Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Say What You Will

Say What You Will
By Cammie McGovern
Published: June 3, 2014

John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and 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:

Amy and Matthew are both flawed and hurting teens and together they find understanding, friendship, and love but it isn't all smooth sailing from there. Amy has been over protected by her mother and other well meaning adults. A chance conversation with Matthew in her junior year precipitates her plan to have student aides help her during her senior year in an effort to reach out and make friends. In Matthew, Amy sees someone who won't sugar coat things and he is also on the outside at school like her. 

Matthew doesn't want to acknowledge that he has any problems. Sure he washes his hands several times a day and is afraid that if he doesn't follow his rituals, terrible things will happen to the people he loves but other than that he considers himself as just a normal teen. Amy notices the truth about him though and she pushes him to confront his fears.

I liked Say What You Will and reading about Amy and Matthew's journey in their last year of high school and beyond. The romance builds slowly which makes sense because a level of trust and friendship has to be established first. I really liked the portrayal of Amy and the things she struggled with and wanted for herself. Both characters showed growth but it was Amy's story that stuck with me. 

Overall I thought this was a good book and while it is different from The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, I think it would appeal to fans of either book and those who like contemporary teen fiction. Ignore the comparisons to John Green and Rainbow Rowell and give this book a try anyway. You likely will not be sorry that you did.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. I'm so glad you said to ignore the comparisons to TFiOS and E&P, because whenever a blurb says that I seriously eye-roll. I will have to reconsider this one and keep my eye out for it since I have been loving YA contemporary fiction lately. Great review, Christina!

  2. I am listening to this one now, despite the comparisons to John Green (ugh, so not at fan) and Rainbow Rowell (total fangirl!). I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying it. Your advice is spot on! Great review! ~Megan


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