Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

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.

This book is described as The Fault in our Stars meets Eleanor and Park and I’d say that sums it up. I haven’t read TFIOS yet -- it’s on my TBR list -- and I didn’t particularly like E&P (I love Fangirl and Rainbow Rowell, just not that particular book), but I did like this book. I hope that I haven’t scared anyone off yet by my opinions. Here we go.

Amy is blunt and clever while Matt is shy and reserved, the stark differences are part of what compels the reader along. You learn that Amy has cerebral palsy and Matthew has obsessive compulsive disorder; the entire book shows the differences of an obvious disability versus a less obvious disability. They are different in almost every way: Amy has always been helped while Matthew has always helped, Amy is fearless while Matthew is scared of everything, and the external disability versus the internal disability. These two people, who come from completely opposite worlds somehow come together and establish a beautiful honesty and trust that neither of them has ever experienced before. They helped each other grow in unexpected and wonderful ways.

The book is told through both viewpoints which I enjoyed because there was actually a purpose for it. So many authors just write using varying POVs, but it doesn’t add to the book. Through the dual viewpoints, the reader gets to actually learn about the disabilities that they both have and how it affects their thoughts and actions. I enjoyed this book because I got to learn so much about CP and OCD in an interesting way.

This book had fantastic writing, Cammie McGovern is a beast when it comes to writing compelling stories; I wrote down so many quotes because they were just so beautifully written. I felt like a cat passive aggressively following around a toy on a string. I was pulled along by this story for the first two-thirds, but it seemed to drag on after that. It honestly reminded me of Elphaba and Glinda’s relationship; they grew and became better people from the experience. Overall, I enjoyed the book and it taught me a lot. To end I’ll quote Wicked: “because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

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