Young-Adult, Contemporary, Romance
eARC provided by publisher via Netgalley
My rating 5 Stars
This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.
*Actual rating 4.5 stars* There may be some spoilers, so be warned. I couldn’t review this without, at least, mentioning some things that happened.
My Thoughts I wasn’t planning to read this until around mid August. As I was going through my Kindle to start another book that I’ve been itching to read, this one popped up at the top. It should have been down further, along with the ones that I got the same day as this one. Surely, it was a sign that I needed to read it. I am so glad that I read this book!! It brought me out of the slight slump that was beginning to form with my reading since last week. For the life of me, I couldn’t really connect with any of the books that I’ve been reading. This one gave me life.
Synopsis My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
So, you’ve read the synopsis. I won’t give up the goods but I figured out the twist by the time I got around to about 55%. I devoured this book within hours. It not only had this sick girl, but it involves a boy. A boy that I fell in love with right along with said sick girl. They were just the sweetest damn couple ever. Sorry for the language! 🙂
I really love Maddy as a character. Her illness has taken over her life, or what little life she has stuck inside her home. She only has her mother, her nurse, and a few tutors here and there. And even the tutors have made little contact with her over the years. But when the new family moves in next door, Maddy’s life goes from nonexistent to somewhat normal. So, the emails and IMing begin. Then, she wants him to come over officially. Of course, they aren’t allowed to touch, just stare and talk to each other from across the room. Soon, Madeleine’s routine changes. She’s spending less time with her mother, and more time IMing Oliver. Her mom gets suspicious, and soon the truth comes out. Carla, her nurse, is fired for letting Oli and Maddy even breathe the same air, much less communicate. But, it’s too late and Maddy is soon in love.
I can’t explain how much I love Oli. He is all adorable and sweet and just full of Oli-ness. His home situation broke my heart. I hated his dad for taking out his frustration on his family. Drinking is one thing, but the verbal and physical abuse was just too much. Maddy entering his life was as much a Godsend for him as it was for her. There’s really no character growth with Kara, Oli’s sister, she’s just there in the background blowing smoke. Literally. So his and Maddy’s romance was sweet and real and just plain swoon inducing.
The only problem I had with this book is the ending. I wanted more, simply because I feel there needed to be some sort of epilogue that involves Maddy and her mother. I just need something. Other than that little hiccup, this is just an amazing story. The realness of the situations and the romance just made for a great read. The insta-love can’t really be frowned upon – simply because of the characters. If you have been trapped inside your home all of your life, of course you will fall head over heals for the thing (or in this case, the person) that changes your life. This book has diverse characters with real problems and a sweet romance that will have you swooning to death. Highly recommended!!