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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Amy & Matthew

[This review CAN contrain spoilers!]

For all the booklovers of Eleanor&Park, I introduce you: Amy&Matthew from the author Cammie M’Govern. It’s also a love story and if I’m being honest, it has the same hair-pulling-out-of-frustration reactions as in Eleanor&Park (by Rainbow Rowell). When I first saw the book in the same store as I bought Bones&All, it was love at first sight. The cover of the book is amazing and has a special feeling! Which I’m totally fan of! I just love the two hands forming a heart, as well as the girly as boyish aspect.

It’s about being different. It’s about feeling alone. It’s about finding each other. It’s about falling in love.

And who does not fall in love when you read the backside of the book, right? And wait until you read the actual story because it makes you fall harder and the only thing I got in my mind was: Will the author break my heart at the end of this story? Because then there’ll be no love left!

We start the story with going back in time, seeing how they first met and under what circumstances. What’s wrong with both of them and what makes them different from each other. Matthew for example, was fine until his parents divorced and then he felt the urge to count even objects and tap locker doors. He was afraid of money, bodies, germs, hurting people unintentionally and without realizing he does. He has so many fears and his anxiety just consumes him. I loved this character, just seeing a boy that's having a hard time. In most books it's always the girl with these problems and now the author reflects that on the boy.

Amy on her turn is totally different from Matthew, she is a disabled person. She can’t talk, that’s why she has this little machine where she types what she wants to say, and the machine speaks it out loud. She couldn't walk but learned over the years. She can’t undress and dress herself, she can’t eat like normal people and her left side isn’t her good side. Her left hand is cramped into a fist and she can’t undo it. Her body sometimes does things that she didn’t want it to do, which makes it harder for her to trust her body. From the beginning until 11th grade, she has this adults that were with her on school all the time, walking her to classes, helping her eat. She was the perfect student despite of her handicap. Wrote beautiful essays about how happy she was despite of her condition. But Matthew couldn’t believe it when he read it and in class, he spoke up in all honesty about what he thought. Something new for him since he barely spoke in class. Amy heard through other people what he has said and confronted him. He told her in her face what he thought. Which I liked because we saw a total other side of Matthew.

Because of that moment, Amy became interested in him and she now saw things differently. The teachers and adults that walked with her, her books have been the only friends she has had over the years. So she wants real friends, like Matthew. Secretly, she just wants to spend time with him so after she convinced her mother, students would be her helpers and get paid for it. She mailed Matthew himself to be her helper and he said yes to the proposal.

Throughout the book, we see Matthew struggle with his own sickness and anxiety to do something wrong. The more he spends time with Amy, the more it changes. He tells her his fears, something he’d never done before. And she was glad to listen to him, she even confronted him with his disease telling him he should get help. She starts giving him assignments such as going on a date in Taco Bell. The most disgusting place Matthew ever has been but the real challenge was: not going to the bathroom to wash his hands and eat his food out of the wrappers. They grow closer and both, especially Amy, started feeling things for each other. But as Amy’s mother planned her whole life, pressing her on collage, Amy will have to leave next fall. Above it all, Amy’s mother doesn’t like Matthew at all while Amy loves him.

Both friends struggle with themselves and with each other through the book and the only question that remains is if they’ll ever come clean to each other about how they feel. A true love story about finding each other and knowing nobody’s perfect.

Why I loved this book so much is simple: it contains everything that true life contains. Love, rows, differences, diseases: mental as well as physical, friendships that are hard to keep, friendships that are hard to start, family drama. It wasn’t some fairy tale it was something we all could imagine. The biggest part of the book we concentrate on people who are disabled and sick. And how they discover the consequences of it by themselves but also in this society. I love how Amy and Matthew grew closer but the author loved playing with my emotions and ripped them out of each other with every row they had which was so hard! Even after the terrible things that happen and Matthew starting over. Luckily Amy reaches out and things get ‘okay’ again.

What I might loved/hated about the book is the ending. I feel like it’s an open ending which makes me as well love as hate it. I know we can imagine now, let our fantasy throw a surprise but I don’t like open endings very much. Just because I don’t trust my mind with finding a good Happily Ever After. But forget the aspect of the open ending, this book was good if not excellent. It read easily which I like and has a nice style too. I loved the cover as already mentioned but also the inside of the book. I haven’t seen the style of emails or IM’s in books a lot which makes it all so much more real since nowadays we all just use email, Facebook and stuff. We don’t talk face-to-face all the time. This book shows real-life aspects and I really appreciated it in the book.

“This is the story of Amy and Matthew”

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