Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

From Goodreads: 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. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Recently, there seems to be an increasing number of YA books dealing with mental health – a trend that I’m not only enjoying, but one that I think is very important. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone can be added to this list.

Knowing someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and having researched the topic for a few undergraduate psychology courses, I was curious to see how Sam’s disorder would be portrayed. From reading Every Last Word, it’s clear that Stone did her research. For example, I really liked that she demonstrated the importance of both medication and therapy in the treatment of OCD.

I also liked Every Last Word in terms of its characters and plot. I found it very easy to empathize with Sam, and enjoyed seeing her slowly stand up for herself and surround herself with people that she could open up to. There’s a cute romance and a very unexpected plot twist as well. 

Every Last Word will be released on June 16, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion. 

Comments About the Cover: It’s simple, and relates nicely to the contents of the book. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Disney Book Group) for free via NetGalley. 


  1. I'm also glad on the rise of mental health issue books too. I hope to choose a book for my student book club next school year. This seems better than the other OCD YA books out there especially the part of medication and therapy.

  2. I've heard a lot of buzz around this one!

  3. This is on my list Z, I'm glad to see you thought the OCD element was well researched and realistically portrayed. I'm looking forward to meeting Sam!

  4. I also found it really easy to relate to Sam and her situation. Totally agree that these are important reads not only for YA but for everyone! Glad you liked this one.

  5. To answer your book recommendation question for your brother, Z, I would actually recommend the really good Sherlock Holmes teen series by Andrew Lane. The first one is called Death Cloud. It's got enough action and intrigue like Alex Rider, plus it's imaging what Sherlock would be as a teen.

  6. Sounds pretty good! Issue books aren't really my thing of course, but I can still totally appreciate the need for them in YA fiction - it's important they are well represented.


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