This was an unusual read for me. Romance just is not my genre but this was different, it was actually good!
A split third person narrative, switching between Amy and Matthew’s Point of view, this story focuses on two things. The disability of the two protagonists, Amy and Matthew, and their love life.
Amy has right hemiplegia and Matthew has OCD. I do not have any experience with OCD to comment on whether I think she was writing Matt into a stereotype, but I can say that Amy’s character didn’t fall into a stereotype. She had her own personality and was completely believable in what she did and said.
What Cammie does, that not many writers seem to be able to do well, is to show the characters as people with lives and personalities that are not affected by their disabilities. While many writers like to show disabled characters as the goody-two-shoes, the victim or the villain, Cammie shows them as normal people. Yes, the characters make mistakes, but it is clear that the mistakes have nothing to do with their disabilities, but a way for the characters to learn the same way able-bodied people do. The mistakes are also ones that everyone can make and many have made in the past.
The book also beautifully tackles how people see the characters, some seeing just their disability, others seeing their personality. I would imagine I am not the only disabled individual who walks around university and wonder “Do they see me for who I am and what I do, or do they see me for my disability,”
I also love the author’s use of dialogue. Dialogue is one of my favourite techniques when writing and I believe the hardest to get right. McGovern not only manages to display Amy’s disability in a realistic and respectful way, but the dialogue was just as believable and beautifully written. There were phrases and bits of dialogue I could see my friends saying, similar conversations I have had, behaviours I have seen in my friends and myself. It’s just amazingly written and doesn’t make out that the disabled characters are a victim or villain of society. They are just everyday people who make the same mistakes as an able-bodied person.
As I said, I am not usually a romance reader, so this book has managed to hook and engage me despite one of its genres not being my cup of tea and .did a lot better than I expected.
SPOILER ALERT (& RELIEF).
I have to admit I got scared while reading this. Amy becomes pregnant and suffers from a condition called eclampsia. This terrified me so much that I had to research whether having Cerebral Palsy puts you at a higher risk. It doesn’t. So if any of my readers are reading this review and have cerebral palsy or any other disability, just know that you are not at a higher risk than anyone else and the condition itself is rare.