I saw the trailer for the movie based on this book and I knew I wanted to read the book first. My friend at work finished it and gave it to me. I started and finished it in less than a week. It’s an easy, light read – something I needed after my last book The Orphan’s Tale .
Madeline Whittier is not your average 18 year old girl. She like to read, organize her books, talk to friends online – does that not sound average? Oh wait – she can’t leave her house. She has an autoimmune disease that basically means if she leaves her house, her body “explodes”. She is allergic to the world and has accepted that fact – until she meets the boy next door.
Olly is an average teenage boy – with an aggressive, alcoholic father. Olly and Madeline (Maddy) start chatting via IM. I remember doing this with boys I was interested in as a pre-teen/teenager and it was so exciting at the time. Waiting around to see if anyone would log on, opening a chat message as soon as they did, learning all the lingo – LOL, BRB, TTYL. Maddy and Olly use this form of communication so that they can talk but keep it a secret from Maddy’s overprotective mother. I don’t want to give too much more away at this point.
I really liked this book not only for the story, but also because of the short “book reviews” Maddy writes. In between chapters, Maddy gives a short, one sentence review of a certain book she is reading at the time. One example is her review of The Lord of the Flies: “Spoiler alert: Boys are savages” (34). There are also drawing and handwritten notes throughout like a journal (by Maddy.) I felt like I could relate to Maddy because she likes to read and one of her favorite books is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, which is one of my favorites as well! She’s also got a very protective mother (check!) and she likes to write book reviews (like this one!).
I’d highly recommend this book to anyone, especially if they like YA.