Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

June 6, 2015 Review 42 ★★★★

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Publisher
Pages: 368
Release Date: June 16th 2015
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


EVERY LAST WORD is another great example of what contemporary YA can be. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading this one.

An awesome, well-fleshed-out cast of diverse characters make their home in this book. There are quite a few people to remember but I never got any of them confused as they are all unique in their own way and have their own stories.

Sam, the main character, is just so easy to relate to and root for. It didn’t take long at all for me to care for her and really feel her struggle. The subject matter was somewhat new to me and I look at Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in a whole new light. I just want to give her a huge hug.

There is some beautiful poetry in this book. I have to admit I am not a huge fan of poetry but I really liked the sections that did have poems in them. They don’t take over the book, but add something truly great to it. Plus some awesome quotes are spawned from them as well.

This book is incredibly readable and not at all what I expected it to be. Like Sam says, “what you see, it isn’t me.” There is so much more to this book than meets the eye, Sam isn’t just your ordinary high school girl and this isn’t your average contemporary young adult novel.

EVERY LAST WORD tells an emotional story, but one that is easy to connect to. All aspects of the book are very well-rounded, whether it be the friendships or the romance. I definitely recommend checking it out if you are looking for something new in the contemporary genre.

Rating Report
Overall: 4

42 Responses to “Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone”

    • Alise

      The characters were so much fun! I just wanted to huddle them all together and protect them. Thank you :)

  1. Faye M.

    This sounds like an incredible and deeply thought-provoking read! I love it when a book introduces to us a diverse cast of characters. It’s always awesome knowing it caters not just to a certain group of people, but people from all walks of life. While I haven’t read a lot of Contemporary books, I know for certain that many of what I’ve read were rehashes of the same old. I’m looking forward to this one if it’s going to give me a story that’s a breath of fresh air and brings something new to the table!
    Faye M. recently posted…Say It With Bubbles: Vampire Academy Movie Review

    • Alise

      It talks about mental illness really well too, I learned so much and I think the topic was handled respectfully. Same here, contemporary seems to follow a formula so it’s always nice to see something that deviates from that.

    • Alise

      It is really interesting and informational! I thought I knew some things about OCD but this is so unique.

    • Alise

      Yeah, novels that deal with such issues are almost unheard of in the YA world. True, but you could say the aspect of Caroline was directly related to her disorder after the twist with Caroline was revealed ;)

    • Alise

      This was my first novel from the author as well! I couldn’t agree more, I loved how there was no easy solution.

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I’ve never heard of this book before, but as someone who can be obsessive about things, I’m always fascinated about OCD so just for that I want to check this out. The main character sound fantastic and the way you described the beautiful writing style is really appealing to me! Thanks for the awesome review Alise and I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…BEA’15 Recap Post

    • Alise

      That’s why I was initially interested in this one as well, I have a few quirks as well (HATE odd numbers AHHH) but this made me realize how serious the disorder can be. I’m glad! Thank you :)

  3. Wattle

    Great review Alise! I’m totally going to check this one out, it tackles a subject close to my heart (I understand the struggles of OCD, ugh). I like it when YA takes on issues like this :)
    Wattle recently posted…Showcase Sunday #27

    • Alise

      You’re definitely going to have to let me know what you think then! Me too, it’s great to see more YA like this.

  4. Kezia

    Thanks for the review, Alise! ^^ I’ve been enjoying unique contemporary more lately and Every Last Word sounds like something that would make me think a lot. I haven’t read anything about mental illness other than schizophrenia so this will be a new subject to me as well. :)
    Kezia recently posted…P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

    • Alise

      Sure! :) So have I, it’s been really great, I love how contemporary is branching out from just romance.

