Every Last Word, by Tamara Ireland Stone

everylastword_tamarastoneSamantha has friends that she’s known forever. She’s also one of the popular girls in her junior year of high school. She wears make-up with all the right clothes and pretends that everything is all right inside. It’s not.

Samantha thinks. A lot. She can’t turn off her mind that fills with paranoia and second guesses. It keeps her up at night and distracted during the day. Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD (though she isn’t a neat freak, common misconception). She has a thing for the number three. She always swims in lane three. When she pushes a button, she likes to do it three times. The odometer has to end in three before she can park. And when she listens to music she likes to remember the best three words to describe the song.

Even though Sam has had the same clique of friends since kindergarten, they sometimes seem more of a hassle than they are worth. There is girl drama and the need to conform on how they expect Samantha to act. That’s another thing. They will only call her Samantha. Sam is just a person in the summer who is free to swim. Sam is just temporary. That is until she meets Caroline.

With Caroline as her new friend, Sam’s life is different but better. Sam discovers the Poet’s Corner and finds a place with supportive people who make her feel almost normal. With her newfound love of poetry, it almost seems too good to be true. Maybe it is as Sam makes a discovery that puts her sanity into question on an entirely new level.

I love when a book has plot twists that you don’t see coming, but looking back there were clues that add up to something odd. The poetry in the Poet’s Corner ranges from deep to glorifying fast food. It’s a beautifully written book that deal with the Sam’s disorder, friendship, romance, poetry, and whatever clever saying is on Caroline’s t-shirts (They are pretty awesome). The only annoying parts were with Sam’s friends since childhood. Deal with them a few chapters, just like Sam has been doing her whole life and move on to better friendships and poetry readings.

-Nicole G., 12th Grade

Every Last Word is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library