August 30, 2014

Say What You Will - Cammie McGovern

Say What You Will book cover
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Source/Format: Edelweiss (Thanks Harper Collins!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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. (from Goodreads)

“It’s not you, it’s me.” I pulled out this age old adage in my review of Say What You Will, because it feels relevant. There are a lot of things about this novel that, in theory, would have worked for me: the offbeat and unique main characters, the issues they face, the storytelling style. And yet, something just never clicked, even though I did finish. Even now, I can’t quite pinpoint what it is exactly that bugs me, so bear with me as I try.

As usual, here is a list of the things I liked about Say What You Will:
  • Concept – Okay, seriously, the concept behind this novel is pretty great. I was really looking forward to it after I read the synopsis the first time. It sounded clever, and different, and, admittedly, it was! I seriously liked the angle the author took in telling this story. 
  • Moments – There are a few moments that really stood out to me, moments that felt really special and wonderful and great for these characters. I loved how raw the emotions were at times, and how real everything felt. Plus, the ending really appealed to me and didn’t feel cliché in any way!
And here is the (pretty major) thing that didn't work for me with Say What You Will:
  • Characters – Honestly, I just never clicked for me with Amy or Matthew. I can definitely say that they were portrayed in a realistic light. However, I just didn’t like some of their actions, nor was I particularly able to connect with either one very well. I honestly felt pretty ambivalent towards both. Since this contemporary novel is predicated on working if you care for the characters, this just wound up becoming the reason I didn’t enjoy this one.

Still, in spite of my personal reaction, there is something about Say What You Will that has the potential to appeal to readers (as I know it did, for many of my friends). It might not have been my particular cup of tea, but it could be yours. So, if you think this story sounds intriguing or find yourself curious about these characters, I can encourage you to at least give it a shot!


  1. So bummed this one didn't work for you. I really liked it, but I think that was mostly because I related to Amy. Amy and I both have physical disabilities (hers are overall more severe than mine) so I found her endearing. I think it's hard for people who don't have the experience of having physical disabilities or anxiety disorders to relate to people that do have them. Connecting with characters is very much a personal thing.

  2. I won a copy of Dorothy Must Die and it was taking a while to arrive because the author was on tour and it was coming directly from her. While I was waiting I stumbled upon the prequel eNovella No Place Like Oz, so I bought it and didn't enjoy it, infact it was a DNF for now. This turned me off to reading the book. I know I will most likely read it someday, but it will be when I am down to the dreggs of my TBR pile, and that doesn't happen very often.

  3. Same thing for me too. I didn't connect with the characters although the story was pretty good. And what bothered me the most, was the twist in the end. I think that everything would have been better without author's decision to do this way.

  4. I hate when this happens! It is all about the characters for me. The plot can be the best thing in the WORLD, but if I can't connect with the characters, it's a no go. Thank you for an honest review!

  5. It's SO hard when you don't connect to the characters! Could be the best story line in the world but the characters really do make or break a book. I think I'm still going to try this one but good to know!

  6. I might give this book a try, but I've also read a few reviews that felt similar to how you do about Say What You Will. Not sure if I'll connect with the characters or not. Sorry you didn't enjoy this book. Great review! :)


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