by Cammie McGovern
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication date: June 3rd 2014 by HarperTeen
Format acquired: ARC from publisher via Edelweiss (thank you!)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | 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.
Say What You Will is basically about a girl with cerebral palsy, who communicates through her computer, and a boy who has irrational fears of hurting others because of his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). They meet in the most irregular circumstance and together they learn to deal with their issues and to somehow explore themselves and the world they live in.
I honestly didn't expect to like Say What You Will as much as I did. I typically shy away from books that are too out of the ordinary because I have a hard time processing them as is. However what I initially liked about this book was how easy it was for me to appreciate the characters early on. I may have had issues about the plot here and there, but essentially, I enjoyed the story.
My main concern is the unexpected twist towards the end of the book. I like plot twists. I crave plot twists, especially in a contemporary. I feel like they truly shape up the story. But when a plot twist is so unexpected, I become iffy of the entire story. I begin to ask questions like, is this really where the story was headed? Or are the characters prepared for this? I wasn't quite sold on the idea but I appreciate how it beefed up the story til the very end.
Which now brings me to why I liked it: it was engaging. It brought me to the end. I think for a book that I wouldn't normally try, it's notable that I lasted long enough to actually finish it and like it. What I liked most was how honest the emotions were in this book. The characters really drew me in. They didn't say things in a fancy, intellectual way. They're just regular teenagers who happened to have extraordinary problems to deal with. They have their quirks but they weren't made entirely of quirks. Get what I mean? It was still easy to relate to them despite everything different about them. That's why I was hooked from start to finish. It was also interesting how the author explored CP and OCD through Amy and Matthew. I liked reading through their thoughts and even the logistics of having to deal with their condition. I liked seeing how they processed everything around them because they saw with different eyes. Lastly, I liked the side characters. This book has a variety of characters, and I mean lots. Everyone's personalities helped make the story what it is.
Do I recommend Say What You Will? YES! Amy and Matthew are characters that you'd want to get to know. Their story won't tear your heart apart (and I believe that's always a good thing) but it's touching nonetheless. Go give them a shot ;)