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.
I don’t even know where to start with this book…I did enjoy it, but there were a few things I didn’t really care for. They weren’t huge issues, but they were big enough to make me dock star points.
To start, I didn’t have a problem with the way the characters were portrayed. That being said, I wouldn’t really know if Amy was realistic because I do not have Cerebral Palsy myself, nor do I know anyone who has it and I don’t really know that much about it. But Matthew, on the other hand, I feel like he was spot on. Of course, all people with OCD don’t display the same symptoms or have the same rituals, but I did see a lot of myself in him. Not everything was the same, but I definitely had an understanding of him.
My biggest issue with this book is the fact that we have two characters who are trying to “fix” each other. If you didn’t know this already, that’s one of my biggest YA pet peeves. In general, you cannot “fix” another person. Period. In this case we are talking about a person with OCD and a person with Cerebral Palsy. You cannot, like magic, just “fix” someone with OCD. You can be there as a source of support and understanding, but they can only help themselves with therapy, medication and a lot of hard work that you cannot do for them. You certainly cannot fix someone who has CP, not that they need to be fixed. Again, you can be there as a source of support and understanding. You can reassure them that they do not need to be different to be better, that they are perfect the way they are.
From my point of view, I feel like Amy tried to “fix” Matthew more than the other way around. For him, it was more of his OCD causing him to compulse so that Amy did not get worse. You can’t really hold that against him because it was his illness talking, and even though it wasn’t talked about, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t the only person/thing he was scared of screwing up. Amy, though, was a mess. She is the perfect example of how NOT to handle someone with OCD. She kept sending Matthew on these little “tests” to try and make him better. Leave that to the professionals honey. (Speaking of professionals. I really wish that the author showed more of what was going on during his Therapy sessions. All we got to hear was him telling her stuff and then saying “I got pills” the end.) I know you want to help, even though most of the time it seemed like she was doing it for selfish reasons, but you gotta stop. She was also hella insecure. I am not saying that I blame her, I am sure that what she goes through on a daily basis is not easy and that would cause anyone to feel that way. But girl, if your insecurity takes you to ridiculous lengths, you do not need to be in a relationship. Some of the things she did made her see, straight up desperate. I’m pretty sure Amy even admitted that part of the reason she made him do certain things, was to see if he liked someone or to see how he would react around certain girls just so she could know where their relationship stood. Like, girl…Really? It made me question my feelings about Amy. She needed a therapist of her own because she had a lot of mess she needed to work out.
I feel like there was too much going on in this book in such a short amount of time It just was not realistic. Literally, three years of drama happened in ONE. At first I was thinking that the book was moving a little fast. Everything seemed to be happening in the first few chapters and then something completely outrageous and unnecessary happened, which I will leave for you guys to find out on your own. All it did was add to the stress and prolonged them not being together, which I just did not understand. We spend 99% of the book sure that they are going to end up together, and then we are hit with that monstrous atomic bomb, and are left hanging…What the hell? I can’t believe it. In the end I was disappointed, they built us up, only to let us down big time.
All in all, I give this book 3 ½ Stars. I think it was too entertaining for 3 Stars, but not enough to give it 4.