Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review: "Say What You Will" by Cammie McGovern

It is senior year and Amy has never had any friends; Matthew used to have friends, but not any more.  Amy was born with Cerebral Palsy and uses a computer-like device to talk and a walker to get around.  Matthew worries too much, and listens to the voice in his head that tells him to keep checking something or count other things and these routines will make everything better.  Matthew is one of the students chosen to be Amy's peer helper for senior year.  They really get to know each other and their particular quirks help them be brutally honest with each other.  As the cover says, "They told each other everything except what matters most" and that could make or break their friendship.

These characters really stand out for me.  Every so often, you may come across a YA book that has one character coping with a disability, but not both of the main characters.  This really gave some insight into living with CP or OCD.  I went to elementary school with a girl who had CP and was far more limited physically than Amy, and I thought of her a lot while reading this.  As for Matthew- all I could think about was how casually someone might joke around about "being a little OCD about (insert something very trivial)" and not have a clue about how debilitating OCD is for the sufferer.  While it was nice to see these characters help each other in their particular situations, I don't know that I would recommend the way in which one of them went about doing so....  I feel like some things are better left to professionals and reading about it in a book doesn't exactly make one an expert.

As for the story itself - it is for the most part real to me.  I can see their relationship growing ever so slowly, within and around their set of circumstances.  One hang up I had has to do with the game-changing event.  It felt a little cliche and it made me question some timelines which I hate to do.  The way the characters reacted afterward was a little off-putting too.  I think this is good for teens who are curious about those with disabilities, who may enjoy a shy love story and/or friendship story (as there are a lot of different friendships in this book).

Say What You Will
by Cammie McGovern
HarperTeen, 2014
343 pages
Source:  Library



alibrarianslibrary said...

I listened to this on audio last year and really enjoyed it. The first half of the book, Amy's voice is generic robotic speaker, which added so much authenticity to the story. While some of the details did seem a little farfetched, I did feel that the characters and the story development were genuine and felt real to me.

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

I hadn't considered how the audio version might have been performed. It sounds like they made some very good choices!

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