Every Last Word
Booklist Reviews 2015 June #1
Stone's third YA novel is a thoughtful romance with a strong message about self-acceptance. On the surface, Samantha McAllister has it all—success in the pool as a competitive swimmer and a group of popular friends. But inside she struggles with a secret that she fears could unravel everything: her purely obsessional OCD. At the start of junior year, Sam meets Caroline, who helps her manage her obsessions and draws her into the secret Poet's Corner, where she meets AJ, whom she falls for hard, and who is equally falling for her. But now that she has found her tribe, does she need to keep up the ruse of being "normal"? This sensitive novel boasts strong characterizations and conflicts that many teens will relate to. She deftly grounds Sam's OCD support system with both her mother and therapist and gives readers an endearing romantic lead to root for. A twist toward the end will surprise many readers, yet what follows falls perfectly in line with the story's hopeful message. Eminently readable. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2015 Fall
Having spent five years hiding her OCD from friends who value "normalcy and perfection," sixteen-year-old Sam discovers clandestine Poet's Corner, where she meets new friends she can trust, perhaps even with her secret. Thoughtful first-person narration uncovers challenges of life with OCD. Unfortunately, despite the acknowledgment that Sam's difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality isn't part of her OCD, it muddies the portrayal.
PW Reviews 2015 April #3
Stone (Time After Time) delves into the mind of an obsessive-compulsive teenager to explore how her mental disorder affects her relationships and interactions with the world. "Debilitating, uncontrollable" thoughts are nothing new for 16-year-old Samantha, but fearing rejection, she's kept her disability (and her treatment for it) secret from her popular friends. But now, intrigued by a group of offbeat poets, Samantha begins to want to open up and express herself. The secret room where the poets meet becomes her place of refuge. One member, Caroline, becomes her confidante, while another, A.J. (who Samantha bullied as a child), becomes a romantic interest. As Samantha is caught between conflicting loyalties to her old and new friends, she realizes that her perceptions may be distorted. Although it's somewhat hard to believe that none of Samantha's friends notice her obsessive patterns of thinking, her emotions—ranging from panic to insecurity and elation—are very real. The story's surprising climax will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Ages 12–up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC