Every last one
For a writer, I’m actually pretty bad at reading. Over the summer, when I really didn’t have much to do, I could finish a book in about a week. Once school begins, it can take me months to even get halfway through something. I also may not even finish it depending on how into the book I am. If it’s not really my style or I don’t like the main character, I will most likely put it down a chapter or two in and never think to pick it back up. Then I read Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone, over the long weekend. I sat myself down and finished the entire book in five hours, that’s how good it was.
The book follows a girl named Sam who has Purely-Obsessional OCD and intrusive dark thoughts that often cause her to have severe panic attacks. This is a part of her, however, that she strongly tries to keep hidden from her popular, seemingly perfect friends. She then suddenly makes a new friend, who she also has to keep a secret as Sam knows her popular friends wouldn’t approve. This friend introduces Sam to a hidden club at school called Poet’s Corner, a group of students who meet twice a week during lunch and perform poems. The poems are funny, uplifting, heartbreaking and honest. With this club, Sam starts to learn about what she really needs in life in order to make herself happy.
There’s a lot more to this book than what I just described and I think it’s an important read for writers of any form. Whether you see writing as a hobby, or it’s something you want to make a career out of, Every Last Word is a must read for you. It really dives into the importance of words and why getting words out is so important. The members of Poet’s Corner are all different and all have their own struggles in life, but having a space to get to breathe and share their words with people makes everything a little bit easier.
It’s interesting because of course a book is going to say that words are important, it would be hard to find a book that tells you that literature is dead. But, this book talked about why writing is important for everyone not just for writers and, kind of, not just for readers. Words are important for everyone because they’re all we have. There are other ways to express yourself non-verbally obviously, like dancing or even how you dress, but I think that just getting words out in any way possible is so crucial.
It doesn’t matter if it’s poetry or fiction or music or whatever, words are the most powerful tool that people have.
This book stuck with me because writing has simply always been my outlet, but I’ve always been nervous about sharing it or looking stupid. This is specifically true when it comes too creative writing. I love it and I hope to some day get something published, but I’m too nervous to give those creative ideas away. The book showed me that getting your words out there is crucial, and nothing that comes from your mind is stupid.
Every Last Word is an amazing display of how words, whether your own or someone else’s, can save people. How sometimes it’s hard to find the right ones to voice exactly what you mean, but you need to take the time to figure them out nonetheless.
It doesn’t have to be long, it can be three words or three pages, but you may be surprised at how much they mean.
I’m feeling very preachy now, which isn’t really how I like to be. But really, Every Last Word was one of those things that seemed to simply come out of nowhere, screw around with my emotions and then it left. I spent the last, probably, 70 pages bawling my eyes out, which is something that has never happened to me with a book before.
I highly encourage you to read Every Last Word, but if you can’t or simply don’t want to, I also encourage you to write. Write just three words; you may be surprised at the difference that it makes.
Caroline Critelli, a senior, studies English and sociology. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Le Provocateur.