Saturday, June 21, 2014

Say What You Will

Say What You Will just came out earlier this month, but before it was even published I had read about it all over the place.  Turns out, I have read a book by author, Cammie McGovern before (Neighborhood Watch).

Say What You Will is a young adult novel- McGovern's first in this genre - but a book that adults will also enjoy.

Amy has cerebral palsy and because of that is non-verbal.  For her last year in high school she wants to attend class without the help of adult aids.  Instead she convinces her mother to hire peer helpers, other senior students who can help her navigate her way to and from classes and in the lunchroom.  Although these helpers are not friends, Amy appreciates the companionship most of them provide.  Especially Matt.

Matt is a bit different than Amy's other peer helpers.  He doesn't have friends at school and although he knows something is wrong, isn't yet aware of the fact that he has OCD.  Life is difficult for Matt as he knows his obsessions are irrational, yet can't ignore them.

At first I was worried that McGovern's book was too much like Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind or Wonder by RJ Palacio. However, the characters are older and their feelings for each other make it more of a teen novel.  And, it is so well written that I just couldn't put it down.

Of course I was rooting for Amy and Matthew to find happiness with each other. But there were a lot of barriers that stood in their way.  Just like Jenny Han's novel, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, I wanted more at the end, and yet McGovern's ending is perfect.

I've pressed this novel into the hands of my tween daughter, my high school helper at school, and a middle school English teacher. Say What You Will is an amazing story about acceptance, friendship, and hope.

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