Publisher: Delacorte Press
Wendy: I love when books fill me with such conflicting emotions. I felt giddy, excitement, romantic, sad, and pissed the hell off.
Angie: Yes, this book did give my emotions a run for their money. It was a very poignant story in parts. And it never slowed. It seemed to fly right by.
Wendy: The way that the relationship developed between Olly and Maddy was really dang sweet to me. I don’t know what it is about reading people who fall in love in original ways, but the IM’s and the notes from window to window, they were just adorable.
Angie: I love the IMing and emails also, but I have to be honest. I wasn’t convinced that there were enough interactions between them to illicit the emotions they seemed to be feeling. I thought the feelings developed rather fast, but I guess that’s what happens sometimes with first love.
Wendy: They did, for sure. I completely bought them from Maddy’s perspective though. I imagine it would be easy to fall in love if you’d never interacted before. I was more surprised by Olly. But, I guess I’m a big softy because I just loved it.
Speaking of Olly, I loved the way he was described. Artistic, but with energy just pouring through him. I imagined that if the setting were still NYC he was probably a freerunner.
Angie: Yes! I loved Olly. Finally – a ‘hero’ who is going through something that, while obviously devastating, doesn’t overrule every single aspect of his life. And instead of sitting on it, he is doing everything he can to change his situation. And I have to agree – I think Maddy’s isolation would result in heightened emotions when she finally interacts with someone other than her mother and her nurse.
Wendy: He was my favorite in the story.
I think I had the hardest time throughout the whole book with Maddy’s mom. I feel like when your child is that sick, life and death sick, the best mothering you can do is find ways to give them a full life despite it. Like Hazel’s mother in The Fault in our Stars.
Angie: I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison for a few reasons. Hazel’s mother had her husband for support, whereas Maddy’s mother had no one. I think losing her husband and son wasn’t something she could recover from, especially when she found out her daughter’s health was tenuous right on the heels of that. And it was Hazel’s condition that was killing her. There was nothing to prevent it. I think the progress of Maddy’s condition was preventable – to a degree. And while I definitely don’t agree with her mother’s decisions, I can understand her thought process regarding her daughter’s disease.
Wendy: I’m not trying to say that I don’t understand her fear. I did. I can even understand why she was so strict about what came into the house. I just think that the level with which she kept Maddy isolated was abusive. I suppose I just struggle with finding a way to understand withdrawing any human interaction as a punishment. Even her tutor was withheld from her after she found out about Olly. That was messed up.
Angie: It was so hard to read when Maddy’s nurse was taken away from her. That relationship was the only other one she’d experienced (in the flesh) aside from her mother. And now that you mention it, I did wonder why there weren’t more people coming and going from the house, especially tutors and doctors. I never viewed her isolation it as abusive, because we were reading through Maddy’s eyes, and she didn’t seem to see it that way. (And by the time she did, she took matters into her own hands.) But you’re right. Maddy didn’t know any different; her mother should have.
Wendy: On some level I think I knew where this was going to go the whole time. In some ways it was where I was hoping it would go.
Angie: You have one up on me there! I didn’t know where it was going, and that was one of the things I enjoyed about the story. This was a special and unique read, that’s for sure.
Thank you to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Our Rating: = B-
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