Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I selected it as part of my individual text set on exceptionalities. In this story, Amy, the main character, was born with cerebral palsy. She's extremely smart and gifted, but wants to have a normal senior year of high school, so she has a buddy program where her peers help give her the high school experience. My favorite part of the story was the overall message, and how they made Amy seem like she was exactly like every other teen, despite her disability. She falls in love, wants people to like her, makes mistakes, and is extremely smart and I love how throughout the book characters begin to see her as a real person rather than just the girl with a disability. I think it sends a great message to readers who may not have much experience working or going to school with people with disabilities. I also enjoyed the love story. Amy and Matthew inevitably end up falling in love, and though it's a crazy journey, they end up together at the end, which is great for hopeless romantics just like me! Finally, I enjoyed the wide range of characters portrayed throughout the story. Just as there's a lot of different people in high school, there's a lot of different characters in the story that give the story that high school component to it and make it believable. I would recommend this novel for high school students because the characters in the story are seniors in high school getting ready to figure out the future. It would definitely be more relatable to students who were in high school and also there is some content in the novel that may not be suitable for younger readers (underage drinking, sex, etc.).
About This Item
"A unique and unforgettable love." --Teen Vogue
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.
|Number of Pages|
Say What You Will
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
Overall, I really enjo...
Amy has cerebral palsy...
Amy has cerebral palsy. Matthew has OCD. Due to their conditions both are lonely and pretty much friendless. Matthew applies to be a student helper for Amy and that is where their journey begins. Even though Amy's body is crippled and she can't speak her mind is incredible. Matthew's habits make it hard for him to spend a lot of time with other people and he panics but he learns from Amy. Together they learn about each other and help each other. As their relationship grows they just can't seem to say exactly what they want to say. They spend a great last summer together even though Amy's mom objects since Prom didn't work out so well. When Amy leaves for Stanford in the fall Matthew feels likes he's blown it and will never be in another relationship again. Then a surprise twist hits. FANTASTIC read about teen relationships that are hard enough without the challenges that Matt & Amy face. Loved it!
I love the two charact...
I love the two characters in this book but it is definitely more suited to high school so my middle school readers will have to wait to read it. I love how gutsy and honest Amy is, and how insecure and messed up Matthew is... totally believable characters. She has cerebral palsy, described with drooling and no smiling or speaking, and Matthew has OCD, complete with his initial denial of any problem. The last third of the book has a very mature surprise and that's the part that made me decide the book was best for high school students but also the part that made me really feel like the characters were real.
Amy has cerebral palsy...
Amy has cerebral palsy. She can't walk without a walker, can't speak in a way that people can understand, and struggles to feed herself without making an embarrassing mess. Despite appearances Amy is smart, has a knack for writing, and an optimism about her life that verges on the unbelievable. Matthew has had classes with Amy since they were kids and one day he blurts out the truth, as he sees it, that Amy has no friends and the messages she's sending about her life aren't quite true. Amy's encounter with Matthew changes her whole perspective and she decides that in order to be ready for college, it's time for her to make friends her own age, so for her senior year, her parents hire a flock of student aides to help her at school. Matthew's hired to help Amy, but he's dealing with a disability of his own. As the unlikely pair becomes friends, Amy realizes that she can help Matthew, too, and they both realize that they might want to be more than just friends. Say What You Will is a quick read with a pair of different, interesting, and lovable characters. For the first half of the book I was enchanted by Amy and Matthew's budding friendship and their slow realization that maybe they could have something more regardless of their respective disabilities. Each challenges and helps the other to step outside of a life defined by disability, and it was touching to see them discover that when you love somebody, they become beautiful to you despite and sometimes even because of the failings of their bodies. I felt like I saw where McGovern was headed with her story and liked it, but then came the prom and the whole thing just started coming off the rails for me. What started out as a pleasing slow steady climb of a story quickly took a sudden turn down a roller coaster hill. After a build-up, prom is come and gone within only a chapter bringing with it all kinds of plot points that could have been dug into, but were instead quickly glossed over. Characters started acting, well, out of a character, and what should have been a major plot event zipped by quickly, without the attention it seemed the warrant. And then, wow. Then there's a plot twist that really came out of left field, and left me feeling pretty disappointed. It's as if, instead of letting the book follow the good and natural progression that she'd started, the author decided that something major had to happen to keep readers turning pages, and that something turned a sweet romance on its head and sent it tumbling into after-school special territory. I wanted to love this book, and the beginning showed all the potential I'd hoped for, but the unnecessary theatrics caused me to disengage from the characters just enough that by the time the payoff came that I'd been waiting for through the whole book, there was no way it could deliver.
Its a huge deal to co...
It's a huge deal to compare a book to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and ELEANOR AND PARK. Not only are those two of the biggest contemporary YA titles ever, but they happen to be my two all time favorites. To say I was skeptical starting SAY WHAT YOU WILL is putting it mildly. But, the comparison--to both titles--is a good one. There are similarities in both characters and story, as well as writing style. That's not to say that SAY WHAT YOU WILL is better than the books it's being compared to (it's not), but it is a good book that fans of TFIOS and E&P should embrace. As for the book itself, well, if I'm being honest, it made me uncomfortable a lot of the time. Like Green's Hazel and Gus, Amy and Matthew have physical circumstances that are often heartbreaking to read about. Amy's CP is not sugar coated or minimized, nor is Matthew's crippling OCD downplayed. Amy can't talk without a computer, she drools and can't close her mouth or smile. She makes uncontrolled sounds and movements. She uses a walker but needs help dressing and eating. Matthews issues aren't the same as Amy's, but they isolate him nearly as much. He has debilitating panic attacks, compulsions that cause him to wash his hands a dozen times a day, walk on his toes, count the vowels in words, or only touch certain colors. It can be a lot to process as a reader, but McGovern handles the challenges really well. This is a book about harsh realities, but it's not--for the most part--a depressing book. I felt strongly for Amy and Matthew and rooted for their happiness throughout. Amy's situation, in particular, was a roller coaster up sweet highs and then crushing despair as various events transpired. What helped me as a reader, was Amy herself. She's not a depressed person. She's brilliant and gutsy and naive in many ways that she recognizes. Going back to the TFIOS and E&P comparisons, there is one aspect of SAY WHAT YOU WILL that for me failed to live up to it's counterparts, and it was the romance. Not because of their physical/mental circumstances, but because of the characters. I remember feeling like a piece of my soul would die if Hazel and Gus, and Eleanor and Park didn't get together. I didn't feel that way about Amy and Matthew. The last third especially failed to create that needed pull at my heart. I felt very strongly that they should be the best of friends, but that they both would be better off with other people. I did really like SAY WHAT YOU WILL as soon as I finished it. The more time that passed, however, my affection dimmed somewhat, maybe because the romance didn't steal my heart the way I hoped, or that there were somethings about Amy's CP that seemed inconsistent (she needed help at school and with the bathroom, but she was left home alone all day during the summer. She and Matthew go swimming one day, but there is no one to help her get in or out of a swimsuit etc. are we supposed to believe he did?). For me, this is a 3 1/2 star read. Good, but not great. Moving but not unforgettable. I'll be interested in trying more books from McGovern to see if she can fully join the ranks of Green and Rowell in the future.
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