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Get ready for Valentine's Day with Amy & Matthew

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air here at MKB. We're swooning over Cammie McGovern's beautiful love story Amy & Matthew, and you're in for a TREAT - we've got an exclusive extract to share with you, ahead of it's publication on March 23rd.

Amy is unflinchingly truthful about her limitations. Born with cerebral palsy, she can’t walk or talk without help. But trapped inside an uncooperative body lies a brilliant mind and a luminous spirit – a girl capable of truly loving and worthy of being loved in return.

Matthew has his own set of challenges – a mind consumed by unwanted repeated thoughts, obsessive rituals and a crippling fear that he can't explain. But underneath all of the anxiety lies a seed of hope for someone to come along who believes in him…

Unashamedly real and uncompromisingly honest, this is the story of Amy and Matthew. Perfect for fans of John Green, David Levithan and R. J. Palacio, Amy & Matthew is THE love story to get lost in this Valentine’s Day.

 

Chapter One

Amy’s emails started in late July and kept coming all summer. Each one made Matthew a little more nervous:
 
To: mstheword@gmail.com
From: aimhigh@comcast.net
Subject: I’m happy!
 
I just slipped into my mother’s office to look at the names 
of my new peer helpers, and I’m so happy! Your name 
is on the list! I thought maybe I’d scared you by coming 
right out and asking you to apply. I realize it’s an unusual 
set-up, but try not to think of it as my parents offering 
to pay people to be my friend. I know there’s something 
unsettling and prideless in that. I prefer to think of it this 
way: my parents are paying people to pretend to be my 
friend. This will be much closer to the truth, I suspect, 
and I have no problem with this. I’m guessing that a lot 
of people in high school are only pretending to be friends, 
right? It’ll be a start, I figure.
 
The note made him anxious, but still he wrote back to her:
 
To: aimhigh@comcast.net
From: mstheword@gmail.com
Re: I’m happy!
 
I don’t mind, Amy. It’s a good job, plus your mother 
says we might get community service credit. Best, 
Matthew
 
To: mstheword@gmail.com
From: aimhigh@comcast.net
Re: I’m happy!
 
Community service credit? For a paid job? I’m trying not 
to take this personally, Matthew, but does the job sound 
so onerous you should get both money and volunteer 
credit for doing it?
 
To: aimhigh@comcast.net
From: mstheword@gmail.com
Re: I’m happy!
 
Sorry, you’re right. No, I didn’t mean that. The truth is 
I’m very glad to do this job. I don’t have a lot of friends 
at school, so I’m happy I’ll get to know you and the other 
people working with you. Matthew
PS Maybe I shouldn’t have said that thing about 
community service but, come to think of it, maybe your 
mother shouldn’t have suggested it, either. I think we all 
got a little confused.
 
Already Matthew had a feeling this wasn’t going to work out. The more he thought about it, the more certain he was it wouldn’t. He’d known Amy since second grade, but he didn’t know her. They weren’t friends. He remembered her, sure, but he remembered a lot of people from elementary school that he wasn’t friends with now. 
 
To: mstheword@gmail.com
From: aimhigh@comcast.net
Re: I’m happy!
 
Why don’t you have many friends? You seem pretty normal, 
right? I remember you having friends in elementary school.
 
To: aimhigh@comcast.net
From: mstheword@gmail.com
Re: I’m happy!
 
I have some friends, I guess. I was never all that good 
when it started to be about sleepovers. Those things 
made me nervous. 
 
He wasn’t sure why he’d written that. Being too honest was always a mistake – especially with someone like Amy, he was afraid. He had no idea what he’d say if she asked him why he had trouble with sleepovers.
 
To: mstheword@gmail.com
From: aimhigh@comcast.net
Re: I’m happy!
 
Why do you have trouble with sleepovers?
 
He didn’t answer her question. He couldn’t because here was the real question: why did she keep writing to him? He wasn’t sure what she was doing this summer, but he assumed she was taking some college-level summer classes. He heard a rumour once that Amy took courses through UCLA Extension every summer, and had enough credits to start college a year from now as a second-semester sophomore. It probably wasn’t true, but that’s what he’d heard. There were a few stories like that about her. 
 
After a week, he felt guilty for not responding and wrote this:
 
To: aimhigh@comcast.net
From: mstheword@gmail.com
Re: I’m happy!
 
Sorry I couldn’t write back for a while. I got really busy. 
Can you believe school is about to start? I’m looking 
forward to the training sessions for this job. That should 
be interesting. Do you attend too? Your mother didn’t say 
in her letter.
 
He sounded like a dork. Oh well. At least he’d written her back.
 
To: mstheword@gmail.com
From: aimhigh@comcast.net
Re: I’m happy!
 
No, I won’t go to the training sessions.Why do sleepovers
make you nervous?
 
To: mstheword@gmail.com
From: aimhigh@comcast.net
Re: I’m happy!
 
How did it go? My mother said you were there but you 
were pretty quiet the whole time and then you left early, 
which makes me nervous that maybe you’ve changed 
your mind. Please don’t change your mind, Matthew.
 
To: mstheword@gmail.com
From: aimhigh@comcast.net
Re: I’m happy!
 
Matthew? Are you there? Please write back. My mom said 
you came to the training session today but she can’t tell 
whether you’re really interested in this job. She has her 8
doubts. I told her to give you a chance. Everyone else is 
doing this to round out their college application. With you, 
it’s different, I think. Maybe I’m wrong about that. But 
please don’t quit.

 

Read the complete extract of Amy and Matthew  by Cammie McGovern here.