Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Say What You Will, by Cammie McGovern, ends 8/15

He had no idea how wonderful he was. How his hands were so beautiful she could hardly look at them. How his truest smile was crooked and lifted higher on the left side than the right, which made her feel like he might understand her better, her hemiplegic face that was all crooked half smiles too.

But it couldn't be denied. He was also slightly crazy.

Maybe more than slightly.

Reading the book she found at the library convinced her of two things: (1) It was a pretty serious disorder, and (2) Matthew definitely had it.

This is not your typical YA novel, and it was also a fantastic read. Amy has CP (Cerebral Palsy), and all her life she's had adult helpers at school with her. For her senior year of high school, she decides to hire peer helpers - other students - and she asks Matthew, a boy she knows from school, to apply. Amy and Matthew strike up a friendship of sorts, but her mother doesn't approve: because Amy - who is very smart - is going places, and Matthew, who has OCD, is probably not.

Official synopsis:

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.

Now that I think of it, this book reminds me of Reclaiming the Sand, another YA book I read about a person with a disability, but Amy's disability - cerebral palsy - is much more serious. She can make sounds but can't talk well, so she uses a Pathway device (a small computer) where she types in what she wants to say, and the computer reads it, in a teenage girl voice, actually (it's very advanced). She is ignored by her classmates most of the time until senior year, when her peer helpers start to introduce her to other people. 

Matthew, however, has always noticed Amy, and he always speaks candidly to her, which is why she asked him to apply for the peer helper job. He has his own problems, though: he hears "voices" in his head and has compulsions he can't always shake, otherwise known as OCD.

The book follows Amy through the beginning of her freshman year of college, and the road for her and Matthew is not always an easy one.

I loved this novel. It's always refreshing to read YA that is different, and this definitely qualifies. My only complaint is that the ending was a little abrupt - I wanted to know more about what happens to these characters. This book could make a great movie, as well; I'd be interested in watching it if it was ever made. 

4.5 stars out of 5.  
To buy this book: click here.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


One lucky reader will win a hardcover copy of Say What You Will!

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Friday, August 15th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified on August 16th via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen. 

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds like a great book. Would love to have a chance to read it now that you have me intrigued

  2. I do think I would. It sounds interesting and complicated.

  3. Very interesting book - looks very tempting

  4. I think I'd enjoy reading the woven story that really ties all the characters together so well.

  5. I agree this plot is definitely unique. I can just imagine the emotions each character must feel - finally having someone to connect with must be amazing.

  6. I'm a middle school teacher and have worked with lots of special-needs students. I'm always looking for interesting new titles to share with my classes; if I win, this book will go in my classroom.

  7. Definitely sounds like a book I need to read this summer.

  8. That's a great-sounding story of two seeming misfits who eventually fit together. I think you're right, it would make an excellent movie. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  9. I like your review and it is really making me want this book

  10. The concept is interesting and I want to see how the relationship progresses through their unique situations

  11. I am so excited to find your blog! This book sounds really enjoyable

    1. Thanks! :) I'll have another giveaway up tonight too, so stay tuned.

  12. I like were you stated "we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them". That a wonderful quote and I wish I knew through high school and my 20s. That's why I want the book I did a lot of dumb hurtful stuff in relationship when I was young.

    1. That's in the official synopsis, so technically not my words, but thanks :). Good luck!

  13. I want to win this for my niece....she would love it.



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