genre: young adult contemporary
Maddy is allergic to everything. That's what you need to know about her, first thing. She spends her life in a hypoallergenic bedroom with occasional forays around her house to play games with her mom or eat an especially prepared meal. Life is a continual round of filtered air and turned book pages until someone unexpected moves in next door. Olly. Olly full of life and energy with his own pain, Olly who takes Maddy's filtered, orderly world and shrinks it down to one thought, one idea: if she lets herself love, it could really hurt.
Most of me liked this a lot because it is clever and beautifully written, because Maddy is an exceptional and intelligent character and because I love her notebook pages and doodles. Olly is fleshed out also, and their relationship felt plausible and lovely. The idea of Maddy's disease is fascinating and terrifying, the bleakness of her world is stark and it makes even me, as an adult, realize how incredible LIFE is, out in the world. I just sometimes had niggling things that bothered me, questions about different events that felt off and although as the book ended things fell into place, that niggling feeling still made me not enjoy the rest of the book as much. I know that sounds cryptic but I hate spoilers so, there you go. I had to stretch my ability to suspend my disbelief a bit too much for it to be a 5 star read for me.