Author: Nicola Yoon
Released Date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Genre: Younge Adult Fiction Book
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It’s a novel about a girl named Madeline who is suffering from SCID… or “bubble baby disease”. Madeline has spent the last 18 years trapped inside her house. The only people she comes in contact with are her nurse Carla and her mother. That is until the tall, lean, all-black wearing stranger moves in next door. Also known as Olly.)
Can I just say that this book is probably top of the list of the books I’ve read this summer and definitely a good summer read even though I finished it in 2 days! The cover is absolutely beautiful! How half the title is completely plain apart from the blue lettering which symbolizes her life before Olly, plain. And then to have the beaming and overcrowded with different illustrations of the outside world, everything she wants to see but she knows she can’t. The style Yoon has written this book is a style that is different from many other books by including notes, maps, email conversations and other things that allows the reader to get a glimpse of what’s going on in Maddy’s head, which I believe connects you more to a character, allowing you to understand them more.
The way Yoon has created Maddy’s character is so unique to say she has this very rare, deadly disease because you would expect to feel sorry for her all the way through reading it. However I didn’t, I felt sorry for the outside world who don’t get the chance to meet this amazing, inspirational girl. She kind, caring, sweet and doesn’t let her disease hold her back, she really is something special.
Olly the boy next door, doesn’t have the traits I would have thought he would have from my first impression. He’s funny, charming, adorable and utterly and hopelessly in love with Maddy from the first moment he sees her. Which is exactly the same for Maddy as well:
“Maybe we can’t predict everything, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly… its almost certainly going to be a disaster.”Maddy
He doesn’t let Maddy’s sickness get in the way of their relationship, and neither does Maddy. She doesn’t want sympathy from him, she just wants to be normal and live her life to the fullest.
Now, in every plot, the characters always run into a problem, and it’s no surprise what that is in this case. They will never be able to have a normal relationship. As long as Maddy can’t leave the house and until her Mum allows visitors. The two teenagers have been messaging and getting to know each other better in secret. This is the first thing she’s ever hidden as she’s so close to her mother and shares everything. In fact, it’s Carla her nurse who has been with her for many years is the one that finds out about her secret love interest and helps her eventually to meet him after much persuasion. It’s also Maddy’s fear that adds to the dilemma, as she’s afraid to further her relationship with Olly knowing that it won’t be easier and she also doesn’t want to hold him back.
“Love can’t kill you.”Carla
This quote, in particular, must be inspirational to Maddy. It’s one of the only things in the world that can’t kill it but is taking risks for the ones you love, the same as love killing you? Because taking a huge risk is exactly what she does. Once her Mum finds out about her secret boyfriend, she takes extreme measures to forbid to see each and talk to each other. As we all know, teenagers hate to be told no. So she finds a way to go against her Mum’s word and rebel.
“For the first time in a long time, I wanted more than I have.”Maddy
She wanted to escape this prison that was her life. Go out and see everything, which meant risking her life. She wanted more than what she’s read about, she wanted to see it. And in this case
“Love is worth everything, everything.”Maddy
Could be the love for Olly, or even the love for the world she has which is why she’s so desperate to get out of the white walls that have been confiding her for so long.
The one thing I like the most in this book is how well the twist fits with the story. It doesn’t make readers confused wondering why it was put there. Believe me, you won’t see it coming. The thought never ran through my head once, which makes me like it even more as I like a storyline to catch me off guard and not be the same predictable plot.
The ending for me was a bit disappointing, it seemed rushed and as if there was no real solution. Even just a page or two of their reunion could have made it something more special. However, the way Yoon carried this out was cute and linked with previous actions from the two characters which are probably why she felt it didn’t need more content on it.
I recommend this to anyone who loves a good romance, aspects of comedy in it and isn’t afraid to shed a few tears.