Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ARC Review: EVERY LAST WORD by Tamara Ireland Stone

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Expected Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Source: E-ARC
Rating: 5 Stars


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.

Praise for Time Between Us"A beautifully written, unique love story."
-Melissa Marr, New York Times best-selling author of The Wicked Lovely series 

"A compelling story of love, fate, and consequences with plenty of sigh-worthy moments, this novel is the perfect choice for readers who want a romance that leaves them with something to think about when it's over."
-Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A warm, time-bending romance [that] will have readers rooting for the couple that keeps daring fate."
-Publishers Weekly

"The story will hold readers with its twists and turns, present and future; its love, sadness, and anger; and especially, its surprising secrets."

"Romantic and passionate, Stone's debut novel is swoon-worthy...will resonate with readers who enjoy their romance mixed with adventure." 
-School Library Journal

"Time Between Us is the very best kind of love story --heart-pounding, intense, and unputdownable!" 
-Elizabeth Scott, author of Bloom and Perfect You

"Everyone's got something. Some people are just better actors than others."

THAT. That... is just so true. Writing my review for Every Last Word won't do the story justice. It's one that you need to go into and see for yourself just how truly poetic it is. I've been inspired, I fell in love and not in the way you might think, and best of all I felt like I wasn't alone. Let me tell you a little story about myself; something very personal. This last year I was diagnosed with clinical depression. For the longest time, I didn't even want to acknowledge that I needed help but I did and I finally did something about it. What shocked me was that everyday people who you think are normal, actually have a mental illness. I didn't have to hide anymore because like those normal, everyday people, I WASN'T ALONE. 

You want to know what helped me when things got really damn dark? Books. I started this blog because I wanted to share my love for books with readers alike, but most of all, I did it because it kept the darkness away. Even if it were just for a little while. The name, The Lovely Books, stems from the book The Lovely Bones; remember how depressing that book was?  But there was light at the end of the tunnel.

I knew by the first page of  ELW that it would be intense. Samantha is a regular girl on the outside but she carries a secret. As read you in the synopsis, she has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. Whoa. Are you intrigued? I know I was. Reading Sam's story is heartbreaking. The struggles she faces night and day are horrific to even think about. No one should ever have to deal with it! What helps Samantha cope is her love for swimming and counting in threes. The day she meets Caroline, is the day that everything is about to change.

"I'm going to show you something that will change your whole life." 

And change her life it did. Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner. A place that's whimsical with a touch of mystery. The first day that Sam goes to the secret hideout that the club meets at, AJ, a boy in the club, tells her she can go to this one meeting but after that, she isn't allowed back.  Sam is determined to stay though after that first meeting. She's drawn to them and wants to know what it feels like to be part of a group where she doesn't have to hide who she is. Or who she wants to be. Her friends are superficial and don't understand her much. In fact, I personally didn't like her friends in the least. They were grade-A b**ches. 

"One person's crazy is another person's interesting."

I think that Stone does well with portraying the illness that Sam has. It was very realistic and it truly shows what it can be like. One thing I really loved about the book is the fact that mental illness isn't taboo in here. Besides the OCD, the book lightly touches base with suicide and depression. Samantha's psychiatrist was absolutely amazing, as was Sam's mother. They treated her normally enough but I love the fact that the heroine has such a great support system. The other characters we meet, particularly the one in the secret club, were all amazing. They welcomed Sam with open arms...well except with AJ but that quickly changes.

Overall, I think this a book that needs to be read in all its glory. I fully recommend it to adults and teenagers. And please remember you aren't alone. If you need help, seek it. Don't wait until it's too late. The book community for one is amazing plus the book always help :)

*Review copy provided by publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author:
TAMARA IRELAND STONE is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which has been published in over twenty countries to widespread acclaim, and hailed as "an exciting debut novel" by Booklist and "a warm, time bending romance" by Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by CBS Films.

Her next novel, Every Last Word, is about a teen girl with OCD who's hiding part of herself from the world, until she discovers a secret poetry club that changes her in unexpected ways. Every Last Word releases on June 16, 2015.

A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco. For more information, visit her website at

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