“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. She is content enough—until a boy with eyes the color of the Atlantic Ocean moves in next door.”
As most of you know, I tend to read more fantasy than contemporary YA, but I was blown away by this book! I picked this up for a read-a-thon that I didn’t complete back in the summer, but I did managed to read this book, and boy!, it delivered. This is by far one of the best books I’ve read this year. It is fresh, exhilarating and diverse – no wonder is the #1 New York Times Bestselling debut. 👏
The characters: Madeline, a young woman of half-Asian, half-black heritage is allergic to the world (rare disease called SID), confined into her house since she was a baby. Ollie, the new boy next door is charming, rebellious and full of life. What I really like about the characters is that they don’t whine, they don’t mope around.They each have their difficulties: Ollie’s father is abusive to their family, whilst Maddie is confined to her house, unable to leave and has only known the company of her nurse and her mother’s frequent visits. Both their stories are heart wrenching, however they have the ability to pull themselves together and work with what they’ve got. I really liked her nurse as well, she was a kind, warm character who understood Maddie a lot more than her own mother did at times.
The only way to describe the relationship between Ollie and Maddie is magnetic. When reading the story, it feel like they are pulled together by an unseen force, gravitating towards each other naturally, like the world is finally righting itself. I felt nothing forced about their relationship, it all falls into place the more they interact and their stories are revealed like puzzle pieces.
The characters in this book are Everything because their relationships, their hardships and sorrows is what makes you connect with each and every single one of them and to care about their lives. I will not be able to forget any time soon how angry and sad I felt after all the puzzle pieces fell together. It all does resume to the human condition, doesn’t it?
The plot is pretty simple: girl meets boy, they fall in love, the world wants to tear them apart. Nothing I’ve not seen so far. What makes this book great, is the writing of Nicola Yoon, the way in which she is forcing these characters to act or react to show what they really made of (and that’s good stuff!). This is not groundbreaking stuff, but the characters, plot and writing complement each other so much it is hard to put down. It is the kind of book that stays with you after you finish reading it. You’re angry, happy and sad with the characters and it works great. I also thought that I might have problems with the format of the book as the characters communicate online a lot, however I found that in this instance it worked well.
I loved, hated and wept with this book, and I highly recommend it. The movie was out recently as well, however I did not had a chance to see it yet, so I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD.
Have you seen the movie or read the book yet? What did you think? Please comment down below with your thoughts and recommendations for some more diverse reads. I recently bought The hate u give by Angie Thomas and I am really looking forward to read it.