[eARC Review] Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: eARC received from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

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John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

When I read contemporary young adult fiction, I will admit the genre can get a bit stale. There are always the well known character tropes that are being used for both male and female characters. And I will admit that I had no idea what Say What You Will was about, I was drawn into the book by the gorgeous cover (i mean really its amazing!) and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at what I started to read.

the first aspect of the book that I LOVED were the characters themselves. When reading YA you never really see characters with physical disabilities, and if you do they are usually caused by some tragedy and therefore makes them pitiful. But what I loved about Amy was that she was physically disabled in a way that made her very different from those around her. At the beginning of the book we see Amy as a strong and independent girl who doesn't care what others think of her and is ok with her life as it is. But then in comes Matthew a boy who has some issues of his own, but hides them quite well from the outside world. Once Amy and Matthew are paired together when Amy decides to have student aids walk her around school, it soon becomes apparent that Amy hides behind her disability, more than even she realized.

The longer these two characters spent time together the more they started to like hanging out, and friendship started to become something more. I loved this love story because it was not your typical one you see in other books. They both had serious issues to get over, and they wanted to help each other live their lives as much as possible. What I thought was interesting was the dynamic of these two characters together. Both pf them were extremely hard headed and neither wanted to admit their affection for each other. This was the one part that made me a bit crazy because i just wanted them to be honest with each other instead of being teenagers haha.

It would not be a true contemporary read if there were not certain characters that you disliked from the very beginning, and for me that was Amy's mother. There really were no signs that she was that kind of character for me, but as the story went on I knew that I disliked her because of the way she treated her daughter and the way that she treated Matthew. I won't say any more because it will ruin a prat of the book but lets just say I blame the mother for a very large part of the end of the book because of what she said to her daughter and to Matthew about their relationship/friendship.

Say What You Will is not the book you would expect when you pick it up, it makes you happy, sad, angry and annoyed all at the same time. I especially found the end of the book to a bit aggravating because of certain events that happened. For me it took away from the overall story a bit and slowed down the pace, but overall this book blew my mind. I have never read a book that effected me so much that I started ro rethink the way I see people and their relationships with others. This book stays with you long after you finish reading it.

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