Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen; 352 pages
John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.
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.
Whenever an author chooses to write a book about characters with a disease or illness, it can sometimes make the reader uncomfortable. Too much information about the characters health problems can isolate some readers, and can make them reluctant to read. This book is not about cerebral palsy or obsessive compulsive disorder. It just so happens that the two main characters have it. This story is about a growing friendship between a boy and a girl. Two people who are dealing with what life has thrown at them, and how they are handling it.
I found myself finding the male lead Matthew just adorable. In the beginning he is very much in denial of having OCD. With no friends, a depressed mother, and a father who has remarried, he has a lot on his plate. But he has this humor about him, that just made me smile while I was reading. On the other hand Amy, is just someone who takes what has been given to her and lives her life the best she can. From the very beginning I was impressed with her courage and enthusiasm. And I couldn't wait to see if these two could really help each other out.
Their relationship starts out as a true friendship, and has a gradual build. But at the same time, the story isn't slow. It moves at a very good pace. Other characters are also introduced from the beginning. Some of which I enjoyed, and others I really loved to hate. The author does a really good job at showing high school kids. These characters have tough decisions to make, and sometimes make mistakes. None of their problems are easily solved, and it just made the story very realistic. And even though the book doesn't have a definitive ending, it's still a great read. This is definitely a book that benefits with an open ending ending.