Published: September 1, 2015
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.
The world outside the home of eighteen year-old Madeline Whittier is filled with threats: viruses, allergens, bacteria, deadly airborne particles. These are all things that Madeline’s compromised immune system can’t handle. She has SCID, or severe combined immunodeficiency, known as “bubble baby disease.” So Madeline is a princess trapped in a castle — except her castle is a spotless, decontaminated house in Los Angeles with white walls, where she lives with her mother, a physician. She hasn’t left the house for 17 years. In order for people to visit (and they don’t; besides her nurse, Carla, Madeline’s only friends are virtual), they would have to endure a thorough physical and spend an hour in a decontamination airlock.
Then one day new neighbors move in next door and suddenly, there’s a boy to marvel over: a boy who wears all black, practices parkour as if he’s weightless and has a window that looks directly onto Madeline’s.
The boy’s name is Oliver but goes by Olly and he is as smitten as she is. the nurse secretly lets him visit after going through the necessary decontamination and eventually they swap email addresses and so begins their “relationship”.
Olly home life is bad, to say the least. He father is a violent drunk who lashes out at Olly’s mom and sometimes Olly.
Cutting to the chase – Madeline leaves the safety of her home and she and Olly fly to Hawaii for two days so she can “live” only for her to get sick and be turned home by her home who had found out where they were.
A doctor who saw her in Hawaii sends her a letter stating that all her tests where normal and that what she had was a viral infection ad effected her heart and that it is her opinion that Madeline does not nor has ever had SCID.
There’s a blow up between Madeline and her Mom and she leaves home and flies to New York to see Olly (his family moved shortly after they returned from Hawaii) and there is a HEA.
All that said – I was severely disappointed and had expected the book to be better. The book seemed rushed and especially the ending. I would have liked a bit more insight into the “new” relationship between Olly and Madeline now that’s it known she is not sick. Oh well …