Published September 1st 2015 by Delacorte
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Recommended to: people who love cute romances
Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?
But it’s never just one moment. It’s a series of them. And your life can branch out from each one in a thousand different ways. Maybe there’s a version of your life for all the choices you make and all the choices you don’t.
This book is not what I imagined it to be. When I read the blurb about Madeline being sick, I immediately concluded that this will be like all the others before it. I’ve read a lot of books with main characters who are suffering from various illnesses (and even my top three favorites are about them), so believe me when I say that the pattern is almost the same. But this one was different. And you should read this to find out why.
This was Nicola Yoon’s debut book but I read her second novel, The Sun is Also a Star, before this. I liked the latter but I felt that it lacked something. However, this one had all the right elements that I was looking for.
THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THE BOOK:
- The illustrations. This is probably my favorite part. What’s amazing is that Nicola Yoon’s husband, David Yoon, was the one who drew them. There’s only a few books with illustrations in them so this was a breath of fresh air. But these are not your ordinary illustrations either. What set this apart from most of the books I’ve read is that the illustrations also tell a story. They complete the book.
- Madeline is multiracial. I guess this will be a common denominator in all of Nicola Yoon’s books and I am looking forward to it. Although Madeline wasn’t able to show various traits in her character since she is sick and has never been to the Outside, I just loved the fact that she is a mixture of different countries. Most of the characters from the books I’ve read all look the same in my head but Madeline was different. I am not going to wish for Nicola Yoon to be able to show more diversity and difference in cultures since she already did that in her second book.
- The writing is beautiful. One thing I liked best about Nicola Yoon’s books is the way her characters think. They see different meanings to life from different perspectives. My favorite in this book is the one said by Olly.
I’ve decided baggage carousels are a perfect metaphor for life.
You’re born. You get thrown onto this crazy contraption called life that just goes around and around.
Sometimes you fall off prematurely. Sometimes, you get so damaged by other pieces of luggage falling on your head that you don’t really function anymore. Sometimes you get lost or forgotten and go around forever and ever.
Okay, that’s not the most optimistic thing to say but you have to admit that it makes sense.
- Madeline’s dictionary. This was a nice touch. I wish this had more of it. Here’s a sample entry:
prom·ise() n. pl. -es. 1. The lie you want to keep. [2015, Whittier]
- Madeline & Olly. I love them individually as much as I love them together. Enough said.
Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.
P.S. One thing I did not like about this book though is how short the last chapter was. I want more! Nicola Yoon, where is the justice in this? 😂 *flips table*