Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: From Publisher for a honest review.
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.
This book was not what I was expecting, I expected a light, easy read and what I got was a monsoon of emotion and a new found love for this title. It was wonderful, and I loved it.
This book connected with me in a way that I didn't expect it to. I read the synopsis months ago and new about the OCD element, but I didn't expect for it to go into such depth involving that real emotion and struggle. I suffered with OCD for much of my younger life, from 5th grade to 10th grade I was much like Matthew, making deals with my mind so I wouldn't have to go wash my hands between every single class I had. Still though, I always would end up losing that battle with myself.
While Matthew is afraid of hurting others, I was afraid of hurting myself. It was during a difficult time in my family life and I was convinced if I didn't do this, this and this, somehow I would die. There's no reasoning with OCD - it is in your mind and it controls you. I remember being petrified if I touched something I had decided in my head was "contaminated" and during one six month period I refused to sleep in my bed and rather slept on the couch because my head told me it was contaminated and that was that.
OCD is something you can't explain to other people. It's something no one else really understands. It's irrational, and it can control you extremely easily and that was such a wonderful aspect of this novel for me.
Someone understood what I went through - and that someone is Matthew.
Matthew and Amy's relationship felt incredibly real to me. They played off of each other and together were able to complement the parts of each other that other people may not have liked. Their relationship took months upon months to develop and the friendship that is shared between them is truly fantastic.
Amy may have had Cerebral Palsy but she didn't let it truly affect the way she lived her life or her disposition. Yes, she is an intelligent person, who just happens to have to do things slightly differently. She displays more drive than pretty much any person I know and that is truly inspiring.
These two people paired together, though seemingly different, create a beautiful tale about friendship, love, loss and what it truly means to be human in this world.
Overall: I will be recommending it to everyone in the next few months and I encourage you all to pick up a copy. For fans of contemporaries, or fans of wonderfully written heartfelt tales, you won't be disappointed. Seriously, just give it a try - it's completely worth it.
Release Date: June 3rd