by Nicola Yoon
Published: September 1 2015
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.
This book had such a fantastic story, one I've been needing for a while now. We have Madeline, a girl with a disease very rare and very incurable, which limits what she eats, what she touches, and what she breathes. She thinks she can't possibly fall in love, can't possibly have the hormones any normal teenage girl would have. She thought wrong.
In this book, I found the relationship between Madeline and Olly (especially through the IMs) so humorous and cute that I was just smiling the whole way through. The dialogue between characters was really enjoyable and relaxed, which I was a big fan of. Also, I really like how much Madeline has changed at the end of the book, since she started out so naive and just...restrained. At the end, you bet she wouldn't hesitate to jump off the roof of a building if it meant getting what she wanted. She was also quite confident and didn't bore you talking about every insecurity and flaw she had, something you see often in YA. Awesome female protagonist.
This book had several little charts, articles, word definitions, etc. which was a great addition to the story. I now really want to play some of the games Madeline and her mother created to keep her entertained in the house. The fact that she knew so little about the outside world because she was kept inside the borders of her house was also interesting to read about. Some things, I won't say what exactly, I found a little bit unrealistic, which is why I couldn't really give it a 5/5, but it was otherwise such an amazing contemporary read. And yes, I was a fan of the ending, which I've heard mixed feelings about.
Any contemporary lover, I'm sure, would love this book, but it especially has a John Green and Perks of Being a Wallflower feel to it.