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Review for Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone!


Quick View Review:

Characters: ***** (5/5)

Plot: ***** (5/5)

Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)

Amazon Rating: **** (4.5/5)

Full Review:

If you didn’t know it, you would think that Samantha McAllister was just another one of the popular girls in her class. But hidden behind the mask of perfect makeup and hair is a girl with Purely-Obsessional OCD who second-guesses every move she makes and who struggles with dark thoughts and worries she can’t get rid of.

Sam already struggles every day, but the fact that her “friends” will turn their backs on her at the slightest wrong move definitely doesn’t help Sam’s situation. Yet Sam knows that losing the social protection of the popular group would make her truly crazy. Then Sam meets Caroline, and her life is flipped upside down.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a secret group of misfits passionate about poetry. Sam immediately becomes drawn to them, especially the guitar-playing songwriter AJ. Sam soon starts to realize that there is a completely different, but better, side of herself that she has been hiding. With the poets, she starts to feel more “normal” than she ever did with her current friends… until something happens that causes her to truly question her sanity.

I have to say, I expected this book to be great, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The minute I read the inside cover I was obsessed, and guess what? I still am now and STILL can’t stop thinking about it. Everything about it was just incredible: the complex characters, the intriguing yet emotional plot, and Stone’s fascinating and beautiful writing.

First off, the characters. Developed to their full potential and beyond, I fell in love with their realistic and relatable personalities. I think that the best-written character is Samantha (which I would say is pretty fantastic considering she’s the main character). I admired her for overcoming her worries and for continually pushing through, but I also felt a deep connection with her, almost always understood and agreed with her feelings, and just loved every bit of her personality. If she was happy, I was jumping for joy and doing a happy dance. If she was depressed or angry, I wanted to scream and cry. Most of the time I wanted to go and furiously scream at her “popular friends” for being so ignorant and worsening Sam’s already pretty hard life, and since I’m pretty sure that’s what I was supposed to be feeling, I applauded Stone for her ability to manipulate my emotions throughout the story (this wasn’t the only time I got the sense that I was feeling exactly what the author wanted me to feel). I could personally relate to Sam’s feelings as she was changing friend groups, because I did the same thing and felt the same way. Wondering whether she/I was doing the right thing, feeling like she/I fit in better in her/my new environment, and eventually feeling better and happier after having made the change. Of course, the friends I had (and still have now) are NOTHING like the popular crowd at Sam’s school (they were much much nicer), but this didn’t stop me from being able to relate to her on so many levels.

The plot: perfection. If I could give it more than 5/5 stars, I absolutely wouldn’t hesitate to. Unlike in I Was Here by Gayle Forman, I thought that the romance was expertly woven into the story and really added another important aspect of the book. This book needed and benefitted from Sam having a love life. I also thought that this book was the ideal balance of suspense and emotions. Suspenseful enough to keep me excitedly turning the page, but overall focused on exploring Sam’s friendships and feelings of having to change friend groups and battle a mental illness.

Finally, Stone’s writing. It really doesn’t get much better in my opinion. She deftly wrote about Sam’s everyday struggles and triumphs. I admire her for doing such thorough research and for ensuring that her character and novel were as realistic as they could possibly be (make sure to read the author’s note in the back to find out more!). She is definitely a role model and someone I look up to.

Overall, this book was incredible and is DEFINITELY worth reading (it won’t take you long because you won’t be able to put it down!). The characters couldn’t have been better or more realistic, the plot was unique and simply superb, and it was expertly written by an incredible author. I recommend this book for any YA bookworm.

Happy reading!

XOXO,

Jordan

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