Say What You Will.
Booklist Reviews 2014 May #1
*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 life—making real friends—as 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. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall
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.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2014 #4
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. hardeso Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.
PW Reviews 2014 April #1
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. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC