Distiller: Doni Faber
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cure for: Pointless Skinny-Dipping
By Nicola Yoon
September 1, 2015
Guys! I gave myself a freeze on getting new books. And then I walked into the library and Everything, Everything was prominently displayed. I decided just to read it while I was in the library. I ended up checking it out and finishing it in the same day. It's that good.
Madeleine has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. What this means is she can't leave her house. Anyone who comes to see her must pass through an air-lock decontamination chamber for half an hour before they are deemed safe. So she interacts with her mom and her nurse. She takes online courses and reads vacuum-sealed books. She has a Zen attitude to her life and is for the most part content.
All this changes when a boy named Olly moves in next door. He has the grace of a panther and is utterly unpredictable except for climbing up on his roof every day.They start IMing and writing reverse messages on their windows to each other. Olly thinks she is funny, smart, and pretty. In that order, which as Madeleine tells her mom, is the right order.
This may seem like the same old boy-meets-girl-but-can't-be-with-her story. But because their situation is so extreme, it makes the story fresh. It doesn't seem possible that they can ever be together.
The book is very dialogue-heavy and I found it engaging without trying to be overly witty (as, say, in John Green's books.) Here's an example between Madeleine and her nurse:
“I'm not in love. I can't be in love.”“And why not?”“What would be the point?” I say, throwing my hands up. “Me in love would be like being a food critic with no taste buds. It would be like being a color-blind painter. It would be like---”“Like skinny-dipping by yourself.”I have to laugh at that one. “Exactly,” I say. “Pointless.”
The ending though. It goes places I was afraid it would go. But I loved the book anyway.
Here's to worthwhile skinny-dipping! And while you're at it, read this book. (Well, maybe not while you're at it . . . you'll get the book wet.)