Goodreads Rating: 3.84/5
Published: June 2014
Guys, this book is freaking adorable. Your stomach will hurt from laughter and from sympathy, depending on the chapter.
Amy has Cerebral Palsy and has spent her 17 years having no one but adults as friends. She makes it her mission for senior year to make some friends, real friends, and asks her parents to hire "peer helpers" or other seniors to help her during the school day, in place of teacher aides. Her overbearing, strong-willed mother and her doormat father reluctantly agree, and set very high standards for whom they will accept to be Amy's "peer helpers".
Matthew is quiet, keeps to himself, and spends an excessive amount of time washing his hands. He's completely confused when Amy, a girl he knew vaguely in elementary school, messages him online asking that he apply to be one of her peer helpers. Even more surprising, when Matthew hesitates, Amy persists, saying she had hoped he especially would apply.
Reluctantly (both on Matthew's part as well as Amy' s mother), Amy gets her wish and Matthew gets hired to be one of her four peer tutors. Sarah, the quiet, studious girl who's Mom died in middle school; Chloe, the underachiever with the incarcerated boyfriend; Sanjay, the attractive, trying-to-be-popular jock; Matthew, the quiet boy with OCD.
Over the course of senior year, Amy and Matthew develop something special, and by the following Summer, they are going behind Amy's mother's back to spend forbidden time together. Their friendship ends on a sour note when Amy leaves for university, leaving Matthew behind to his job at the movie theatre. It seems as though what they had is lost, until months later Matthew receives a message from Amy, asking for his help with what will be their biggest challenge to date.
This book made me laugh, mostly from the sheer and very realistic awkwardness of Amy and Matthew. I love that the book was not afraid to be realistic about the ins and outs of both medical conditions it dealt with, like the fact that Amy could not eat without drooling all over herself, and that Matthew sometimes had to leave dinner dates sitting by themselves to spend forty minutes scrubbing his nail beds in the bathroom.
The characters were very lovable, and I quickly grew attached. At the end of the novel, a plot twist that became pretty predictable after reading the chapters about prom night, broke my heart. Amy and Matthew went through a really tough time dealing with this problem that arises, and though the ending wasn't necessarily a "Happily Ever After", I felt it was exactly how it should've been.
I most definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone. Such a great contemporary.
If anyone else has read this I'd absolutely love to hear what you think of it!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone :)