Written By: Cammie McGovern
Published By: Harper Teen
Read: August 6, 2015
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.
I picked up Say What You Will when I was feeling really sick and just wanted an easy read. I hadn’t heard a lot about the book, so I didn’t really have any expectations. I have seen it compared to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I honestly hate this comparison, the only thing that they have in common is that it has kids with medical issues. I thought this was very different from the Fault in Our Stars but it was still a good book.
Say What You Will primarily focuses on Amy and Matthew. Amy has Cerebral Palsy and is about to be a senior in high school. Her entire life she has had an aid that follows her around school each day. In an attempt to make new friends and prepare herself for college she decides that she wants to have peer aids. Her controlling mother takes over the project and after reviewing many applications and doing several interviews she picks five peer aids to assist Amy through the school year. Matthew is one of those aids. Matthew has O.C.D. that has been progressively getting worse over the past couple of years. He has not admitted to himself or others that he is sick or has a problem.
As the story progresses so does the relationship between Amy and Matthew. They both find it easier to deal with their own illnesses if they focus on helping the other. They become close friends and then they both begin to hope for more. It was definitely an unconventional love story. (And for many more reasons than their illnesses.)
Say What You Will was a very easy read. I flew through it and finished it in just a couple of hours. The character were so unique, totally different from the normal YA characters we always see. The author did a good job of portraying the supporting characters as well. The story was different from the average love story. There were times were I even felt uncomfortable, but I think that it added to the whole experience. This isn’t one of the great love stories of our time, and it isn’t going to go down in history as a great piece of literature but it is good. It was cute and fun and totally different from anything else that I am currently reading. It was a refreshing read and I do recommend it as long as you go into knowing not to expect greatness.
Recommended for Fans of: Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, and Young Adult
Suggested to Read Next: A Step Toward Falling