My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
I read a lot of books. Every book I read has some sort of love angle or romantic interest, because that just seems to be what keeps people interested. In a hyper romantic society I’ve become critical of the relationships and love stories we are given, because they can easily become the proverbial dime a dozen. Everything, Everything is a dollar coin among dimes.
The characters in this story are whole and so well developed that I felt like I had known them for years. I’ll admit, I was a little smitten with Olly as well, because he’s real and genuine and almost tangible. I feel like I’ve met people like Olly and Madeline before, and that’s what makes them jump off the page. Carla was genuine and heart warming as well, leaving me with a grouping of people I wanted to follow and watch as their story unfolds.
As for the story itself, it is a bit kooky at times, which is what I think we all want from our love stories, but it doesn’t stray too far onto the path of utter absurdity. The relationship between Madeline and Olly develops realistically, drawing readers in instead of throwing them at the first male character to cross their path. Maddy and her mother’s relationship also features heavily in this story. I was not surprised by the plot twist at the end involving her mother, but I like that there was such a focus on the bond of mother and daughter, as well as a showing on how easily it can be damaged. The showing of mental health in several characters was also well done and intriguing, fitting into the story line well.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. It’s whimsical additions of drawings, notes, and chat messages makes the whole story jump off the page. I loved being sucked into Maddy and Olly’s world for awhile, and I think several other people would too.