Wednesday, June 4, 2014

{Blog Tour} Review + Excerpt: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Publication: Jun. 03, 2014, HarperTeen
Format: ARC, 343 pages
Source: Pinoy Book Tours (Thanks sooo much Dianne)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indie Bound | iBooks |


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.

Misfit Review: 
*The book was provided by Pinoy Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the synopsis and saw that it was a mesh of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars and Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park, I just knew that I had to read it. And I have no regrets.

The story is about Amy Van Dorn who has cerebral palsy who has to talk through a computer called a Pathway. She also has trouble walking so she needs a walker. All she wants is a normal life in high school where she can have friends to prove that she'll be fine once she enters college. Enter Matthew Malone, a lanky, quiet boy who is part of Amy's "peer group" project, where he spends one day being Amy's peer aide. Matthew is not normal, not in the way Amy is not normal physically. He has OCD and it's getting into his head. We are taken into the world of these two fascinating teenagers as they learn that through their own problems, they would learn to lean in on each other for help. I think that this relationship was enough to say that I was gravitated towards the book in an instant.


Amy is  the adventurous sort. She wants to try out new things and be friends with every body. And she doesn't really care about having CP, or maybe she does a little bit but she doesn't want it to be the cause of her becoming a total introvert in the eyes of such daunting teenagers. She wants to experience all sorts of things and she challenges herself, much to her overprotective Mom's chagrin! I don't really like Amy's mom, Nicole but I guess parents are like that especially if you have some sort of complication which in this novel is highly suggestive of Nicole's role.

Matthew and Amy are bonded through this problem of hers. And later discovers that Matthew himself has a problem that he's been keeping in the shadows for a long time.


To be rather blunt, I felt extremely attached to Matthew and his problem. I could relate to some of the things he's going particularly, his unnecessary fears. He's too afraid to venture the world because he thinks that he does not deserve it. He likes things in ritual, and I do too, though I do stuff randomly, there are times when I think that Matthew and I go into a fit when we don't get to do what we have to do. I've told my Dad that he has OCD, and I think that I might have a slight case of it.

In the novel, as I have said, Amy and Matthew help each other out, being that Amy needs Matthew's help as a peer helper while Matthew needs Amy's help to overcome his condition. But with all this helping out, Amy is realizing that she's falling for Matthew. Big time... And I'm afraid to say, I was too.

*minor spoiler alert*
There was this scene in the book where Amy described Matthew, with his brown hair falling to his face, with  his beautiful eyes and him wearing a black t-shirt with a faded guitar logo. Please, you may now imagine my reaction. I suddenly went into a spastic fit and started to really imagine Matthew for real and he was supeeeeer handsome! My heart fluttered endlessly. And it's not just his looks, but also his personality. He's shy but he cares about people...maybe a bit too much! Because of his OCD, he has a tendency to over think things and he won't calm if he does not get his answers.

Bad things would happen if he skipped it.

Matthew has this thing in his head: a voice you might say and it's entertaining as heck dear gosh! Say What You Will is a book that doesn't exactly challenge your mind in a difficult way but you will end up curious about their situations at least and why certain peer pressures lead you to do things out of the ordinary.

The writing at first was a bit slow for me but started to get really interesting as the characters opened up about themselves further. The supporting characters didn't really overshadow the main characters but I would've wished for more of them to have carried a spotlight. But all in all, the characters were enticing and not boring at all.

McGovern's style is really light and subtle. Although, make sure you prepare for plot twists. Plot twists make every story much more gratifying and also worth your time, and I think that the plot twist here was handled in a not-so harsh treatment. It was kind and well justified, so kudos to Cammie McGovern.

"My point is: you know what you wanted to say. A lot of people don't. You might not even realize this. A lot of us are still trying to figure out what to say."

A lot of people have a hard time saying what they have to say. Cammie McGovern's new novel is a new take on this that whatever should happen, there will always be someone there for you. It's just a matter of how you should say it. Everything else will fall through.

Read The Excerpt

About The Author:

Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications.

Thank you for sticking around misfit booknerds! More wonderful reviews and authors to chat with soon! And please, do follow the tour for Cammie's Say What You Will.

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