  5. Kirsty-Marie

    Fleshed-out and diverse cast of characters? Book win already. And even better that they actually have their own personalities and their own background and voices so you can actually remember them, and not get them confused, which is my main problem when there’s a lot of characters to keep track of.
    I’m not that fond of poetry either (but especially in books) so glad it doesn’t take over.
    I do have a copy, but was a bit anxious considering the OCD topic, but it sounds too good not to read. :D
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Magonia Blog Tour: Review & Q&A with Maria Dahvana Headley

    • Alise

      Exactly! I don’t mind a large cast as long as they don’t blend together and make me wonder “Wait, who is this again?” Yeah, I don’t see the poetry being a problem even for people who really dislike it. I hope you give it a shot, and let me know what you think if you ever read it!

  6. Romi

    I recently decided Contemporary isn’t my favourite of genres, or one I would particularly focus on, though this sounds interesting, and I can’t ignore the fact so many awesome LGBT+ novels are coming out mainly in contemporary. It’s so great that there is an insurgence of mental health books, too, especially as these trends are focused in YA, an age group that I think particularly needs these kinds of books.
    I’m not a *huge* fan of poetry, either- verse books and I don’t get along- but if I see this at my library I’ll be sure to take a look. Nice review, Alise! xx
    Romi recently posted…From me to you and back again -3-

    • Alise

      I get that, contemporary can get repetitive. I’ve seen that as well, I’m loving how the genre isn’t just about romance anymore. YES, I completely agree. This one isn’t in verse, it just has some sprinkled in poems. I can’t read any book in verse, either. Thank you!

    • Alise

      Yeah! There weren’t a huge amount of poems but they really made you think. The cover is actually kind of pretty in person and the slips of paper relate to the story really well but it is very simplistic. Thank you!

  7. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Oh, wow! This is the second review for EVERY LAST WORD that I have read today, and i must say that I am super interested in reading it now.

    It seems like the author writes the issue of OCD really well, and that the book breaks the mould (mold?) of contemporary YA beautifully.

    I love poetry, and I like the sound of it being infused into the story! I can’t wait to read it :D

    lovely review, Alise ^.^

    • Alise

      She really does! Aha, it’s mold here but I gotcha ;) Yeah, contemporary can use more books like this. There aren’t a huge amount of poems but I thought they were so meaningful, I hope you like them too!

  8. Kelly

    Ooooh, this sounds like a beautifully emotional read, and this year I’m all about the deep contemporaries. I really enjoyed Time Between Us and love the poetic element added to this one, getting a bit sick of protagonists and authors overusing the musical aspect when it comes to adding something creative in there to set them apart. I can’t wait to pick up a copy soon. Thanks for the wonderful review poppet, really enjoyed it <3
    Kelly recently posted…The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

    • Alise

      I know, I’m loving all contemporary this year! It’s great to see books that venture out of the usual formula. I should read Time Between Us soon. Thank you so much, I hope you like this one if you get around to reading it!

  9. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    I have this book on my Nook and I am so excited for it. I love that you considered it relatable. I don’t have true OCD but I do have anxiety that sometimes mimics OCPD which is a struggle. I can’t wait to give Every Last Word a try! I’m also excited that it’s diverse. Not someing seen enough in fiction at any level!
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…YouTubers That Make Me Giggle

    • Alise

      Oh, nice! I really do hope you like it. I have anxiety as well so I know exactly what you mean. Very true, I wish there were more books that did!

    • Alise

      Thanks! I really liked how different this one was from other novels in the genre. I hope you like it! :)

  10. Ju @ Fictional Skylines

    Wonderful review, Alise! I can’t wait to meet the group of misfits, but I sure hope Sam’s popular friends aren’t those Mean Girl factory kinds 0_0 I also get the feeling that Sam is an unreliable narrator on purpose but was that ever confusing to you? Like did whole storylines end up being not real? :O Guess I’ll have to read this to find out heh
    Ju @ Fictional Skylines recently posted…Reading Habits Tag

    • Alise

      These misfits are my babies, I just want to protect them from everything! <3 Hmm, they do kind of fit into that stereotype but there is more beneath the surface and it works with the story. Not confusing at all, usually I would get frustrated but this worked out really well. You should, my lips are sealed ;)

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