cover image Every Last Word

Every Last Word

Tamara Ireland Stone. Hyperion, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4847-0527-8

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)