Hey bookworms! It’s Friday! Wooo! I hope your weekend is filled with books! Before I get started on this post I am going to be honest and say I’ve been dreading this post. I knew the day I saw this which book was going to be for day 11. That being said facing this book will not be easy to face. I will only be focusing on one main character for this post and will explain why below. This post will also be a review and will contain spoilers, but I do feel the need to explain why it upset me so much. With all that being said. Let’s get started!
Day 11: A Book I Hate
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: June 3rd 2014
Rating: 1.5 Stars out of 5
Okay confession time! I was pulled into reading and buying this book by the hype. After this book I learned my lesson to wait till the hype dies. I had been watching reviews and people were saying Amy had a different disabilities throughout reviews. Finally I heard some one mention that she had Cerebral Palsy which is my disability. So when I found out I immediately went to her page to see why she wrote the book. She wrote it because her friend has a young daughter with CP and that was her reasoning, but what shoved me into really reading this is a Tweet on her stream that this book gave them the insight into someone with CP. I was seeing red after that and had to do it to in order to see if she really did or if i would need to write a review to help kill the ignorance stated above. It is not the readers fault for not knowing, just like prior classmates I’ve had in college. People just need a proper explanation when it comes to medical differences.
What I Felt Was Wrong
Before I start this section let me just say I am speaking for myself as a person with CP and not for every one who has my disability. Now that is said I think this will be easiest for me to type in a list so I try to explain better and hopefully not sound too ranty.
1. There is No Disclaimer: In the beginning of the book I feel it should say this character is only representing one type of Cerebral Palsy because there are MANY types, severities, and degrees of CP
2. No Definition: There is no definition of what CP is not even the basic: Damage to the brain before, during, or after birth. Amy does explain the hemiplegia means that it only effects half of her body, but she does not even bother further explaining what it effects and how. The reporter also assumed Hemiplegia meant Amy was dying therefore confusing her Disability with an Illness. Illnesses can be cured and disabilities cannot. There is no getting rid of it there is ways to improve ones strength, balance, flexibility, etc. There will always be a residual effect no matter how strong one gets. It is our brains that cannot be fixed.
3. No Social Outlet: I cannot believe that Amy wouldn’t have ANY social outlet besides school, there is an online world, and even therapy and groups
4. The Buddy Program: I know Amy starts this to be social, but I have a hard time believing that other kids haven’t offered to help her before if not to be nice, but for selfish reasons as well. I mean they would probably get out of class a bit early.
5. Bullying: Amy is a smart character very smart in fact, so I cannot believe she did not realize she was bullied and used when she was
6. Self-Awareness: As Teenagers we are very aware of our bodies and it bothered me that she only seemed to notice her body in private and not public
7. Unrealistic Teenage Behavior: Amy lets her mom take over most of the time. I know what it is like to have a protective mom, but even I had my moody angry moments with her. Teenagers especially females if honest can be prone to having fits (or at least I did) especially if not listened to. I know Amy can’t really be too vocal but hit keys until you get her attention. Also letting her mom take over her education: Amy is painted as strong and an “inspiration” through most of this book, but for me going to school when you have a disability is normal. It is a part of life to choose to continue school, or go to work.
8. Sex: Amy’s maturity level and thought process about sex really bothered me. For me personally I always knew I wanted it to be with my first love. I mean sure I had moments of I want to get it over with and I was curious, but the way Amy just did it and didn’t think about factors of protection especially with her disability pissed me off
9. Self-Definition: I feel that Amy let her CP define her through most of the book until the end. She never really stopped to say it was a PART of her and not ALL of her. As with any difficulty you face in life it is a part of you it doesn’t take away from you as a person
What Went Well
Not much went well and it brought up a bunch of issues for me and was very triggering. I literally had points where I had to put the book down because it brought me back to a time in my life I didn’t like and would make me sob.
1. Self-Awareness: The moments in the mirror. Every girl has those moments but it shows you what she thinks is different
2. Her outlets: Her books although she can’t be too physical it reminds you that books can help you do anything
3. Description of Symptoms: There were some Symptoms that Amy faced with her CP that were described well
4. Overprotective Mother: That I think most kids can relate too, but is a key part in the story.
IF you are looking for a book that deals with CP, disabilities, or mental health issues, I don’t think this is a good one to pick up. Please don’t think I mean to lessen your opinion of this book, but I did want to point out some of it that I felt where it was wrong to teach these things especially to readers who do not know about Cerebral Palsy. It can create assumptions that later become hurtful not only to the reader, but maybe someone else they end up meeting. No I did not write this to be an inspiration, so please do not think that. I just needed to face this book. I hope I reach someone to correct the mistake. I want not to change the view on my disability, but just kill some ignorance that is not people’s fault after all knowledge is power. I also want to say I am not upset with the author and mean nothing bad towards her. This is my first negative review I just want readers to know there is another side to CP.
Well that is all for today Bookworms this post took a lot out of me. Happy reading and I hope you have an awesome weekend!