is not a pretty one. With a lot of growing up to do Sam learns to say sorry, learns what is real and not real, learns to gains confidence, strength, a voice all that were within her but it took Caroline to bring it out in her. Towards the end it was a twist that I didn't see and I literally kept going whoa! The author did a great job with bringing the character Sam to life and what she has to deal with being OCD. The other character AJ he is a sweetheart and you can tell he is accepting of Sam way before she even believes he is. Sue the therapist is a great character for Sam being as she never talks down to Sam but she rather builds her help and lets her know she can get through this all. She needs to stand up for herself but she doesn't force her to talk she just listens which is what Sam needs.  This is one story that will pull you in and keep you reading to finish the book so you can see what happens.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This comes from a reader that is extremely picky with her books. I must say that this book is amazing. I fell in love with this book after only a few pages. There were even times where I couldn't put the book down. Not only does this book display a lot of different emotions, but it teaches you lessons as well. The book does not go too fast or too slow, but it seems as if it is written perfectly. You'll fall in love with this book, and as well, the characters. Every character in this book was unique. If you're looking for a heartfelt story that is beautifully written, then this book is the one for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very well written. At times, I felt the need to just cry. The characters were very relatable. They all seem to be people that every teenager seems to have something in common with. There were moments when I looked at the scenarios in the books, and wondered how it would affect my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and honest, I felt every emotion the main character felt. It deals with mental health issues so well. Even though I dont have OCD, Ive never felt so completely attached to a character or related to one so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plan and simple........ Best book!!!!!
KatyMessier More than 1 year ago
I was almost instantly wrapped up in this book.  I absolutely adore that Sam’s mom is both in the picture and incredibly involved and supportive.  On top of this Sam has this completely rock star therapist “Shrink-Sue”.  Both of these almost seemed unreal in my jaded perspective but it made sense in the story and I really liked it.  I found the portrayal of this type of OCD very accurate and appreciated the obvious research that went into developing the characters.  The relationship she has with her friends is awful.  I often found myself thinking of Mean Girls. d73869e430c1f82b7f0379af6b54a2041f65d91aea52d2564cdfbf31bfdca873 I was fully ready to give this a complete five stars until the very weird twist.  It’s not that I don’t like the twist because I do.  It was finally a twist that I hadn’t completely expected.  I even loved the romance which was truly gasp worthy.  I’m not someone who likes much romance – in fact I tend to avoid it.  The twist just didn’t seem to fit with everything else very well.  It was good but it didn’t flow quite right for me.  Perhaps because of my own experience in the mental health scene this addition didn’t make complete sense.  This really did fill a bit of a hole for me in the YA I’ve been reading recently.  If you are needing a break from fantasy or pure romance I highly recommend this! This eGalley was provided free from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion and I was compensated in no other manner.
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
**Thank you to Disney Hyperion for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** Every Last Word follows a girl named Sam, who is part of the popular crowd. These girls are rude to others and aren't very welcoming to outsiders. Sam is best friends with them, but she knows she doesn't fit in with them. She also has OCD, and she hasn't even told them. She's been keeping it a secret from them for years.  She struggles to feel normal and accepted because she is always so scared of what her friends think of her, which is why when a new friend named Caroline shows her this group called Poet's Corner, she instantly feels like everything could be okay again. She has a new close friend and she even begins to fall for a guy named AJ who initially hated her. Things are going good for once in her life, and things couldn't have been better. I felt so bad for Sam a lot of the time. Nobody should have to worry about what others think of them, especially when it comes to best friends. Sam was constantly scared to be without her friends even though they were ruthless and horribly mean to others, just because she didn't want to be alone. She didn't know how to live without them, which was quite saddening. That's why I was so proud of her when she met Caroline and had tons of new friends. Sam was beginning to branch out and experience things for herself without the guidance of The Eights.  I absolutely adored AJ. I felt so bad for everything that had happened to him in the past, and honestly I was surprised when he decided to let it all go because he saw how much Sam had changed. That was very big of him, which was impressive. AJ was also just so sweet and kind all of the time, as he was so welcoming towards Sam. She definitely needed someone like him in her life. I also really liked Caroline. She instantly took Sam under her wing and showed her that she can be herself because there are more accepting people in the world than The Eights.  The Poet's Corner was just the coolest idea ever. If my high school had a club like that, I'd definitely join. I love writing though I am probably not the best at poetry (trust me, I've tried). Anyways, there was a lot of poetry strewn throughout this book which was just brilliant. I loved how one character always wrote her poems to read on fast food wrappers and then how after they read their poems to the group they were handed a glue stick so that they could paste their poetry on the wall. It was just such an artsy group of people that welcomed anyone and I loved it so much. The Poet's Corner was a place to be free and not judged. Everyone could be themselves without the constant pressures of high school hierarchy getting in the way.  