I Love YA

Why do some people think it’s okay to judge others?  Why do people feel the need to tell others what they should or should not read? If you’re confused right now, that’s good because I too, am confused. Slate.com posted an article yesterday on how adults should be ashamed if they’re reading Young Adult books. I have not read the article, but mostly because I like my blood pressure the way it is thank you. I know enough about the article to get me fuming.

Newsflash morons, I’m 28 years old and I LOVE YA.

Many of the YA books I’ve read in the past year have been beautifully written with characters that are wonderfully real. A year ago, I didn’t know what YA was or anything else about it. But I never would have told anyone “they shouldn’t read it”

If people want to read historical fiction, good. If people want to read erotica, good for them. Just read something. And DON’T judge others for what they want to read.

After Slate posted that article, all of my book buddies decided to promote YA instead. We wanted to be positive & uplifting instead of negative and judgmental. So, for the next several hours we talked YA up. We talked about our favorite YA books and why they were our favorites. I wanted to share my list of books that I talked up.

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Pointe by Brandy Colbert

All of these books are YA Contemporaries, and all of them are beautiful. They deal with tough things. They deal with friendship and love and heartbreak. Each of these books has touched me in some way. These are the books that reminded me most that life isn’t perfect. Life isn’t always rainbows and kittens. Life is messy. Life is complicated.

So I want everyone to tell me one book you loved. Let’s spread the positivity.

Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Book Title: Say Whay You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I received this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

I will admit that I was insanely excited about this book. I mean cerebral palsy is so completely rare in books and yet many people have to deal with it in real life.Cerebral Palsy comes in different levels of severity but it is still massively under represented in books.OCD is more common in books, but this is the first book that I know of that combines both of these things. 

I really don’t want to get preachy but people with disabilities want the same thing as non-disabled people want. They want to be accepted for who they are as a person.That’s the journey that Amy finds herself on in this book.She starts off under her parents roof, coddled and protected to the hilt. Especially by her mother. Nicole feels it necessary to coddle the heck out of Amy even going as far as to interview “friends” for Amy.

I have had my own share of health problems. Not as severe as Amy’s but I use a wheelchair for long distances and being disabled in a “visual way” does make you feel so lonely. People seem to shy away from you and friendships are hard to form & keep.I cannot imagine being nonverbal & unable to use your voice to communicate your thoughts. I was a part of a disabled kids & teens group about 15 years ago and I knew someone who was a lot like Amy.

Matthew’s journey was in some ways, more special than Amy’s. Amy was battling not only her mother, but also her own body and her dream of independence. Matthew was battling himself. OCD can also be very hard to deal with. I have OCD, but in a much milder form than Matthew dealt with. 

I love the little tasks that Amy set for him. She wanted him to get better and to overcome the OCD since she would never be able to do the same with her disability. Matthew found himself wanting to do it because of Amy and how they had developed a friendship. A friendship that is threatened by Amy’s own mother who is clearly afraid that if Amy becomes more independent, she will no longer be needed.

About halfway through this book, I was genuinely conflicted on how I felt about it. But by the end of it, I realized how beautiful it was and how each of the characters, main and secondary had gone through their own journeys. I would absolutely recommend this book. It gets four stars mostly because it took awhile for me to really get into it but once I did, I couldn’t put it down.