Friday, 21 February 2014

Early Bird Review for Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern

Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern 
Publisher: Macmillan
Release: 27th March 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary: 
"Amy is unflinchingly honest about her limitations. Born with cerebral palsy, she can’t walk or talk without help. But trapped inside this uncooperative body lies a brilliant mind and a luminous spirit – a girl capable of truly loving and worthy of being loved in return.

Matthew has his own set of challenges – a mind consumed by unwanted repeated thoughts, obsessive rituals and a crippling fear that he can't explain. But underneath all of the anxiety lies a deep seed of hope for someone to come along who believes in him…

This is the story of Amy and Matthew. It may not be a fairy tale romance or set in an imagined world far from our own. But the love they share is real. And yes, there's magic in it."

My favourite kind of Contemporary YA books are the kind with real and imperfect characters, so this love story about a girl who has Cerebral Palsy and a guy with OCD sounded right up my street. I myself have suffered with OCD since my late teens so from a personal level I was looking forward to seeing how Cammie McGovern handled the illness in her story. Turns out this author really knows her stuff!

Amy and Matthew are two troubled teens who find each other just when they need someone the most and I loved following their evolving relationship. At its heart this book is about friendship which I found really refreshing to read. I loved how Amy and Matthew bettered one another and brought each other out of their shell. The mutual respect, trust and understanding of each other and their illnesses was really beautiful to read.

Matthew for me was a really relatable character. Cammie McGovern perfectly captures the anxiety and panic behind compulsive thinking and clearly has a solid understanding of what someone with OCD goes through on a daily basis. I found myself nodding along with Matthew and sympathising with his fear of everyday tasks that take a lot of mental strength to overcome.

I absolutely loved getting to know Amy - she’s incredibly bright and positive and has so much to offer if only people had the patience to see past her disability. Amy’s personality practically leaps off the page to the point where I’d often forget she had CP and how others perceived her because to me she was just Amy. Despite loving her positive attitude it was actually Amy’s more fragile and honest moments in the book that made me really admire her strength of character.

If you enjoyed Eleanor and Park, The Fault in Our Stars and The Perks of Being a Wallflower then I couldn’t recommend this book to you more. It certainly deserves the same recognition which is not something I say lightly with the books mentioned above being a few of my favourites. Amy and Matthew are certain to open reader’s eyes to the world of both physical and mental illness and work their way into reader’s hearts with their beautifully broken love story.

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