Title: SAY WHAT YOU WILL
Author: Cammie McGovern (Twitter)
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell'sEleanor & 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.
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When Harper Collins emailed me the list of titles that they’re offering for review, I immediately checked this one out. The first part of the blurb says “John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park”, I was like “Oooooooh I’m quite scared to read this one because TFiOS and Eleanor & Park are just two of the books that are full of FEELS and did manage to break my heart. And with it being combined, Oh I can’t even picture myself coming alive out of this.” But then the next part of the blurb says “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.” I took a deep breath and risked my life into requesting a copy of it.
Basically, Say What You Will presents us these two characters who are both going through tough challenges in their lives but still lives it just like any other person. We have Amy who was born with Cerebral Palsy and Matthew with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I think, I haven’t read any book with this kind of characters yet so I was really excited on how they were going to handle the events that’ll happen and just how the story will play out.
I love how the dynamics is between Amy and Matthew. They are perfect with/for each other. Amy necessarily needs help from Matthew (with him being her peer helper) but in turn she was also able to help him with his OCD problems. You’d think that being a person with cerebral palsy won’t be able to help another human being, huh? Well, this book will prove you wrong. Amy was really persistent in learning about Matthew’s disorder and even made it her mission to help him overcome it. Oh boy the things she asked for him to do (read the book!)! She’s such a headstrong and brutally honest character, which I totally love her for it. She’s exactly what he needed to be able to shake off some bits of being an OCD person.
Together they go through their daily lives which involved them constantly bursting each other’s bubbles, calling out each other's BS, breaking down walls and other stuff that they believe in. They face their fears in life and the challenges here and there. They were just each other’s anchors. Through their conditions, Amy and Matthew were able to connect deeply. They're very open to each other and talk just about anything else except mentioning this particular "thing" that could've changed their entire relationship ...
This book is told from a third person’s POV but closely following in an alternating manner from Amy and Matthew. It made the book much more interesting and entertaining considering that their personalities, their views and just how they are as person are ( if not totally then quite) opposite from each other. It gives us, readers, a broader idea/scope on how their characters think and deal with things. It has also given as a huge opportunity in getting to know more about them and know where every single thought and decision comes from. We get their logic and we just get them as person. I tell you, Amy and Matthew were so realistic. Actually, all the characters in this book were so realistic. When you envision someone having their conditions or just in their shoes, it seems like they’ll really have that specific logic that this two have.
This is the part where I talk about why this book is quite engaging to read. For the most part of Say What You Will, there are certain events wherein we are given two contradicting thoughts or views from these characters. And as I've mentioned awhile ago, we know their thoughts and how they formulate their decisions. So basically, it has all been laid out to us. That's where it gets our mind in to thinking. As a reader we fully process these things and we just end up agreeing or disagreeing with them. We are given the opportunity to decipher which of the things that they are saying are close to what we believe in. And honestly, there were moments in this book where I was shocked, confused (HUH?! WHY?!) and a lil bit pissed off for I just can’t understand at first why it needed to happen. But as the story goes on and the character/s explained themselves, I understood their points. But it doesn't mean that I'm fully on board with their decision and on how they've dealt the situation. (Especially, that plot twist. Wow. I just never expected that twist to happen.) But then again, you’ll understand why they did such things. You understood them and that’s all that matters.
It might not have given me the full TFiOS + E&P experience but Say What You Will gave me a very unique experience through Amy and Matthew’s journey. This book may not have completely shattered my heart but Say What You Will definitely made me reflect about my life (taught me to push past my limitations amongst others ...), made me feel FEELS (Awww moment here and there), got me teary eyed in a scene or two and sure enough these characters deeply touched my heart. Thank you, Ms. Cammie McGovern for writing such a wonderful and touching story.
Thank you so much HarperCollins Publishers and HarperTeen for granting my request and graciously sending me an ARC of Say What You Will!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars