Parents' Guide to

Every Last Word

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Touching tale of girl with OCD finding love through poetry.

Every Last Word Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+


I love this book. I've read it countless times and it's always amazing and relatable to anyone with a mental illness. It is beautifully written and so inspiring. This is by far my favorite book even years after the first read. Tamara Ireland stone is truly an artist. I would highly recommend this book.
age 13+

Must Read

I really enjoyed this book. Samantha is a great main character. I enjoy how the story talks about a girl who is popular, but doesn't exactly carry that same confidence. However, the book does have an unexpected scene in Poet's Corner which may not be appropriate for immature tweets/teens (although it is only a few paragraphs). There is also a lot of kissing which may bother younger audiences. This book is for mature tweens/teens. Overall, there are some really good messages. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in a story about acceptance with friends.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (24 ):

Compelling for its romance, nuanced portrayal of mental illness, and valuable description of the difference between fair-weather friendship and real support, this is a lovely and memorable story. Inspired by a teen with OCD, romance specialist Tamara Ireland Stone chronicles Sam's inner turmoil -- her impulse control; her difficult-to-control, spiraling thoughts; and her need to count and write and think, think, think, sometimes darkly and other times simply repetitively about everything.

It will be hard for some readers to understand why Sam stays in the Crazy Eights when they can be such mean girls (or worse, enablers of the head mean girl), but Stone expertly contrasts the way Sam relates to them with the way she interacts with the kids in Poet's Corner, particularly Caroline and AJ. When she's with them, she's herself, no matter how vulnerable she must be to tell them the truth. Stone makes sure Sam's journey is believably strewn with obstacles she needs a lot of help to conquer, and in Sam she has created a character of empathy and inner strength who should encourage teens to be truthful and surround themselves with true friends.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate