I have no idea why I took so long to find this. I read this book way too fast, checking it out at my school library at around 8 am and finishing it during breakfast and intermittently during class until I finished it around 12 PM. Albeit a meal that I gulped down, this book was completely unforgettable, and I cannot wait for the movie to be released.
Madeline is a “bubble child”. For the first 6 months or so of her life she was fine but then she got severely sick, which damaged her immune system. She was tested for SCID or being “allergic to the world” and since she was positive she has not been allowed outside since. She has become used to the airlock on the door, the air filtration system in the house, the nurse she has had for almost all of her life, Carla, and the little things that she enjoys like the new books that she has to receive in shrink-wrap. She is coming to terms with the fact that she will never be able to go outside and that even though it is her 18th birthday that she will never be independent. She was never fully happy, but she was used to it and satisfied. However, a boy her age named Olly moved in next door. He notices her, smiles and sees Madeline through the window. She sees his broken family with an abusive father, teen smoker sister, and abused/beaten down mother.
Eventually, he writes his email address on the window, and they start emailing and messaging each other. When Carla finds out about the messages, after getting over her initial disapproval she helps Madeline have Olly over to hang out. After a few short meetings and one mind-blowing kiss, Madeline is no longer satisfied with her house. She wants to go outside.
Between intermittent drawings and cute book reviews from bookworm Madeline, this is a beautiful story where the characters walk straight off the page and into your heart. I cannot believe that this book was written by a first-time author, it was so alive. It was such a unique story, with unique characters such as the girl trapped inside her own home and the boy who is trapped by his abusive father and broken family. I loved every second of reading it and seeing the romance grow, and I cannot wait to read more written by this author.
Overall Rating: 6/5