Everything’s a risk.
Not doing anything is a risk.
It’s up to you.
If you have never heard of this story before, it’s teenage romance meets self-care meets strange reality. And I really enjoyed reading it. The mixed-race main character Maddy Whittier is basically allergic to everything and spends her life isolated in her house with her black, widowed doctor mother. Then, a white boy moves in next door, and things get complicated. And the end of the book is worth the wait.
I saw the film adaptation before I read the book, but I liked both. At school, we were looking for some good book club books for ninth graders next year, and this came up as a plausible option. I really enjoyed reading it, and I love the imagination and creativity dispersed throughout the pages. As a reader, I empathize and let my mind wander with Maddy’s, being stuck in the house, day-dreaming of other possibilities. The art in the book was drawn by Yoon’s husband, which I find lovely to see the collaboration between spouses. Maybe Ben will let me write a song one day? Ha!
Here are some of the quotes I loved:
“Sometimes I reread my favorite books from back to front. I start with the last chapter and read backward until I get to the beginning. When you read this way, characters go from hope to despair, from self-knowledge to doubt. In love stories, couples start out as lovers and end as strangers. Coming-of-age books become stories of losing your way. Your favorite characters come back to life.”
“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”
“Sometimes you do things for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones and sometimes it’s impossible to tell the difference.”
Anyways, I really view this book as the perfect summer read. I recommend this book to adult friends looking for an easier, beach-type style and to teenagers who want the thrill of finishing a book. Happy Reading!