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.
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Format & Pages: Hardcover, 368
Published: June 16th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: Ocean State Libraries
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
COVER REVIEW: I have to say that this cover is amazing. It’s very minimal, and yet extremely connected to the story.
I was not connected to any of these characters, which was a big problem, seeing as how the entire book is about freaking mental illness. Samantha was very bland somehow, and I just couldn’t empathize with her! I guess we just didn’t see enough of her personality to really relate, it was just OCD and romance.
AJ, her *love interest*, was, frankly, annoying. I felt like it was insta-love, even though they’d known each other for a while. His entire relationship with her took up about 75% of the book, which I did not enjoy. He didn’t really help her come out of herself, he didn’t exactly get the plot going, he was just a waste of space.
All the other characters were very superficial, and I honestly can’t remember their names. Except for Caroline. I liked that girl. She was funny and sarcastic and I would honestly die for one of her shirts.
You know, when I picked up this book, I didn’t really know too much about the story. Glancing at the description on the dust jacket, I gathered that there was OCD and some sort of depression involved. Also teenagers. And I thought to myself, “Oh, I love reading about mental illness. Let’s scare myself and then sit in shock for days.”
I didn’t really get what I bargained for. Again, the romance took up almost the entire effing story. It was not a convincing or engaging romance, either. It was boring and extremely cheesy. Like, a guy with shaggy hair who plays poetic songs on his guitar? Cliche!
It ended up not revolving around Samantha and her illness so much, and more on her social life. Which I guess is all right, but she had a very complex mental state of mind, and I wanted to learn sooo much more about her.
The plot twist was unexpected, to say the least. It actually kind of freaked me out, which makes me think that this could have been a really awesome psychological thriller, or something like that.
WHAT I LIKED
-Caroline was funny
-There was some major character development
-I flew through it
WHAT I DISLIKED
-The ‘Poet’s Circle’ (so cheesy)
-How the OCD never really made it’s way into the effing novel about a teen with OC-frigging-D!
I mean, I can’t highly recommend it, that’s for sure. But I did whiz through this book in about three hours, and it was immersing, I’ll tell you that. If you enjoy contemporaries, or books about mental illnesses, or both, then you might want to pick up this book. It’s… interesting? I’m not sure exactly how to put it. I’m not sure if I’ll pick up something by Tamara Ireland Stone again, but I might! Her writing is very intense, and I liked that. I would say: don’t pick it up because of the hype, but if you want an engaging story, then give it a go.
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Tamara is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which has been published in over twenty countries to widespread acclaim, and hailed as “an exciting debut novel” by Booklist and “a warm, time bending romance” by Publishers Weekly.
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. For more information, visit her website..