Sunday, July 6, 2014

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern Review

Name: Say What You Will
Authors: Cammie McGovern
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
Format: E-book
Buy the book on Amazon
352 pages

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 Review:

I had high hopes for this book when I started it, which may have been part of the problem. Don't get me wrong, I liked Say What You Will. I thought it was a great read, and I would recommend it to anyone interested. However, I was still slightly disappointed, if only from all the hype it had previously received. I thought I would love this book. I thought it would be my new favorite book. I thought I would walk around telling everyone about this amazing book I just read, and how they should all read it too. But, that wasn't the case.

It was an interesting book to read. It was about a relationship, really: a troubled relationship, one that had issues on both side. The surprising part was that, at times, the seemingly normal boy with OCD was more difficult than the somewhat well-adjusted girl with cerebral palsy. As the book progressed, it seemed that there were issues at every corner: they misinterpreted each other, they didn't believe each other, they didn't believe themselves. It was a nice attempt at conveying the miscommunication that all teenagers struggle with, but after a while, it just grew old. The high school seniors graduated. They grew older, but their attitudes didn't change. Big things happened to them (bigger than I was expecting for a young adult book), but they still didn't change. After a while, the bickering grew old and the drama simply unnecessary.

Besides that, however, I really did enjoy this book. I thought it covered a broad array of issues, and I was impressed by the author's ability to make the reader forget that the two main characters each suffered debilitating illnesses. Amy, the young woman with cerebral palsy, could only speak with the help of a voice box and dribbled food all over her lap when she ate, but the way Matt loved her, it was almost as if her weaknesses never existed. While the reader did not get to see too much of how others in the school felt about her (besides a sort of indifference that came with her familiarity among the students), it was just wonderful to read how these two troubled teens were able to ignore each other's faults so easily.

While this book did not hit the mark like I hoped it would, I still thought that it was a great read. McGovern did a fantastic job of showing the lives of two kids who were anything but normal, yet she still made the readers love them, faults and all. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who thinks they would find it interesting, yet I would warn them against taking the reviews of other readers too seriously. In the end, reading a book for yourself is the only way to test whether or not it really is the best you've ever read.

My Rating:

1 comment:

  1. I feel torn. The book did interest me, because of the character's disabilities. I felt a little nervous when I saw a lot of 5 star reviews, and thanks for giving an honest review. I will still read, because you recommend to read if interested. I expected a little unnecessary drama.


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