Book: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Number of pages: 368
Source: Netgalley ( I received this in exchange for an HONEST review)
The Basics: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 have an anxiety disorder. That means I get really nervous in random situations and it means I end up having panic attacks. My mind is generally not a happy place to be. That's true for mops people. We worry, we think too much, we live in dangerous thoughts sometimes. That's why this book fought my attention. "If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling". Aside from the pretty book cover the summary is so intriguing and, at least for me created a relationship with Sam from the get go. Right off the bat I was excited to read this book and was so happy to get my hands on a copy of it.
Plot wise this books was incredible. At times it was very much character driven, but there were a couple twists that were just bankers. There one at the end that pretty much shattered my soul. This story line is incredible. It had me laughing, and crying, and smiling, and wanting to give the characters hug. Essentially it makes you feel everything a book is supposed to make you feel. This is honestly one of the best books I've read in a while. The plot is very well developed and everything fits together nicely, so to speak. It's realistic and very well written. I love the idea of having a poetry corner and I really wish my school had one. I wish we had a place to escape reality with other people who cared about one another completely and totally. Writing for me is such a cathartic and fun experience that I couldn't help but love the whole premise of words helping someone heal and become who they wanted to be. The story line moves pretty fast and it's such an amazing ride. I honestly couldn't put it down. I'm pretty sure I've even annoyed my family with my refusal to do anything but read.
There were so many small things in this book that helped make me fall in love with it. Like the poems. Caroline Poems made me cry. And I loved being able to find pieces of me in every single one of the poems in the book. I loved the descriptions. I loved how Sydney writes her poems on fast food wrappers. I love how the poetry corner is decorated. I love Shrink Sue. Okay now I'm just fingerling lol
The characters were impeccable. They were so beautiful and flawed and realistic and heartbreaking and just so awesome that I couldn't help but love them. I love Caroline and Sam and AJ and every one in the Poets corner. I loved how it was so easy to hate but understand the "mean girls". They sucked as people but you couldn't help but understand them and understand why Sam didn't want to leave the "crazy eights" or so they were called. One thing that stood out for me, that was extremely important, was how the author made sure to make all the characters real people. They had different sides to them, they had their own voices, they were unique. Sam is more than just her OCD. She's a person and the author never treated her different because of it. Sam has OCD but the author created such a rich, and awesome character that 1)made me feel like we could have been friends, Sam and I and 2) stressed the fact that Sam was more than her mental disorder. AJ is so cute and so dreamy. I love him! Caroline *sigh* I love the girl. The characters are likeable and have you constantly rooting for them. None of them are perfect they have their flaws, they've made mistakes, they all have something and that's what makes them real and likable.
Romance is something that I do like to read about. But I think that it was awesome how romance wasn't the driving point of the entire novel. It was a strong supporting part but it wasn't driving the plot car or was it riding shotgun. It was in the backseat. This helped the characters shine through as well as support the message of the novel. But I will say that the romance was cute and slow paced and realistic and did I say cute? I loved it and I totally ship Sam and AJ.
People deserve to be around people whole care about them. Life is always going to pushing things in your way, making things hell for you sometimes and you need to learn to be you, and you need to find people who accept you. You need to take care of yourself, and be loud, and take up space, instead of making yourself small for people who don't really care. This book has had an incredible impact on me and I can't even express how much I love this book. So read it!!!!