Madeline Whittier has lived her life in sequestered away from the world due to a severe immunodeficiency disease that has rendered her allergic to almost everything. She goes to school on-line and only has contact with her physician mom and her full-time nurse. The house is practically hermetically sealed. Madeline can't leave and she is resigned to her plight in life, that is until Olly and his family move in next door. Olly, who loves practicing parkour, spends a lot of time outside climbing around on things. They communicate via instant messaging. Suddenly the life she has lived for eighteen years seems stifling. How can she go on living this way when she wants to get out so badly, out to meet Olly in person?
I predict that this book will be very popular with my teen readers. It is a sweet romance with likable characters. The book is relatively short which is attractive to many of my students because anything over 250 pages they consider long. Many of the chapters are short with e-mails and instant messages taking up less than a page. Many illustrations dance across the pages. Maddy uses the illustrations to describe her world views. My favorite short chapters are Maddy's spoiler alert book reviews. Example, "LORD OF THE FLIES: Spoiler alert---Boys are savages." If only I could think of such short, pithy book reviews when I am called to do book talks for classes. Ha!
I like the book a lot and will recommend it to my student readers. In fact, I am considering giving it a coveted spot on my Nifty-Fifty shelf for increased exposure. Yet, I still have some reservations about the book. In my opinion the book is a bit too light, too simple. Dramas are solved too easily. Conflict arises and is resolved too quickly. Serious issues aren't even named. Monsters are fought and won without much of a fight. But I quibble here. Kids are going to like it and will read it. That is good enough for me. Let me recommend it to you to. It is scheduled for publication September 1st. Get in line!
Reviewed from the ARC acquired freely from a second party.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars.
30 books Summer Reading Challenge
16 / 30 books. 53% done!