Hi, all! I hope you’re having a wonderful day! Today I’m going to be reviewing Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. So Stone is not a debut author in 2015, but this is the first that I have read of her. This book got a lot of major props for its unique approach on mental illness in teens and how well it was presented/written. I was excited to read this because of all the hype it got on Instagram, so I couldn’t wait to see if it was worth it.
A brief tidbit about the book:
Sam suffers from purely obsessional OCD. She can’t turn off her thoughts and is being constantly bombarded. No one outside of her family knows. No one knows about her panic attacks. About her anxiety. About Sue, her shrink. About threat of a thought that could debilitate her. Sam works hard to keep her perfect facade in tact, fearing her friends would kick her out of the squad she’s been a part of since kindergarten.
It seems things will boil over Sam’s junior year – until she meets Caroline and the Poets. She discovers an underground poet club and finds herself armed with the words that were her enemy. With the Poets, Sam begins to explore a side of her that she didn’t even know existed.
Wow, this piece definitely deserved all the rave it got. I found that Samantha’s situation, though unique, was something that I felt was important in my own life.
Throughout the novel, Sam deals with a catty group of friends and it reminds me a lot of the girl I used to be in middle school and earlier. I remember the times I was bullied and when I turned the tables. Her experiences are something that makes her real to me. I knew exactly what she meant about her situation with AJ (how she bullied him in grade school) and really connected with her as she tried to reconcile.
Sam’s identity crisis is something everyone goes through if not once then multiple times. I know every year I have become a little more different, and I hope I am closer to becoming the person I want to be. Sam does the same thing and her rising confidence is something that inspires me.
Mental illness is something that touches everyone whether it be directly or indirectly. I myself don’t suffer from anything, but I do have a few close people in my life that do, and Sam’s story helps me understand, even if a little, what they go through every day. It’s something that is a constant battle, and some days are good and some days are bad. I think it is somewhat similar for everyone. You get both good and bad days. What matters is what you do with them.
Poetry is not something I personally enjoy writing. I don’t mind reading it, but I don’t seek it out. After reading Sam’s journey and healing with words it reminded me of how much I used to write. I used to creatively write much more than I do now (which is not at all) and I wish I could get back into it. I hope one day to find my voice again, and I know that Sam is someone who inspires me to do so.
So on that note I will leave you. Happy reading!