Spa days. VIP concert tickets. The envy of the girls in the lunchroom. Sixteen-year-old Samantha and her friends, the Crazy Eights, have it all—at least, that’s what Samantha has always let everyone believe.
Nobody can know the real Sam, the crazy girl with OCD. If they found out, it would cost her everything. But when an unlikely new friend introduces Sam to a secret society of student poets, speaking her truth becomes increasingly appealing. While the novel gets off to a misleading start as Sam battles violent, obsessive thoughts that are unlike anything else she experiences in the rest of the story, Stone does offer readers a fresh take on OCD by focusing on Sam’s internal struggle as opposed to the external behaviors that are typically associated with the disorder. Sam is an endearing protagonist readers will find familiar and enjoy rooting for. And while the Eights come off as flat, stereotypical cool girls, the oddball members of Poet’s Corner are genuinely intriguing. With the exception of Caroline, who introduces Sam to the group, and AJ, Sam’s new boyfriend, who are fully developed, readers, like Sam, will be left wishing they’d been allowed to get to know the rest of the crew better.
Clueless meets Dead Poets Society with a whopping final twist. (Fiction. 12-18)