Book Rewind · Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone is today’s pick for our Book Rewind feature. I originally reviewed this book back in 2015, and it was one of my favorite reads that year, so if this review seems familiar that could be why.
Book Rewind is a meme where we review a backlist title to distinguish reviewed books that are not a new release. We noticed we tend to review almost all new or newly released books and wanted to have a feature to spotlight some older books that we either just read or are just reviewing because we never got around to it, or possibly didn’t blog back then! This meme will be posted on Thursdays as a ‘Throwback Thursday’ kind of deal.
We totally encourage others to participate in the Book Rewind Review meme! Backlist books need love too! Feel free to use our banner and be sure to link back to our page and tag us on social media so we can help promote your posts too!
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: June 16th, 2015; Disney-Hyperion
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.
You know you’re reading a great book when you refuse to sleep until you get to that last page. This was the case with Every Last Word.
I was looking for something contemporary to shake off my latest YA fantasy fail and decided this sounded good. And was it!
Every Last Word tells us the story of Samantha (Sam) who secretly battles OCD. She’s kept if from her friends – who are basically the Plastics from the movie Mean Girls. It’s obvious that despite trying her best, she’s not like the other girls. And I don’t mean this because of the OCD.
After a chance meeting with a “nerdy” girl, Sam discovers the Poet’s Corner. A secret “club” where a handful of people get together and read their poems in front of the group. They are a group of friends, and Sam desperately wants to belong. The leader of the group, AJ, and Sam have a bit of a past, and initially things are rocky between them. But she perseveres, and her entire life begins to change.
AJ is swoony in the way that only quiet boys in books can be. Plus, he plays guitar! And one scene between him and Sam…
Watching Sam’s road to becoming a better version of herself is beautiful, and really, makes me wish every high schooler would read this book. There are so many topics covered, but one of the best parts is the take on bullying and the repercussions of it. Sometimes we don’t understand the effects our actions and words have on others, so to see them from another point of view is truly thought provoking.
And I know people will think a book about a “geeky” poetry club couldn’t possibly be deep, but that’s definitely a misconception. This book is so much more than that. It’s not back-to-back slam poetry sessions. It’s a coming of age tale of sorts. It’s a look into the popular high school cliques, and what secrets they may be hiding. It’s recognizing your mistakes and learning from them. It’s about being the best version of yourself.
Every Last Word is a story of redemption, self-discovery, and first love that will keep you glued to the pages until the very end.