This novel really had me. This novel is one that I wish I could erase my memory and reread it again and again. Samantha had OCD and talks to no one about it. She has a group of friends that she has had since kindergarten, the Crazy Eights but this group is slowing dwindling down and Samantha seems to be the last one on the totem pole so unfortunately she is cast out quite a bit. She really needs to get a new group of friends, even her psychiatrist thinks so but Samantha is comfortable around these girls even if they anger her. Samantha meets Caroline and an instant friendship emerges. The comfort level soars and Samantha reveals her deepest secrets to Caroline including her OCD. Caroline introduces Samantha to the Poetry Corner, telling Sam that it will transform her life. But what will happen to the life of the Crazy Eights? Hidden in a concealed, dark room inside the school selected individuals meet a few times a week to recite poetry or perform their works of art. Sam is amazed at this discovery and is moved by these individuals, and she wants to be a part of it. These individuals are unique in that they are not there for individual’s approval; they are there to express themselves openly. Not individuals who would be a part of Sam’s social circle, yet they are normal people, her peers and she notices that. I liked how Sam doesn’t hesitate about this new group, she is moved and although she thinks she has no talent she knows that this is a place where she can go and be herself, be accepted and be heard. Scratching on paper, she empties her mind and it feels good. There is no pressure to perform as the crowd accepts you no matter what. There is romance in this novel, her past she cannot run from. The romance is complicated then it becomes reasonable and sure but not for everyone. Sam was such a wonderful character, she embraced change while others around didn’t. The Poetry Corner was a wonderful concept and I imaged this room, these characters each time they gathered, the freedom that they experienced –to me, it was breathtaking.
“Sometimes I stop because I want to let the meaning of a word or phrase sink deep into my skin.”