Let's Talk!: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Every Last Word

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Pages: 368
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Published on: June 16th 2015
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.

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Guys, I loved this book. Holy crud it was such a freaking good book. Not only does it have the literary part of it (poetry), the main character has OCD that is purely-obsessional, so all the OCD happens inside her head. I thought the representation of the OCD was really good. Being a perfectionist, people constantly mistaken a perfectionist as someone who "has OCD" and people have constantly told me that. Now I know that I don't have OCD but to read from someone who does was super interesting because it was able to show me the fine line between being a perfectionist and having OCD. That is one thing I really enjoyed about this book. I loved the characters and the plot made for such an enjoyable read. Definitely check this book out. 

Sam, is a teenager who is returning back to school and living her life as one of the "popular" girls. What her friends don't know is that she has OCD. She is able to hide that from her friends. One day she meets Caroline, and she brings the Poet's Corner into her life. There a group of people meet and write poetry and share it out. This book is basically her story with the Poet's Corner and what her life is with OCD. 

I loved the characters in this book, I really did. It was really such a diverse group of characters as well. The group of people in the Poet's Corner already have people who all like different things but when you throw in Sam's friends, the popular girls, the different kind of characters in this book expand. We really see how Sam's personality could change when with different people. Sam herself is just so shy, unconfident, and a sensitive person. Due to her OCD, she was always questioning things and based on the book, I can tell that once she starts thinking about something and questioning it, it's difficult to stop. I loved the character development within Sam. She starts this book off as someone who let's her OCD take control of her and is just about used to that. Throughout the book, we start to see her meet new people and that really teaches her more about herself. She is able to find herself an outlet to reality-life-and just take a break from her disorder and complications. Caroline is also someone who really helped her with that because with Caroline, Sam was just able to be herself and not have any secrets. 

I consider the Poet's Corner a character itself because it has so much history and words behind it, it really becomes a second home to some of the characters. Poet's Corner is where you can just release any feelings you have without being judged and I loved how important of an aspect this room became in this book. 

Based on this book's plot, I really just expected one thing but it completely took me by surprise. There is just so much more to this book than what the synopsis tells you and I really really love that. The ending was such a beautiful way to end off the book and I compare the beginning of the book to the end and it's so great to see how much change Sam has gone through. She has taken control of her life and really caused change in it for the better. There isn't much to say about this plot other than it was such a great one and I definitely had a great time reading about Sam's story. Tamara's writing was great with this book. I haven't read her other book but I definitely will be looking forward to it because of how excellently executed this story was.  

I gave this book 5 stars because it was a great read with awesome characters, an enjoyable plot, and beautiful writing.  
Oohhh lord the ending of this book was intense. Caroline not being real definitely was a huge plot twist and I honestly was not expecting it. A book where someone isn't real can go wrong very easily. The clues that this person doesn't exist may be too obvious or not obvious enough. When I found out Caroline wasn't real, all these clues of her non-existence suddenly became so apparent. Tamara did a great job handling a non-existent person and I think that's what really brought my rating up. 

HAH, Sam and AJ together are the cutest thing ever. They didn't start off on very firm ground but they were able to build themselves a steady platform and become friends....then something more. These two are just so cute and I am so glad she was able to find her happiness within him. Relationships can be a very intimidating experience and having to go through that while you're second guessing everything can cause your experience to be so much more worse than it has to. It was so interesting to read Sam's thoughts when she had to deal with AJ's past girlfriend and experience jealousy. This relationship was just the beginning of the change Sam goes through in this book.