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.
It seems like lately, there has been an outbreak into the “Mental Illness” genres in the YA books of this world. Recently I read and reviewed The Pause by John Larkin, which dealt with depression and suicide. Then there was Falling Into Place (Amy Zhang) which was also depression and suicide. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart deals with PTSD and the brain’s way of coping. And then, of course, how could I forget Made You Up by Francesca Zappia, a book with a teenage heroine who suffers from schizophrenia.
Every Last Day falls under the same genre again. If you read the blurb above, it will tell you that the starring character is a girl with “Purely Obsessional” OCD. Being one of the “it” girls at school, Samantha is forced to hide her illness from her friends in order to keep her social status from falling.
Tamara Ireland Stone does a fantastic job of portraying the mind of a girl with OCD, and really takes the reader into the inner thoughts of the character.
The romance was beautiful. The tension was built up superbly, and when AJ and Samantha touched, held hands, kissed, it was just so tense and dramatic.
Usually, you can tell how good a book is from the length of my reviews. If the review is longer than 1000 words then it was most likely a very very bad book. This review is 500 words. That’s very very short for my standards. So yeah. Read the book.
Every Last Word is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.
- Title: Every Last Word
- Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (June 16, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1484705270
- URL: Amazon, Goodreads