Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

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4.5/5 stars!

Such an unexpected powerful and moving read. I’m still forcing these foreign lumps in my throat back in as I’m writing this review. I have read countless books on mental illness but I find this book very exceptional because of the constructive and encouraging way the author portrayed a teenage girl with OCD. I appreciate so much the relationship between Sam and her psychiatrist, even involving Sam’s mom in actually contributing with her therapy at home. I love that their talk therapy seems genuinely comforting and therapeutic.

“I’m not making you do anything. Whether or not you tell him is entirely up to you. I’m merely reminding you to embrace who you are and surround yourself with people who do the same.” 

The story becomes even more interesting when Sam finds a great avenue to refocus her overactive brain and imagination and her anxiety over her relationship with her popular friends through Poetry Corner where she meets these awesome people and adorably, her love interest, AJ. (Love the choice of name). *winks*

I was enjoying the story so much at this point but then the turning point suddenly strikes out of nowhere leaving me completely stunned because I so, totally, completely did not see that coming. Goosebumps were everywhere as I started reconciling the earlier events of the story to the shocking revelation near the end. It was heartbreaking and groundbreaking at the same time and I love how Sue the therapist connects the dots to make the most logical explanation as to what Sam was experiencing.

I understand that somewhere along the way, the plot became a bit too unrealistic and failed quite a bit to address certain serious issues in the novel, but the important positive messages, wonderful, relatable, witty writing, its unexpected plot twists and surprises and the little beautiful pieces of poetry scattered throughout the novel made up of for the book’s few shortcomings. Let me share one of my favorite poems:

“These walls heard
me when no
one else could.

They gave my
words a home,
kept them safe.

Cheered, cried, listened
Changed my life
for the better.

It wasn’t enough,
But they heard
every last word.”

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