This book was completely bittersweet towards the end and I was so surprised by the ending plot twist that I had to go back and reread this one section a few times just to make sure I was understanding what was going on correctly. It was a complete mind-bend! I'd definitely suggest giving this one a read if you have the chance. Beautifully written and extremely heart-warming at times, Every last Word is a book you won't regret reading.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
   I wanted to read Every Last Word because I am drawn to books with mental illness. I deal with it myself, and though my main issues are bipolar and anxiety, I do have touches of OCD. For example, I have a parking spot, and if that's taken a parking row at the stores I frequent, and I have a bite ratio where I eat in a way to have a certain amount of each or at least top 3 to have last bites in order of preference. I also get trapped in some thought cycles, so I can say with personal experience that Every Last Word is well researched and her disease is realistic.      Samantha is an easy character to like and for me to empathize with. She has popular friends, and though she constantly worries about her position in their personal heirarchy, and that they'll find out about her disease. I loved it when she meets Caroline, who is more of a normal person (i.e. not super popular, but has her own group of friends that are connected by interests-- and mostly, not in the spotlight like her current group is.) And they are also more genuine. Sam sometimes talks with her therapist about them and her psychiatrist urges her to expand her circle of friends.      I liked Sam's mom. She is very in touch with what her daughter deals with, and will step in and knows the right things to say and do to help break the cycle. She is so supportive and amazing. Some parents don't understand and don't try to, leaning on yelling or telling the child to get over it, its all in your head (which it is, but not that way).     I did like the addition of her being a swimmer. It is a place that she is centered and not constantly analyzing. It is something that she loved and hopes to get a scholarship for.      I will also admit that while I love the idea of the Poet's Corner, and the comraderie that they share, and how they welcome Sam in-- I skimmed a lot of the poems and lyrics. It isn't that they are bad or anything, that is just not my thing to read, which is why many of you readers know, that I skip books written in these formats.     The romance in this one was sweet, and I like how she had to first admit to and apologize for some huge mistakes that really hurt someone else. I liked the guy in question, although I do wish that she would have been more upfront to begin with about her illness when it became clear they were heading into the more than friends category.      I love the growth in Sam, and how she starts to stand up for herself more, and make choices because she wants to not because she was afraid of upsetting the balance with her friends or to stay in her spot where she pretends so much, but she thinks she is comfortable. She makes such big steps, but growth, especially when dealing with mental illnesses can always be two steps forward and one back, or maybe even leaps back before more recovery and growth can happen again.      Oh my. I just got to the huge twist, and I totally did not see that coming. Um. Yeah. It just blew my mind, and I wish that I had a blogger reading this on speed dial right now. Because dude. That was intense... Maybe it shocked me so much because I didn't see it coming and I thought that I was informed with the mental health issues, and I should have seen it coming. But I didn't.     I loved the ending, it was so fitting and perfect for the book. What an emotional journey, but loved every second of it. Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy) for free. I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.  Bottom Line: Def one of the top ya contemporaries this year. Fantastic, beauitful and emotional.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
5 Stars! I loved this book! To think that I came very close to making the decision to pass on this book, makes me question myself. This is probably the most well done teen book that I have picked up in a very long time and I read a lot of teen books. I have come to expect so many things when I start a Young Adult novel and this book threw every expectation out the window and broke all the rules. I am pretty sure that is one of the reasons that I loved it - this book is just so different than what I had expected. This book focuses on mental illness and I applaud the author for taking on such a difficult topic. It amazes me that we are still at a point in our society where any kind of illness comes with a taboo but mental illness tends to be one of those things that nobody wants to talk about. But they probably should. If everyone talked about it, they would find out how common it really is. I spent quite a few years working at an organization that provides support to individuals with developmental disabilities. A very large number of the people that we worked with were also diagnosed with some form of mental illness. I can honestly say that I have seen how mental illness can shape someone's life and how devastating the effects can be depending on the situation. I have seen members of my own family deal with these issues. It is tough. It is so important to talk about what is going on and to be completely honest with your doctors so that they can provide the best possible options. This is Sam's story. Sam is a swimmer. She is a member of the Crazy Eights - a group of girl friends that have all been friends since they were little kids. Sam also has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but she is dealing purely with obsessions. She sees a doctor weekly and must take medication to help her sleep in addition to depression and anxiety mediation. She is really quite skilled at hiding everything that she is dealing