3 / 5
"I've read many more books than you."
This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.
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.
No. No, no, no. I was so disappointed - going into this, and even when I began reading, I thought: Great! I am going to totally dig this book, and fly through it, and it'll be a nice break from all the dense reading I've been doing this summer! And, well, it was the latter. But I was so thoroughly disappointed, especially given how great the ratings were on Goodreads! I was totally riding along on the premise, and then...it suddenly hit me, about 1/3 of the way through, The Twist. And I just spent the whole rest of the time reading going, "No. She wouldn't. Would she?!" Because this is essentially the plot of a movie. One that I've never seen, but while I was explaining the expected twist to my husband, he said, "Yeah. Like ______?" (I won't spoil anything for others, but that blank is clickable, if you'd like to see what I am talking about) and I said, "No way, for real?!" So on top of the book being predictable, it was kind of a copycat of a terrible premise of a movie. Blerg.
I can see someone going into the book and not seeing the twist as being blown away by the ending, and that is awesome, and I am kind of envious of those people. Because had I been taken by surprise, I think I would have loved the book, too! I loved the characters, I loved the concept (in a strange love/hate way), and I loved the relationships. Everyone was believable and real and I flew through it over the course of two bedtimes. But. Yeah. Dang.
I only rated it so highly because I could not put it down until the end. And I did thoroughly enjoy reading the book! I just hated that dread in the back of my mind...and was so frustrated when it was confirmed. Le sigh.
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