SAY WHAT YOU WILL by Cammie McGovern

SAY WHAT YOU WILL

Age Range: 14 - 17

KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: June 3rd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-227110-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2014




OUR FAVORITE TEEN SUMMER NOVELS:

ChildrenRUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo
by Leigh Bardugo
ChildrenFAT BOY VS. THE CHEERLEADERS by Geoff Herbach
by Geoff Herbach
ChildrenCOMPLICIT by Stephanie Kuehn
by Stephanie Kuehn
ChildrenNO SUMMIT OUT OF SIGHT by Jordan Romero
by Jordan Romero

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenOCD, THE DUDE, AND ME by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
ChildrenOCD LOVE STORY by Corey Ann Haydu
by Corey Ann Haydu
ChildrenSTONER & SPAZ by Ron Koertge
by Ron Koertge