Author: Nicola Yoon
Published: September 1, 2015
Madeline seems like your typical teenage girl; she loves reading and watching movies, spending time with her mother, and hanging out with her best friend Carla. The only difference between Madeline and other eighteen-year-old girls is that she is allergic to everything, the world essentially. So her best friend Carla is also her nurse, her mother plays double duty has her doctor, and the books and movies are her only knowledge of the world that lies outside her quarantined home.
When we meet Madeline she is quite content with her bubble-life, that it until a new family moves in next door and with them their teenaged son Olly. What beings with a fascination in the boy next door soon becomes a full-fledge romance between the two. Their love story has the possibility of seeming ‘insta-lovey,’ but it’s the presence of Olly as the inciting incident in Madeline’s life to wonder more about the world she knows nothing about for the story to get away with it.
The novel’s strengths lie in the character of Madeline. Someone, who when we are first introduced to her, is so content with her sheltered life she then transforms into someone who refuses to let her illness keep her from getting to know everything about the world. The novel also thrives in being more than a love story with the strong relationship being portrayed between Madeline and her mother, as well as her nurse Carla.
Included in the novel is beautiful illustrations created by Yoon’s husband, that aids to the storytelling of a young girl who beings to discover the world and her place in it.
“Sometimes you do things for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones and sometimes it’s impossible to tell the difference.”
In August 2015, was optioned by MGM for a film adaptation. Starring Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) has Madeline, and Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) as Olly.