Reviewed by Shannon, Windsor Library
I had high expectations for this book which may be why I ended up feeling a little disappointed. Madeline is allergic to everything and she has spent her whole life inside her house because of SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency). Most of the time she is fine with living inside, but when Olly and his family move into the house next door she starts to want more for herself and her life. Madeline is a great character, and her and Olly’s romance is very sweet and enjoyable to read. Yoon did a nice job of playing with the format of the story by including some illustrations, emails, and IM conversations. But, I would have liked to see more development with some of the secondary characters and their stories and I felt like there were some holes in the main storyline. Olly could have even been developed more, and I may have liked the book better if it had alternated between their two perspectives. There is also a big plot twist toward the end that I predicted very early on, and I hate when books don’t surprise me (which is why I had the VERY unpopular opinion of not liking TFIOS that much).
One thing I really liked was that Madeline was both Asian and African American so I thought it was really refreshing to have a diverse character like that be the central figure in a mainstream YA romance. Overall, I really liked the book, but the writing was not the best and I don’t think it deserves Printz attention.