Say What You Will

Author: Cammie McGovern

Publisher: HarperTeen, 2014

Series: N/A

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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 honestly don’t know how to start this review.

“Stains were a patchwork of mistakes you couldn’t get rid of. They showed the world your real self, even the parts you didn’t want it to see.”

I believe that this quote catches the essence of the story perfectly. Matthew is terrified by everything, but most especially, imperfection. He must be the best that he can be, which is unattainable. Amy is the epitome of mess. She has cerebral palsy, which does not allow her to control her body. She drools, she throws food, and she needs help in the bathroom. However, Amy and Matthew will be each other’s saviors, but revealing to each other what their mistakes.

This novel is so eloquent. The writing is flawless. It truly hits right at the heart of what it is like to operate in a world with a debilitating disease.

Matthew is a hard character to like, which I believe is what McGovern intended for this character. He is prickly, anal retentive and overly self conscious. He makes the reader remember their awkward teen years. Amy starts out as the bane of Matthew’s existence only to mutate in to his savior. Amy, unlike Matthew, has physical signs that she is different, however, also unlike Matthew, this makes her strong, outgoing, and easy to talk to.

These personality quirks are what attract Matthew and Amy to each other. They strengthen the other where they are weak.

I recommend this book to anyone who has ever dealt life a swift kick in the butt when it insists on keeping you down.



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