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Say What You Will
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Say What You Will
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"A unique and unforgettable love." —Teen VogueJohn Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally...
"A unique and unforgettable love." —Teen VogueJohn Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally...
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  • "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.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Cammie McGovern is the author of Say What You Will as well as the adult novels Neighborhood Watch, Eye Contact, and The Art of Seeing. Cammie is also one of the founders of Whole Children, a resource center that runs after-school classes and programs for children with special needs. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her husband and three children.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Amy, a high school senior with cerebral palsy, uses a talking board to communicate. Rebecca Lowman's gift for nuance flavors the narrative and Amy's dialogue with humor, wit, hidden desires, delight, and sometimes despair. Amy's isolated life changes when she's allowed to choose peer caretakers, one of whom is Matthew. Matthew's obsessive-compulsive disorder has made him an equal outcast, and Lowman expresses both the torment of his insecurities and the way his hopelessness shifts when Amy drives him to betterment. These sensitive portrayals are strengthened by Lowman's skill in evoking the intensity of Matthew and Amy's struggles to be themselves and, at the same time, find a path to a genuine relationship. Ultimately, Lowman lets listeners feel the full triumph of their hard-won love. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 7, 2014
    Cerebral palsy means Amy walks with difficulty and talks via a speech-enabled computer; Matthew’s life is increasingly limited by OCD. Although they’ve attended school together their entire lives, they’ve barely talked to each other. They’re also very different: super-achieving Amy is choosing between elite colleges, while Matthew can’t fill out his college applications. Amy’s an optimist, and Matthew’s a fearful worrier. They develop a relationship when Amy convinces her fiercely protective mother to let her have peer assistants. In her YA debut, adult author McGovern (Neighborhood Watch) avoids gooeyness or condescension by making Amy and Matthew individuals, not diagnoses, and their relationship not just plausible, but suspenseful, as they try to figure out what they can be to each other. Watching Amy and Matthew grapple with big questions—Is love possible for them? What about sex? What do they want after high school? Can mistakes be forgiven and loss survived?—readers will be surprised, moved, amused, worried, hopeful, and grateful to have spent time with them. Ages 14–up. Agent: Margaret Riley King, William Morris Endeavor.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Amy has cerebral palsy, and has spent the past 17 years with walkers, voice boxes, and adults. She's gone through school at the same pace as her peers but without friends or socializing. When one of her classmates, Matthew, challenges her cheerful facade, Amy realizes she's missed out on developing true peer relationships. So for their senior year, Amy asks her parents to pay classmates to be her companions instead of her usual adult aids. She begs Matthew to apply, and the two embark on a friendship that addresses Amy's limitations, Matthew's own disorder, and all their secrets-all except the one they really need to share. Both teens struggle with their realities and limitations, and a love soon develops between them. The harsh reality of high school social dynamics are authentically portrayed. The main characters are well developed, though secondary characters are little more than background noise. Recommend to fans of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars (Dutton, 2012) and realistic fiction with a love story angle.-Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2014
    Crushes, missteps and genuine loyalty on the road to deep friendship.As she enters her senior year of high school, Amy-hemiplegic due to an aneurism following her premature birth and near the top of her class-uses her augmentative and assistive communication device to argue successfully that she needs peer helpers in school rather than adult aides. Her mother, Nicole, is dubious, but Amy knows which buttons to push: "If I'm going to go to college, I need to practice relating to people my own age." Amy particularly wants to work with Matthew, whose unvarnished honesty fascinates her. Unlike her awkward relationships with her other peer helpers, Amy develops a real friendship with Matthew immediately. Due to their frank conversation and Amy's quick discovery of Matthew's OCD, their relationship is balanced and reciprocal, though their growing mutual affection goes largely unaddressed. Unlike its most obvious read-alike, The Fault in Our Stars, this is not a tragic romance: Amy and Matthew's relationship is messy, fraught and tantalizing, but it's not threatened with imminent death. McGovern's triumph is how well she normalizes and highlights the variety of disability experiences among teens and their often circuitous journeys toward claiming their voices and right to self-determination. It's slightly overplotted and occasionally heavy-handed, but it's easy to forgive these flaws.Ultimately, a deeply engaging and rewarding story. (Romance. 14-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from May 1, 2014
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* It isn't that words fail Amy: she has plenty to tell, and her wry and witty mind is unaffected by her cerebral palsy. Her speech, though, is incomprehensible, so a talking computer speaks for her. To move in her body, she requires a walker and a helper to assist her between classes. But she is fiercely independent, and for her senior year, she has decided that students her own age will be her school aides. Maybe that will help with the one area she has struggled to master her whole lifemaking real friendsas she prepares to transition to college. Matthew, stunted and isolated by his obsessive-compulsive disorder, signs on to assist Amy and inadvertently embarks on a self-improvement project that she passionately encourages. As they lean on each other and their relationship deepens, even as they each inch toward independence, Amy and Matthew test the boundaries of their self-determination and their friendship, much to the disappointment of Amy's worried mother. Exhilarating and heartrending, McGovern's YA debut has a similar odd-couple camaraderie as Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park (2013) and the raw exploration of disability in R. J. Palacio's Wonder (2012). With a smart, proud, and capable protagonist eager to take her life by the reins, this novel is stunning.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • The Horn Book

    July 1, 2014
    Amy, who has cerebral palsy, convinces her parents to hire a peer helper, Matthew (who has a severe anxiety disorder), so she can learn to socialize before college. The two develop a significant friendship--and a confusing mutual attraction. This book moves beyond the typical concerns people with disabilities encounter to present an honest portrayal of the lives of these particular characters.

    (Copyright 2014 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

  • The Horn Book

    July 1, 2014
    Though they've attended the same school for years, Amy and Matthew barely know each other. Now it's senior year, and Amy, who has cerebral palsy, convinces her parents to hire peer helpers instead of the usual professional aides so she can learn to socialize before going away to college. Intrigued by the brilliant but isolated girl (and certain she's not as cheerful and well-adjusted as she presents), Matthew, a misfit with a severe anxiety disorder and minimal post-grad prospects, applies for the position. As the two develop a significant friendship (and confusing mutual attraction) they confront individual struggles -- Amy's physical, social, and familial limitations; Matthew's increasingly intrusive obsessive compulsive behavior -- as well as complications in their intensifying relationship. What this book does best is move beyond the typical concerns and stigmas people with disabilities inevitably encounter to present an honest portrayal of the difficulties of growing up faced by these particular characters. Matthew's apprehension about his future (with or without Amy) is poignantly balanced with his crippling fear of being left behind, while Amy's insistent drive toward independence pushes her abilities and loneliness to the breaking point. Just as this book comes dangerously close to plot overload, it pulls back to refocus on the complex relationship at its heart. shara l. hardeson

    (Copyright 2014 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

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