'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 21 March 2014

REVIEW: Amy & Matthew - Cammie McGovern

Amy & Matthew - Cammie McGovern
Amy & Matthew
Amy loves Matthew and he loves her back. This is their story.
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.
*Received in exchange for an honest review*
*Thank you, Pan Macmillan*

Oh my god this book. Ahhh this book was beautiful. This is the first Cammie McGovern book that I've read and I will definitely be reading more. I also never used to read contemporary YA, but these last few months have seen me reading some absolutely amazing books. Amy & Matthew has made me think so much about how I treat people, and how society treats people generally. It's a very deep and moving story about the developing relationship between two lonely and, for a variety of reasons, outcast characters. It's such an emotional book and I really can't get these characters out of my head despite finishing this book a few hours ago. It's beautiful. 

Cammie McGovern's treatment of cerebral palsy is sensitively done and was definitely an eye opener for me. I feel like I was completely ignorant of it until reading this book, and I'll definitely be looking into it further. I loved that we got to read from both Amy and Matthew's perspectives. I loved getting to know Amy and completely sympathised with her feelings. There were moments where I thought she was being so completely selfish to Matthew, but everything is always put into perspective. You get to see the broader picture of the events which unfold. I really couldn't stop reading about their story. It's so captivating and emotional, I found myself  gripping the book as I read further.

Matthew was a character I could 100% empathise with. Where as he has his OCD, I have panic attack and anxiety. Or should say, did have panic attacks. His situation with Amy was amazingly similar to what my partner did for me during the worst times. McGovern's exploration of the treatments was so brilliantly done, I felt like I was reading a similar story to something that I had actually experienced. Amy & Matthew shows the power of words and the power that your mind has over all rationality. Both mental and physical disabilities were handled with such care but also explored in so much detail, and this is one of the things that I loved most.

All of the characters in the book are similar to people we would have known, or do know, from school. This just furthers the novel in my estimations. I have no complaints about this book. It has a few shocking moments but is mostly and exploration of what it is to be different in a society that frowns down upon it. A very moving, emotional and poignant story. I'm really looking forward to reading more work by Cammie McGovern - this was a fantastic book! 

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