every last word by tamara ireland stone (tw: mental disorder (ocd))
genre: YA, contemporary, romance
synopsis: 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.
every last word presents mental illness in an interesting way. i don’t know much about ocd, but some things in this book seemed exaggerated or overplayed. (i apologize if this seems insensitive/ignorant. i’m just offering my honest opinion, and i definitely don’t mean to be rude in any way.) i also wasn’t a fan of the main character, who could be irritating. it wasn’t necessarily because of her ocd; i just didn’t like the narration. the writing style was okay, but not amazing.
i have mixed feelings about the character development. although sam definitely changes over the course of the book, her development seems too “magical”. once she meets aj, she suddenly forgets about some of her habits (i’m not sure if that’s the right word). she begins “getting better”, and it seems like it’s all because of him. this felt somewhat cliché, along with the romance. although aj hates sam at first, they somehow fall in love, which didn’t exactly seem right to me. i did like that sam grows to realize that she doesn’t need her friends as much as she thought she did.
overall, every last word was an enjoyable read, although i didn’t love it.
have you read this? what did you think?