I’d never heard of this book or author until I saw a preview for the movie based on the novel that will be out soon. The movie trailer intrigued me, so I searched out the book. I’m very glad I did, as it was an excellent story.
Madeline is 18 years old at the start of the story and has lived all of her life as far as she can remember in a house that protects her from the dangers of the outside world. She’s sick and exposure to almost anything could trigger a fatal reaction. Then a troubled family moves in next door and Madeline meets the boy, Olly, first through pantomimes at the windows, then through electronic messaging. Love blossoms. Madeline begins to question whether the life she has is worth living, or if risking it all for a short time with Olly is the better option.
The love story is sweet in the way young adult stories about first love typically are, but without being sickly. Madeline and Olly are well-rounded, believable characters. My favorite character, though, was the nurse, Carla. The story here is fast-paced without ever seeming to leave anything out, and the ending is a nice twist. (I’d love to go into that more, but won’t to avoid spoilers.)
I actually listened to this as an audiobook and the narration was very well done. So, whether you read it or listen to it, I highly recommend it. Check it out before the movie hits theaters. You won’t regret it.