Heartbreaking and enlightening novel.
Published June 3rd 2014 by HarperTeen
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
If one more book is compared to The Fault in Our Stars… (or The Hunger Games, for that matter)
I know every author wants to be John Green because he’s worth five million dollars at this point. But, just because a book is a teen romance, that does not mean it is The Fault in Our Stars. Also, if a book is dystopian, it is not automatically like The Hunger Games.
Now that we got through that, Say What You Will was a very different and enlightening read.
It follows Matthew and Amy as they deal with their OCD and cerebral palsy, respectively.
Amy has always been different. She cannot talk without a computer and she can hardly walk. It is her senior year of high school and Amy has just realized that she does not have any real friends. She decides to change that. Normally she has adults help her around but she decides to have different students help her. Matthew is one of them.
Matthew was just a normal kid but after the stress of his parents’ divorce a few years ago he started to do things. Things like washing his hands to his elbows exactly twelve times a day. Things like tapping every locker as he passed. Matthew has OCD. When he hears that Amy wants him to help her this year. he decides, what the heck, sure.
Amy was a really interesting character to read about because she was brilliant but she couldn’t even talk. She was really sweet with Matthew when she tried to help him conquer his OCD. Amy went about a lot of things wrong, though. She made many bad decisions regarding Matthew and also regarding her life. I felt bad for her because of her disease, but I forgot about it by the end. She just made many bad decisions.
I loved getting an insight into what cerebral palsy is. I had an idea, but I have never really known. It was kind of like Amy was just trapped in this incompetent body with an overcompensating mind. I know if I ever see anyone with cerebral palsy now, I will do my best to treat them no different than anyone else.
Matthew was an interesting character as well. he seems to be the opposite of Amy. He has a perfect body with an imperfect mind. A lot of the time, I felt worse for Matthew than I did for Amy. He couldn’t control his impulses and it cost him friends and a feeling of safety. I will definitely stop making jokes like, “Oh, I’m so OCD,” because it is a very serious disease.
The relationship was a bit lacking. You knew who you wanted to get together but things just kept popping up. Well, big problems. Huge problems. Amy and Matthew were very sweet, but their situations just didn’t mesh well a lot of the time.
There was a big part at the end of the book that was the main focus of the plot. It was something that made me go, “Oh, come on. Really?! REALLY?!”
It seemed kind of unnecessary (until it became the main plot). I just didn’t like the subject and I felt like it was pulling away from where the real focus should have been.
For those reasons, I give this book 3.5/5 stars. It wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t amazing. I would recommend this book for ages 14+ because of some mature content and older themes.
I loved learning about the two diseases. It really opened my eyes. I applaud you, Cammie, for bringing awareness to these two diseases.
Read this book if you’re looking for one you’ll read fast. Also, if diseases such as cerebral palsy and OCD interest you, you need to read this book.
Have you read any other books about mental or physical disorders? Tell me in the comments.
Your favorite fangirl,
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”