Say What you Will by Cammie McGovern
Release Date: June 2014
Place on Hold
Synopsis: Amy was born with cerebral palsy and has difficulty walking and needs a voice box to talk. Matthew has OCD and is compelled to do things like tap lockers and check faucets to ensure they’re turned off. When Amy’s parents hire Matthew to be one of Amy’s peer helpers, Amy and Matthew find out they have more in common than they thought.
Sadly, I did not like this book. I was hopeful and excited to read it when I read descriptions like The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park but in my opinion this book was a long way from being as good as either of those.
A major problem was that I did not like the characters, mainly because I felt they didn’t have personalities outside of their issues. If Matthew wasn’t talking about or grappling with his OCD or if Amy wasn’t taking about her body’s limitations or her talking machine the progression of the book just stopped. Their conversations never got very deep or went very far beyond the scope of their issues because there just wasn’t anything there. They didn’t have likes or dislikes or favorite colors or songs or anything to talk to each other about. When they did talk about other things it felt awkward not because they were written as awkward characters but because they didn’t have any real personalities to build a relationship or even a conversation on. It’s really hard to like characters that have no personality and it’s really hard to like a book when you don’t like the characters.
I also felt like Matthew and Amy’s relationship had no real basis, which, of course, goes back to them not having personalities. The only reason they “loved ” each other was because they both had issues. Yeah, it’s great to have that in common with someone but that is not a basis for a relationship. Yes that’s great that they can support and understand each other in that way but that can’t be all that there is. They never talked about anything real and that bothered me. Its like how on earth can you say you love each other when you don’t even know each other ?! They never discussed things that are normal. They never got to know each other on a personal level. Another thing that bothered me about their relationship was that it always felt so forced and awkward. It was like they had to be together because who else would accept and understand them. I’m sorry but to me that is not a good love story. The characters love should not feel weird and awkward. And it definitely shouldn’t feel like they’re only together because they feel no one else would want or understand them.
I was very very bothered by the whole ” Amy goes to college and gets depressed and oh look now she’s pregnant ” situation. For the last part of the book I found myself constantly thinking ” what. the. heck. am. I. Reading “. The whole situation was so out of line from the rest of the plot and generally weird that I thought about not finishing the book. There were so many things that were wrong about it. Number one was that her depression was completely out of character and was 100 % preventable. Number two was that she got pregnant prom night and she went through practically a whole semester of college before she realized it or even considered the possibility of it. And number three was that during her whole pregnancy journey her relationship with Matthew got even stranger which I didn’t think was possible.[/spolier]
And then there was Amy’s mother who I hated because she was obsessive and overbearing in every way and she was the only character the author decided to write a personality for which was disappointing because her personality made me want to punch her in the face. Not to mention when she did the whole ” you aren’t good enough for my daughter you can’t see her anymore ” thing to Matthew. I didn’t care if Amy and Matthew were together or not but her reasoning was stupid and overbearing. Your daughter is a senior in high school, just because she has physical limitations does not mean you get to decide who is and isn’t good enough for her and it certainly my doesn’t mean she’s incapable of deciding that for herself. Butt out woman. Just because the boy has OCD doesn’t make him unworthy of your daughter. Does your daughters condition make her unworthy of someone else’s son? No, so shut up. She’s always so Insistent that Amy is smart and capable but she always denies her the chance to actually demonstrate that by making her own decisions. As I’m sure you can tell Amy’s mother made me very mad.
Don’t even get me started on Matthews mother. She had the personality of a confused rock and she didn’t care about her son at all. He clearly had OCD, he clearly needed help and she just sat there and did nothing. Please take some of Amy’s mothers overbearingness and give it to Matthews mother.
All in all I definitely did not like this book. I know there are a lot of people who have read and loved this book but I just couldn’t see it. I had so many issues with the characters and their relationships that I just could not enjoy this book In any way. The whole book just felt awkward.