June 1, 2014
Review: Say What You Will
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Release date: June 3, 2014
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Say What You Will is a book I was highly anticipating. It has an interesting premise and is definitely a book that has the potential to make people uncomfortable. My heart ached for Amy through most of the book when her peers ignored her or didn't know what to make of her. I remember a girl in my first grade class, and I'm pretty sure she had cerebral palsy. Say What You Will made me wonder how her life has been since then. I transferred schools the next year, but I do remember that a lot of the kids in the class (myself included) liked her and wanted to spend time with her and help her with little homework projects and things. Also worth mentioning is that Matthew's OCD was portrayed very well.
Overall, this was a hard book to read. I did have trouble connecting with the plot and characters. The story just felt off to me. At about chapter 26, things picked up and I thought the end would redeem the whole book, but 2 chapters later, a plot point came into play that bothered me. I won't say much, for the sake of those who want to read Say What You Will and don't want anything spoiled. This plot point carried through to pretty much the end, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I did like how Amy fell into drama classes and playwriting. I wish that had been something throughout the book because it breathed life into her as a character, and I think I would've enjoyed this book more if that had been her passion for longer.
I couldn't connect with the romance in this book. I could see how it developed, and I expected it to happen, but I just wasn't feeling it. I did like Sarah and Chloe, though. They were great characters with just enough development, and I think, in the future after when SWYW ends, they probably ended up being good friends of Amy's.
On the objectionable content front, there are definitely somethings implied in the romance department (although they're never shown), and language has its PG-13 moments.
The Verdict: Say What You Will isn't for everyone, and I don't think it was for me. But I say give it a try, especially if it sounds like your type of book. I think you might enjoy Say What You Will if you've read The Fault in Our Stars, Eleanor and Park, or If I Stay.