Madeline (Maddy) Whittier has literally lived in a bubble for most of her 17 years, afflicted with a rare disease affecting her immune system. She’s never left her house, living a lonely existence with her mother and nurse, Carla. That is until new neighbors move in next door and high school senior Oliver (Olly) Bright sees her watching them from her window. He shares his IM address and they begin an odd but enchanting online relationship that was destined to develop into so much more.
I really enjoyed this story, especially listening to the talented Bahni Turpin’s performance. The writing was cleverly crafted, the characters well designed and the story’s proposition challenging. Is mere existence living and is it worth the risk to experience more, even if it means certain death? Maddy’s evolution from contentment in her sterile environment to a desire to be in the world was deftly presented in a youthful but provocative voice. I loved her reasoning and how her relationship with Olly progressed.
I must admit that I considered what ended up being the story’s twist before it was revealed. It still didn’t alter my enjoyment because I found the book delightful. This is a wonderful debut novel.
(Note: I watched the movie a few days after finishing the book and enjoyed that, too. Great casting and a few changes here and there but essentially true to the book. The visual images were fantastic. See more about the film here.)
- Release Date: September 1, 2015
- Narrator: Bahni Turpin
- Audio Length: 6 hours, 44 minutes