REVIEW: Amy & Matthew by Cammie McGovern
You know a novel is truly flawless when you feel as if it’s natural; the words flow into one and you are witnessing the events through the characters’ eyes without fault. That’s how I felt when reading Amy & Matthew.
One of the easiest ways to describe Amy & Matthew is to quote from the text itself: ‘there were many ways to be a freak. Amy had no choice, but other people did. If you worked hard and concentrated, you could hide your freakish thoughts.’ Amy has cerebral palsy, which limits her communication and movement. It’s her senior year and she decides she’s going to replace the aides who usually help her with students. Step in five peer helpers. Matthew has noticed Amy since they were young and so offers to help. The thing is, Matthew has his own problems to battle. For fans of Eleanor & Park and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Amy & Matthew will blow you away.
I think I fell in love with this novel from the first page. It was understanding and meaningful and it had me completely hooked. I can tell this book will touch a lot of people once released, just as it touched me. I was wary before I started reading it, I must admit. Books dealing with such subjects are becoming ever popular (and for good reason) but there is a certain atmosphere surrounding them that isn’t needed. As it’s only a recently emerging trend, it can always be worrying beforehand; you never really know what to expect. I didn’t need to be worried though, because I loved Amy & Matthew.
The thing I loved most about this book was it wasn’t your typical romance book. From the title you would expect it, but it’s really not. To call it a romance novel would be a dishonour because it’s so much more than that. It’s the blooming friendship between two people as they discover themselves at the same time and explore the changes of the world around them; it’s the differences between the two and how they bridge the gap. In two words: truly stunning.
I don’t want to talk too much about both Amy and Matthew because I think the brilliant thing about this book is discovering their personalities and hidden depths for yourself. I thought I knew who they both were but then things would happen and I had to reassess. It was such a refreshing way to read because you don’t often get that.
Simply, you should go out and buy Amy & Matthew straight away. It challenges preconceived notions and will blow you away.