This book had a good concept and a great story idea however the execution of that was not as good as it could of been, in my opinion. I really really enjoyed reading the book because the pages were all so different, it included drawings and emails and other interesting media that complimented the story perfectly. Sometimes, instead of a chapter the story would unfold through a picture instead. It was very refreshing and exciting, I wish all books had this element to them!
Madeline, the main character has a disease in which she is allergic to everything and cannot leave her house. Everything has to be air tight and she needs all-day nurse care. This part of the story was my favourite because I was fascinated that someone could live in such a way. I think the book could have spent a little longer on this instead of introducing the love interest. The worst bit was the love interest, Olly. I understand this is a teenage fiction book and this usually includes an unrealistic romance but the love between Olly and Maddie just felt wrong for me. Maddie completely fell in love with the ‘boy next door’ and was willing to drop her entire life and risk death just to go and spend time with him. No one would risk their lives like that just for a teenage boy and also, why didn’t Olly stop her? Surely if he knew she could have died he wouldn’t be so calm about it?
Their love confused me and sometimes angered me because it was so sickly and just wrong. It is such a shame because the story was such a fantastic idea but it was completely poisoned by their relationship.
(SPOILER) I really disliked the ending. I understand that her mother had kept her away and this may make her angry but at the same time Maddie should have been able to see through this. Her mother desperately needs some kind of help, that is pretty obvious, and as a mental health blogger I was pretty appalled by the lack of empathy shown towards her. The mother was portrayed to be evil for keeping her locked up when she had suffered from trauma and as a result became delusional which is not something she can help. She wanted to keep Maddie safe so she did not have to lose the last person she had left but Maddie disregarded this and the care she had been giving her for 17 years and left her to go and see Olly. Family come before a few month teenage relationship and when that family member is in need you don’t abandon them after all the love and support they have shown you. The writer needed to be more careful towards the subject of the mental health issues in which her mother suffered and not disregard them as making the person bad.
Some other issues were not dealt with properly such as Ollys family life, I wanted to know more detail as to what happened afterwards. This was Nicola Yoons first book and it really was well written and the idea behind it was superb. But it was poorly executed. I would not recommend this book purely because if the ending, despite the rest of the story being really good.
My Rating: 6/10
Favourite Character: Maddie’s mother