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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

[REVIEW] Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Say What You Will

Author: Cammie McGovern
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Published: June 3rd 2014 by HarperTeen
Purchase from: Amazon | The Book Depository
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.


My thoughts

Say What You Will is a difficult read. It's raw and honest and maybe, a tad uncomfortable. But it's brave and daring. It depicts the ugly reality of the lives of people who suffer from disabilities that may or may not be so obvious to other people.

Amy and Matthew may be different from the outside, but they both have their own disabilities that cripple them one way or another. Amy has cerebral palsy while Matthew is suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. The friendship that grows between them is hesitant, awkward and unexpected. But it's also one of the most beautiful relationships I've read. Initially, it was Matthew who was supposed to help Amy gain friends, but in the process, Amy also did the same for Matthew. It's an amazing friendship when two people both have struggles when it comes to words but still they managed to convey what they wanted to say to each other.

I liked the story and the plot okay but mostly, what I admired about this book is the character development. I loved how Amy and Matthew evolved throughout the story – how they overcame their fears and learned to assert their independence. It was inspiring and hopeful. The turn of events leading to Taylor was really unexpected, though. Not to sound judgmental, but I wouldn't have thought that Amy would be that bold and daring to do that. And this is where my love for Matthew multiplies tenfold. Because in spite of the things that happened between them, he did not abandon Amy, especially when she needed it the most. Amy didn't even want her own parents to know, but she let Matthew be a part of an important decision in her life.

Heart-wrenching and beautifully written, Say What You Will is a story that teaches us that our disabilities do not define and limit us. Amy and Matthew showed us a friendship so beautiful and a love that embraces the other person's flaws and weaknesses.

Favorite lines

Why is it better to have had meaningless conversations with people I'll never see again than to have had a decent good-bye with the boy I love?

I've decided that it's possible to love someone for entirely selfless reasons, for all of their flaws and weaknesses, and still not succeed in having them love you back. It's sad, perhaps, but not tragic, unless you dwell forever in the pursuit of their elusive affections.
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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!

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