Title- Every Last Word
Author- Tamara Ireland Stone
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.
I work in special education and I see a lot of different children with different needs. I always thought that there should be more books that explore both mental illness and learning disabilities; I think that’s why I jumped at the chance to read this story.
I thought this story was written in a very respectful way to children/ teens that deal with mental illness. I felt as though this story touched upon many different issues like; depression, anxiety, the pressure of high school and fitting in.
All the characters were likable (except a couple of the crazy eights). I loved Sam, AJ and Caroline and the rest of the kids in the Poet’s Corner. Each of them was dealing with their own issues and found their outlet in poetry and songs.
I also liked the fact that there were some things that completely surprised me! I was not expecting something that happened in the end and ended up being perfect.
I do think this is a great book for teens to read maybe they can find a part of themselves in one of the characters.