Thursday 20 October 2016

Review ~ Win Some, Lose Some by Shay Savage

Book Description:

For Matthew Rohan, every day is a struggle. Each task others complete without thinking is a challenge for him. Recently orphaned, he has to finish the last few months of high school and take care of his disabled sister on his own.

When Mayra comes into his life, his comfortable routines implode. Matthew can’t handle change, but Mayra is unrelenting in her quest to understand him, to show him acceptance and maybe even love. When she breaks through his shell, Matthew’s world will never be the same again.

An awkward boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, a persistent girl who pulls him out of his isolated existence, and a lottery ticket that will change their lives forever.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Best win ever.”

Sometimes it only takes a few pages, a few sentences even to know that you are going to love a book. As soon as I started reading Win Some, Lose Some I had that feeling and the more I read the more I loved and the more I loved the more I had to tell people. I cannot put into words how much I loved this book, everything about it was perfect, the story, the characters, the flow and the dialogue were on point. The character’s naiveté, their first kiss, their first of everything was endearing, emotionally captivating and gave me the biggest case of the warm and fuzzies EVER!! This is my first book by Shay Savage and if this is indicative of the stories that she writes then I have a whole lot of catching up to do.

“As long as I could find a way to show her how much she meant to me, I didn’t have to worry about finding the right words. Win. So much win!”

Matthew Rohan always knew he was “special” his parents had drummed it into him from an early age but supported him throughout his childhood. He knew he was different, he had his routines, his rules, his obsessions but for him…it was his normal. Matthew had Asperger’s and a host of other disorders that appear on the Autism Spectrum. Having just lost both his parents he is struggling to cope with his new normal. His sister, who also has Asperger’s, albeit a lot more severe than Matthew is now in an Autism Centre but it is up to him to support them both. He is very strong minded, extremely focused and set on graduating, going to college and ultimately getting a successful job so that he can take care of his sister and himself.

“…you win some days; you lose others. That’s just how it works.”

Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, I adored him, being a mum I just wanted to jump into my kindle and give him the hugest hug, stroke his hair and give him the biggest slab of chocolate cake. Shay Savage delivered a stellar male POV that perfectly captured the real troubles and worries that sufferers of Asperger’s go through. From thought processes to actions, to repetition, to melt downs…she covered it all, realistically, empathetically and sympathetically. This book actually gave me a greater insight and from the beginning, throughout and to the end, Shay Savage perfectly captured the changes and the stress of those changes that a girlfriend had to Matthew’s life, all for the better. This book also goes to great lengths to highlight the effect of Asperger’s on the family and the partners, often these are overlooked and to get all angles was perfection.

Mayra is one of the best heroines I have read about in a long time. This girl was the captain of the girls’ soccer team, was popular and intelligent, but most of all she had a heart of gold. Mayra is in the same Ecology class as Matthew and as his day is disrupted by someone sitting in his seat and then not being allocated the same project partner, she becomes his voice of reason. Now working together on a project their lives are about to be turned upside down, Matthew with disruption to routine and Mayra just the chemistry that sizzles between the two of them. They may be working on a honey bees project, but the “birds and the bees” is definitely more fitting.

“Perfect looks like you and me together.”

To watch these two first and foremost develop friendship and trust hit me right in the heart. That constant fear of Mayra’s motives lurking in the background until it becomes clear that she is as genuine as they come. Mayra’s patience and understanding and her adaptability to Matthew was heart-warming and she knew just when to push and just when to pull back. Matthew’s metamorphosis from no emotion to friendship, to love, to protection, this guy loved fierce, an emotion he never thought himself capable of, he had just never met “the one.” It was breath-taking, all of it was stunning, I cannot adequately describe what I felt while reading this, just that it was emotional and sensory overload, I felt it all, lived it all and breathed it all.

“She makes me feel normal. She makes me feel like maybe I can have what other people have.”

This book was so endearing and utterly captivating, so much so that Shay Savage had me hanging on every word. The flow was perfect, the story spell binding, my heart was fit to burst for these two. The secondary characters all added to the story and in particular, Matthew’s Aunt and Uncle and Mayra’s Dad were stunning characters from the get go. Everybody had their place, their actions and reactions tantamount to the story and everything just gave this story “more.” More perspective, more understanding…just more. With an angry guy and a winning lottery ticket thrown into the mix the undercurrent of that story became crystal clear towards the end, more perfection. I adored this story, everyone must read this story, yes, it is YA, but it has its steam and their first kiss was THE BEST first kiss and their first time WAS PERFECT, real, relatable and EMOTIONAL. Buy this book, read this book!! You won’t regret it.

“…I reached over and poked the fish.”

Each day was a win or a lose for Matthew and those comments at the end of each day had my heart melting. This was one of those books that I didn’t want to end, I wanted to keep going, I want to know how they do at college, I want to know what happens after and even then I could read about these two on a back porch in a rocking chair reminiscing. These characters have embedded themselves into my heart and soul, I just want MORE!!!!! Shay Savage, you have blown me away with this book. No criticisms, just 100% perfection.

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