with from her group of friends but she really wants to find some true friends that she doesn't have to hide from. When Sam meets Caroline, everything clicks into place right away. Caroline introduces Sam to the Poet's Corner where a group of students meet in secret and share their writing. The more time that she spends with the group for the Poet's Corner the more she feels like she belongs and she actually starts to feel "normal". She learns a lot about who she is, who she wants to be, and who she wants to surround herself with in that little room. This book takes a few really big twists and turns. It really made me feel something. Sam isn't the only one going through some pretty tough stuff. The other kids from the Poet's Corner have not had it easy. It was so nice to read a teen book that deal with these real issues. You know, the tough things that aren't very pretty but happen all the time. I thought that this book was beautifully written. I liked that the poems in the story really helped to tell the story. There aren't a lot of poems but enough that the reader can really see with the club is about. The pacing of the story was perfect and I must admit that I found it to be nearly impossible to set this book aside during the second half. The characters came alive on the page and I really felt like I knew Sam and A.J. I would highly recommend this book to others. There are so many things that I think readers will be able to relate to in this story. I definitely plan to read other works by this author in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Disney Book Group / Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
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toniFMAMTC 9 months ago
This is a really great book. I would label it as mature YA because it does have a sex scene and curse words. It's honest about how teens act, think and feel I believe. Every Last Word has parts everyone can relate to about life, but it focuses on a girl with mental health issues. I think it does an excellent job of putting the reader in the character's place. It has several wonderful messages for adults and teens. I absolutely recommend.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I think it would help people going through the same thing.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
I devoured this book in 2 days. I could not pull myself away. I stayed up until 12:30 AM finishing the book the second night. I never do that. It was just so good! Sam is struggling with keeping her OCD a secret from everyone besides her family. More specifically she is struggling with going back to school after an amazing summer away. She has been in school with the same people since Kindergarten, and she can't break away from her friends to be her true self. I love the idea of "Summer Sam". I had a similar "camp me" growing up. I adored the way Stone used writing poetry as a way for Sam to truly find herself and make some necessary changes in her life. I enjoyed reading about her opening up to her new friends. The writing was great! Stone really puts the reader inside Sam's head, so much so that when she has short daydreams, I didn't even know that they weren't real until they were over. It was so fun! I appreciated that this wasn't just another YA illness book. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of those books, and there are a lot, but this was refreshingly different. It had elements of instant friendship, which always gets me. But the theme of identity would apply to any reader. Not to mention the romance! The love interest, AJ, is so adorable. He and Sam have such a healthy relationship. The mom's character was great too - at least in the beginning of the book. She sort of drops out of the story as Sam builds some new friendships, which was kind of sad. I wasn't on board with some elements of the ending, so I almost dropped my rating to 4 stars. But considering how quickly I flew through this book, I left it at 5. http://www.momsradius.com/2015/08/book-review-every-last-word-ya.html
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
I would have given anything to have a Poet's Corner in high school. Stone should be so proud of writing such a thoughtful book. I was captivated until the very last word.
LittlePiecesofImagination More than 1 year ago
There aren't enough words to describe how much I loved this book! Every Last Word is an important novel that shares Samantha's story of suffering from OCD, more importantly, the obsessive part of OCD. She is a wonderful heroine to follow, because she cares so much and I loved seeing her grow more into a person who isn't acting by others' approval, but does things she wants and likes to do for herself. Very proud of her! I really loved loved loooooved these following aspects of the story: *friendship between Sam and Caroline *the idea of The Poet's Corner *everyone in The Poet's Corner *Sam x her love interest (it's not mentioned in the blurb so I won't spoil it to you if you are the kind like me who doesn't always want to know who they are right off the bat) *the therapist-patient relationship and how supportive Sam's family was; it's the perfect portrayal of how it should be -- everyone working towards the same goal, trusting each other and not abusing that trust in any way! *SWIMMING! If you didn't know, I went swimming for 8 years. I was on our school's swimming team and we took part in competitions + some individual competitions I've been to. I quit practice in my senior year of high school because I wanted to pursue other things, but this novel reminded me of how much I loved swimming and how much I'd love to pick it up again for myself. It was described very well and Sam's passion for it was very endearing. *s-e-x positivity ✓✓✓ ٩(˘◡˘)۶ *the poems *the awareness this novel spreads Also, I have to mention, I didn't see the twist coming???? I saw it coming like right before it happened but HOLY SMOKE! That was brutal and so unexpected. Note @ Tamara: this was cruel and I cried a lot; way to pack a punch like this! I liked how important this part was regarding the whole scheme of things. The author note was so important and super emotional, so don't miss that for sure! I never really thought about ableism slur that much to be honest, but this book shows us why ableism language is bad, because by using the "i'm so OCD about this and that" and "my OCD side is the reason for ..." when we don't really suffer from OCD -- it lessens the weight and struggle of people who do struggle from OCD. Anyhow, this novel was everything I hoped it would be an more! So much love and respect for the author for tackling this story so gracefully and painting an important, well-written portrayal of the struggles of someone with OCD. With an authentic voice Every Last Word is bound to please a lot of YA contemporary fans! Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
