Author: Nicola Yoon
Published: Published September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: Hardcover, 306 pages
My rating: (3.3)
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.
Everything, everything was almost everything I was looking for. Something new, different, that grips you from the start and never let’s go.
I practically flew through the pages of this book. Devouring every word in one sitting and enjoying every second of it. The book was thrilling and fun from the start, Nicola Yoon completely hooks you. The illustrations aid in making this book such a visual and entertaining read. So does, the witty dialogue and unique plot.
The perfect example of something that is short but sweet. The book isn’t filled with exhausting or tedious medical information and it doesn’t drag on instead the little we get makes an impact. The format of the book presents Madeline Whittier in a manner that isn’t daunting but inviting. Although a little more insight on the disease would’ve been helpful in understanding the extreme measures that were taken to keep Maddy (Madeline) safe. After all, wouldn’t you need more explanation after being told that someone hasn’t left their house in 18 years?
Madeline became my friend as her character was made real with every word, sentence, paragraph and chapter. Maddy was not only brave but kind and considerate especially after what she had been through… maybe a little unrealistically kind and considerate. She soon became someone I could root for. I didn’t want her to suffer, I did want her to be able to live her life and go out and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the feel of the unfiltered air. As the main character or protaganist, Madeline was interesting enough to carry the story and unique enough to capture readers hearts. Although her situation is rare the message is timeless:
Existing isn’t living.
For so long Madeline had been alive and breathing the filtered air in her house but she wasn’t living. She would observe others’ and watch as time passed by from the inside of her decontaminated house. One faithful day, A new family moves into their neighborhood. As fate would have it, a boy named Olly owns the room with a window opposite Maddy’s and Maddy takes to observing him. Forever wondering what he does on the roof. All thanks to a bundt cake, and a marker which Olly uses to write his email on the window, the two begin emailing and soon texting and their friendship begins.
Which soon turns into more.
Olly makes her feel like she is outside and Madeline makes his life better. We can excuse the instant-love because they are adorable and real. Their character development is strong and their situation is unique. After all, Olly is the first boy Madeline meets so it makes sense that he is her first love too 😉 Although their love is foreshadowed by Madeline in the book we cannot prepare for the ride we are taken on. Slightly fast paced but bearable… it’s intense. The book is not solely a romance book but a coming of age story. We watch Maddy mature and go through experiences she would’ve gone through previously if not for her sickness. Her character becomes more complex and real when faced with choices that trigger deep feelings of want and need. This is all palpable.
What a great story that Nicola Yoon goes ahead and cheapens with a lazy and unsatisfactory ending. The ending doesn’t resolve things and was just unrealistic and ruined most of the morals that were being highlighted in the story. Turning this unique novel to something unremarkable and no different to other books of this genre.
Don’t want what you can’t have, True love is worth everything, everything, Life isn’t fair but thank god you’re alive.
All these morals were made meaningless in one fell swoop.
Although the ending could’ve been handled better and apart from the few kinks with characters, writing etc.
This was a great book overall.
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