Summary (from Goodreads):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.
Review: As I was reading this, I thought it was going to be one of my favorite books of the year. While definitely a young adult novel, as evidenced by the typical self-centered teenaged behavior, the characters were surprisingly sympathetic and entertaining. Both Madeline and Olly had interesting personality quirks and even their digital communications were fun to read. I found myself having a hard time putting the book down, and thinking about the characters while going about the rest of my day. The major flaw in the first 99% of the book was that the romance between Madeline and Olly blossomed too quickly; she saw him, she immediately knew her life would change. Then she met him, and she seemed to experience a complete personality change because she fell in love. Maybe that happens to some people, but I prefer novels where the getting-to-know-each-other stage happens BEFORE the falling-in-love stage.
But then I got to the end, and I was furious. The author has built an entire story around Madeline being stuck inside of her house; her entire personality and history are based solely on her bubble-boy disease and the beautiful relationships she has with her mother and her nurse. Even the romantic relationship between Madeline and Olly was predicated on the fact that the two teenagers would never really be able to be together because of Maddy's disease. And the end was a total cop out. The novel would have been much stronger if the ending was in keeping with the rest of the book, in my opinion.
Rating: 4 stars