I loved this story. I went into it wary, because I didn't really enjoy this author's other book, but it blew me away. It was an excellent story, told very well, and I loved it. Sam is part of the elite group of popular girls in her class. She won't do anything to jeopardize that, which means being careful of everything she says or does, and not being her true self. What her friends don't know is that she has Purely-Obsessional OCD, and sees a psychiatrist every week. Then she meets Caroline, who she has to keep a secret from her friends. Caroline shows her a whole new world, and Sam has to decide which version of herself she wants to be. I thought this story was very well done. It can be a hard thing to portray a mental illness in a story, so I love how this was well-researched and thought out, as to not wrongly portray it. But Sam is more than her diagnosis. We get to see the well-rounded, complex individual that she is. She has a lot of figuring out to do, so we get to see her grow and change and really figure out who she is as a person. I thought the romance with AJ was cute and sweet, and didn't overpower the darker, deeper elements of the story. People were talking about the big twist that happened, which had me worried. I actually did not even see it coming until only a few pages before (and then, only because I had read a book right before it with the same sort of twist) and it still took me by surprise. I was very upset about it, which I take as a sign of exceptional writing. I loved this story. I loved Sam, the secondary characters, the romance (which I hardly say), and the portrayal of mental illness in an honest and refreshing way. I think this is an important story for teens to read, and I would highly recommend it.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
This novel really had me. This novel is one that I wish I could erase my memory and reread it again and again. Samantha had OCD and talks to no one about it. She has a group of friends that she has had since kindergarten, the Crazy Eights but this group is slowing dwindling down and Samantha seems to be the last one on the totem pole so unfortunately she is cast out quite a bit. She really needs to get a new group of friends, even her psychiatrist thinks so but Samantha is comfortable around these girls even if they anger her. Samantha meets Caroline and an instant friendship emerges. The comfort level soars and Samantha reveals her deepest secrets to Caroline including her OCD. Caroline introduces Samantha to the Poetry Corner, telling Sam that it will transform her life. But what will happen to the life of the Crazy Eights? Hidden in a concealed, dark room inside the school selected individuals meet a few times a week to recite poetry or perform their works of art. Sam is amazed at this discovery and is moved by these individuals, and she wants to be a part of it. These individuals are unique in that they are not there for individual’s approval; they are there to express themselves openly. Not individuals who would be a part of Sam’s social circle, yet they are normal people, her peers and she notices that. I liked how Sam doesn’t hesitate about this new group, she is moved and although she thinks she has no talent she knows that this is a place where she can go and be herself, be accepted and be heard. Scratching on paper, she empties her mind and it feels good. There is no pressure to perform as the crowd accepts you no matter what. There is romance in this novel, her past she cannot run from. The romance is complicated then it becomes reasonable and sure but not for everyone. Sam was such a wonderful character, she embraced change while others around didn’t. The Poetry Corner was a wonderful concept and I imaged this room, these characters each time they gathered, the freedom that they experienced –to me, it was breathtaking. “Sometimes I stop because I want to let the meaning of a word or phrase sink deep into my skin.”
Kristi-Reads More than 1 year ago
I won this book in a blogger giveaway. Namely, Kimberly from Bookworm Book Reviews. Not even a review was required in exchange, but what else am I going to do with a book? Oh. My. God. I love this book. As if having a main character with a disability (gift?) who shows OUTSTANDING character development isn't enough, the twist near the end if the book made me close it, put it down, and tell all my coworkers how amazing the book was. Would buy for myself, would buy for a friend, Would definitely, definitely, definitely recommend this book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
Samantha McAllister seems like just another popular teenage girl, spending hours applying makeup and crushing over boys. But beneath the act she’s constantly struggling to keep up, she has Purely-Obsessional OCD. When she meets a new friend named Caroline and discovers Poet’s Corner—a secret room beneath the school--she can finally open up and accept herself for who she is. Okay, guys…Every Last Word is AMAZING! If you haven’t already, go read it now! It has literally everything you could ever want in a book. The writing is engaging, the characters are instantly likable, and the poetry is great—and this is coming from someone who normally doesn’t like poetry. From the very first page, I couldn’t tear myself away and I read Every Last Word all the way through without even stopping to eat—and that really says a lot about this book, trust me. My verdict: I loved every last word... So sue me, I like puns. Full review: http://www.bookrambles.com/2015/09/every-last-word-by-tamara-ireland-stone.html
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago