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.
In Tamara Ireland Stone’s Time Between Us, there’s one moment where MC Anna needs to make a decision to take a leap of faith – or risk losing her love, Bennett, forever. A similar thing happens to Bennett in Time After Time. That dichotomy of a strong character who needs a push to make their dreams happen sounds like it will also be present in Every Last Word, which I really like.
There’s something very lyrical and captivating in both Ireland Stone’s characters and writing. Samantha looks to be a darker character than Anna and Bennett, but I’m grateful that Ireland Stone will be exploring some mental health issues as well as what’s “popular” vs. what’s right. I hope it will be filled with as much introspection and honesty as her previous books.
Are you interested in reading Every Last Word? Do you like books that deal with tough issues like mental health and peer pressure? What are you waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments.
“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that book bloggers are eagerly anticipating.