Date Published: June 2015

Every Last Word: Summary

Unearth an unexpected world where poetry meets therapy in "Every Last Word" by Tamara Ireland Stone. Set in the halls of high school but far from typical teenage drama, this poignant tale delves deep into the complexities of mental illness. Samantha McAllister is our protagonist, an elite member of the popular clique 'The Crazy Eights,' but beneath her perfect facade, she battles with Purely-Obsessional OCD. The pressure to appear 'normal' in the face of her friends is suffocating, until she stumbles upon a hidden community of misfits who weave magic through spoken word poetry.

Poet's Corner, a secret sanctuary beneath the school auditorium, becomes Samantha's oasis, a place where she can express herself openly. Her heart finds solace in Caroline, the endearing loner who introduces her to this world, and AJ, a once-familiar face who now seems new with a notebook and rhythm in his hand. As Samantha starts to discover the power and therapy in her words, her life intertwines with themes of friendship, acceptance, love, and self-discovery. It's an intoxicating world that promises authenticity and acceptance, but not without its complexities and challenges.

Every Last Word weaves a vivid tapestry of teenage angst intertwined with the unique struggles of a mental health condition. It's a gripping tale that pulls you in, leaving you breathless with its honesty and depth, proving that the perfect blend of poetry and prose can indeed heal a tormented soul.

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Every Last Word

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Date Published: June 2015

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Every Last Word: Genres

Young Adult Fiction
Mental Health
Realistic Fiction

Every Last Word: Main Characters

Samantha McAllister: A cheerleader with an outwardly perfect life, Samantha struggles internally with Purely-Obsessional OCD. Her strength lies in her resilient spirit, seen when she uses poetry to navigate her disorder.

Caroline: An enigmatic and nurturing friend who introduces Samantha to Poet’s Corner, Caroline becomes the beacon of authenticity that Samantha longs for, despite her shocking revelation.

AJ: A former acquaintance-turned-poet, AJ’s kindness, and understanding draw Samantha closer. His forgiveness, despite Samantha’s past wrongs towards him, exemplifies his empathetic character.

The Crazy Eights: Samantha’s popular clique who embody the external pressures of conformity, highlighting Samantha’s internal battle between fitting in and being her authentic self.

Every Last Word: Themes

Mental Health: The book captures Samantha’s struggle with OCD. It portrays therapy and creative outlets like poetry as ways to navigate mental health issues.

Authenticity and Acceptance: Samantha’s journey to self-acceptance is seen through her transition from the Crazy Eights to Poet’s Corner. It’s her acceptance of her mental disorder that ultimately sets her free.

Friendship and Love: The nurturing friendship with Caroline and blooming romance with AJ show the power of supportive relationships in dealing with personal struggles.

Power of Words: Samantha finds healing in the words she weaves into poems, showcasing the cathartic power of expression.

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