Yay, back for another "ARC" book review. This book will be officially out tomorrow, September 1. And this is a debut book of Nicola Yoon. Looking forward to read more of her books.
And here's my review. SPOILER ALERT...please don't read the preceding paragraph if you want to read this book.
I gave this book 4.5 stars. Why not 5 stars? I'm just so stingy with my ratings lately. But I really highly recommend this book if you're into YA Romance. It's a very unique love story.
Madeline was diagnosed with a rare disease called SCID. This is a pretty interesting disease so I Googled it and research more about it. It's a disease that cause abnormalities in your immune system so basically your immune system is so weak that you end up getting sick all the time. So in other words, Madeline is allergic to the world!!! And so Madeline was never allowed to go out. She's home-schooled, read a lot of books. Her only friend is her mother, which is also her doctor, and her private nurse Carla.
But things change when Olly and his family moved next door. Madeline started spying on him and his family through her bedroom window. Olly caught her watching through her window on that first move in day and tried to wave at her. But she decided not to wave back. And what a coincidence, Olly's bedroom window is directly across Madeline.
One day, Olly and his sister visited Madeline's house. They have this bundt cake made by their mother, as a "good to meet you- we're your new neighbor" gift. But due to Madeline's rare disease her mom refuse to take the gift. Madeline's mom refuse to give an explanation and when they asked for Madeline her mom told them she's not at home. Anyway, through that bundt cake (which was apparently as hard as a rock). The communication between Madeline and Olly started. Olly wrote his email ad through his bedroom window glass pane. And they started exchanging emails every night. Then one day, Madeline beg her nurse Carla if she can have Olly visit her for just few minutes. After a lot of persuasion and Olly agreeing to go through the process of being decontaminated, Carla finally agreed. So they started meeting every week and continue to chat every night. Everything went well until Madeline's mom found and so she terminated Carla and limit Madeline's time in the computer.
This is the part of the story that it was getting predictable. And I was thinking/predicting Madeline would either die trying to see Olly again or Olly will do something. But the preceding chapter became more interesting.
Madeline decided to run away to Hawaii with Olly. She used the credit card she applied for and got approved quickly, to book for their flight and hotel at Maui. Madeline told Olly that she's drinking these pills that she bought online and it helps her with her SCID. But that was a lie and there were no pills. She fabricated this lie so she can convince Olly to go with her to Hawaii. Olly believe her and so they went to Hawaii together. They had an awesome time at Maui and Madeline even met Olly's friend. But then on the second day she got sick.
I was thinking...aha...there it is...she's going to die and that's it. But nope, that's not it.
Madeline's mom flew over to Hawaii and immediately took hold of the matter. She took Madeline back to LA, hired Carla back and everyone tried to go back to their old routine. It was Madeline who stop her communication with Olly, thinking there is no future for them. Olly, his sister and mom eventually left their home and left the abusive Dad/Husband.
And here comes the twist...an email from the Dr. Melissa Francis in Hawaii, who took care of Madeline for few hours before her mother took over, told Madeline that she was not sick with SCID. And she got sick in Hawaii due to myocarditis. Madeline asked her mom about this but she denied it. When Madeline woke up early in the morning next day. She decided to search her mom's office and check her files. She can't find any paper work regarding her being sick with SCID. She asked Carla for help and set an appointment to see another doctor for a second opinion. And yes indeed, she's not sick.
Wait...what?!? Yep, this is the part that I really felt bad for Madeline. She wasted 18 years of her life locked up in her house thinking she's sick. When all along she's not sick at all. Apparently, the mother is the one who is sick. Who never got over her husband and son's death. So the only way she can prevent losing Madeline is to pretend that she's sick with SCID. Gah!!! How cruel is that?!? It's so not fare, sure they said that the mother need psychological help. But...
Anyway, Madeline end up leaving her mom and she move to New York and met up with Olly. Madeline, of course, need to be careful with her health because being locked up for 18 years means that her immune system is weak to common colds. So basically she have an immune system of a newborn baby. She did not mind and decided that she's finally free and now look forward to build her normal life with Olly.
The book reminds me a little of John Travolta's movie "Boy in the Plastic Bubble". But unlike the kid in the movie Madeline is not in a incubator and did not went out wearing a suit. What happen to Madeline was definitely not fare and it's hard to imagine what she had gone through.
That's it for now. I'll be back to review another ARC book in my list. Please be sure to follow me at anacskie.tumblr.com