Genre: Young adult fiction with a touch of rare illness and romance
Synopsis: Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that keeps her locked away in the safety of her sterilised home, with only her mum and nurse, Carla, for company. Madeline was content with her life, living vicariously through her books until a family moves in next door. Olly is the new boy next door, in his all black attire and unpredictable schedule, all of which add to Madeline’s intrigue. they become friends and vow to be nothing more but the attraction grows. Is she willing to risk it all for love and a chance to feel alive?
My Thoughts: I genuinely enjoyed reading this. From the blurb and the illustrations, I could tell it was going to be one of those stories that I would just like. The premise is simple enough: “girl likes boy and boy likes girl while universe conspires against them for some time.” It appealed to the hopeless romantic in me.
I liked the fact that Madeline was mixed race (Half Japanese American and Half African American), though it doesn’t dwell on it considerably. I simply appreciated that is was a person of colour, diversity in books is important. I believe anyone can relate to Madeline and Olly without actually facing the same obstacles as they do, regardless of race.
There were many themes (including race) that the author, I assume, chose not to delve in deeply, and for the type of book this is, I can understand why. Overall, it is an enjoyable read, especially for people who like contemporary young adult fiction.
An Aside: As I was looking up the book, I found out that they are adapting it into a film scheduled to come out mid-year this year. It stars Amandla Stenberg (Rue in The Hunger Games) and Nick Robinson (Being Charlie). I was quite excited when I heard about it but rather disappointed that there isn’t even a trailer out. I like trailers but that’s just me.
Verdict: Read it before your friends are telling you to watch the movie.
Recommendation: The whole time I was reading it, I was reminded of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Hopefully, the EE movie will be as true to the story as the tFiOS movie was.