Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3195
Pleasantly surprised
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Amy has cerebral palsy and has spent her whole school life with adult aides but for her senior year, she wants some of her fellow students to be her aides, she wants a chance to make friends with her peers before she goes off to university and always having an adult by her side makes that difficult. Matthew refuses to acknowledge that he has OCD and when he’s chosen to be one of the student aides for Amy, they both find someone who they can relate to and a friendship that could turn into something more.

I admit, I was a little nervous going into this book knowing it had a character with cerebral palsy and one with OCD. Would the portrayals be realistic? Would the characters be all about their disabilities as if that was the only thing important about them? Or would it be constantly mentioned they had OCD and cerebral palsy without showing how it affected their lives? So many things could have gone wrong in how these characters were written without even getting into the plot. But Cammie McGovern put my fears to rest pretty early on in this book. The way she wrote these two characters was amazing, a perfect balance of showing them living and coping with their disabilities and their lives beyond their disabilities.

This was especially the case for Amy as we got to know her both through her POVs and Matthew’s. This was a girl who never had any friends but we learn that she was smart, empathetic, funny, and really just seemed like a great person to know. She was such a great character to watch as she went through her growth arc, learning about friendships and other things through her aides and experiencing new things. I enjoyed Matthew slightly less but still a lot. We really got to see his struggle with OCD and how much it affected his life. Together, it was really sweet to see them first getting to know each other then trying to help each other and slowly realizing their feelings. Again, such great characters. I was in love.

The plot had some twists that I really enjoyed, others that had me wanting to curl up and cry because of the emotion from the characters. As well as being told from both Amy and Matthew’s POVs, there was also e-mail exchanges and text messages as a means of communication between the two and their banter was so fun. Since Matthew is half of the main pairing, he overshadows the other aides a bit but it was still nice to see the different ways Amy would interact with her other aides. I especially liked Sarah.

Overall, some parts did feel a little dragged out but the writing and characters more than made up for it.
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