SYNOPSIS: Madeline is allergic to everything. She has spent her whole life in her house with only her mother and her nurse, Carla, for company. One day a new family moves into the house next door and their son, Olly, is the same age as Madeline. Becoming friends with Olly changes her life and Madeline realizes that she’d rather die doing everything instead of living in her bubble.
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***
I enjoyed this book. It swept me along and I was in love with how Madeline viewed the world and how her view only expanded the more she explored. I also loved her relationship with Olly. The writing was beautiful and I loved that there was a mixed media aspect to the story telling, like we were reading Madeline’s journal. There is one major thing that I have a problem with and it really disappointed me since there is so much that is wonderful about this book. The major plot twist is that Madeline was never really sick and that her mother convinced Madeline and herself that she had this disease so that she could always keep Madeline safe after the tragic death of her husband and son when Madeline was just a baby. That felt so cheap to me and also explained why Madeline’s illness hardly affected her at all when she left the house or was around Olly which was something I found odd reading because I expected her illness to have a little bigger impact on her life. I was very disappointed that her illness was a sham because I liked that Madeline’s relationship with Olly was different than a typical one and I was interested to see how it all worked out, or didn’t work out as well as the fact that the illness being fake suddenly erased representation. The disease that Madeline has is extremely rare, but there are plenty of people who have chronic illnesses that do affect how they are able to interact with the world the same way Madeline was affected, but the chance to relate with her on every level was taken away. If I had known that Madeline wasn’t really sick before reading the book I don’t think that I would’ve picked it up. The only reason why I gave this book a fairly high rating is because I base my ratings on the writing and the characters which Yoon created very well. While this book is beautifully written I don’t feel I can fully support it because of the plot twist.