Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon
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.
Wow...Just...Wow! I am still reeling after finishing Every Last Word only a few hours ago. Tamara Ireland Stone wastes no time immersing us into Sam's life and her battle with OCD. Kicking the story off with a heart-wrenching scene with her friends. This book had me from page one all the way until I turned to the last. I was completely hooked! I laughed(Thank you, Sydney), I cried and I even swooned a little...Okay a lot(Thank you, A.J.).
I've read books that have tackled rape, drugs, bullying, school shooting and more but this is the only time that I have read a Young Adult book that tackled OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and all I can do is applaud Tamara Ireland Stone for bringing such an overlooked illness to the surface. The story may have been fictional but the facts of the illness were not. Stone delivered this story in such a delicate way. She didn't outcast Sam, she didn't make her a victim of the disease, she made her a fighter; a young girl trying to get a grip on her life and learn to control her illness rather than have it control her. I saw Sam as a strong, vibrant character the whole way through. The true definition of a fighter!
Caroline, oh Caroline. What an epic character you were. You reminded me a lot of a good friend of mine and I will always look back on your character fondly! Your quirky t-shirts. You unconditional support. You were a true friend. Thank you for reminding us to embrace who we are. To embrace our weirdness and to shine. To not worry about pleasing others, just live as our truest self.
Where do I even begin to describe Poets Corner? How I wish a place like this existed when I was in high school and how I wish a place like this existed for others. A safe place for them to go and express themselves without worry of being judged.
To quote Caroline: "Poets Corner will change your life". She didn't just mean that for Sam or the other fictional characters. She meant that for us too, the readers. Poets Corner will change your life!