Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
“If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.”
Every Last Word is the story of Sam, a teenage girl with a debilitating case of OCD. Not the kind like you and I think, where it’s like people keeping things nice and neat, but one that messes with her sense of reality. One of the popular girls at school, she is forever in fear of her group of friends finding out her secret and ridiculing her for it.
One day she discovers a new group of people at school she never really noticed before. With some encouragement from a new friend, Sam makes an effort to join this new group who loves poetry and expression. But her past and her friends make it difficult for this new group of people to trust her, and she must prove her worth to them.
“I didn’t go there looking for you. I went looking for me.” My voice is soft, low, and shaky. “But now, here you are, and somehow, in finding you, I think I’ve found myself.”
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. This is an author I’ve always been meaning to read, she has another series that looks good but I never got around to it. I love reading stories where the main character becomes disillusioned with their current life style and looks to other ways of spending their time. It’s one of the better ways of promoting character development in a story (and we all know I must have my character development!) so I really enjoyed this book.
I liked the romance aspect because I wasn’t really expecting it. AJ was a little bit too good to be true and I thought he forgave Sam for her past a little bit too quickly, but ultimately it worked for the book as a whole.
I did guess the “surprise” fairly early on, but I loved that part of the story. It’s amazing what the human mind can do and a great added twist to the plot. I also liked the use of words and how they helped Sam get through rough spots. Her OCD was based on words and thoughts, and by joining the poetry group she learned a way to manage and control them in a healthy way.
“Mistakes. Trial and error. Same thing. Mistakes are how we learned to walk and run and that hot things burn when you touch them. You’ve made mistakes all your life and you’re going to keep making them.”
I will say, if I tried to write poetry, this would be me: