5 Glorious Stars
This has definitely made it into my top ten reads for 2016. This book was wonderfully devourable and adorable to the extreme.
Madeline Whittier has spent her entire life inside her home. Her protective bubble of a house is her shield from the outside world that she is gravely allergic to. Her life revolves around hourly med checks from her nurse, movie nights and board games with mum, and her books – her only escape from her purified prison.
Cue cute new neighbour. Olly has just moved in with his family. A family that is somewhat fractured and fragile, leaving him feeling frustrated and vulnerable. Olly decides to attempt communication with the mystery girl next door. He writes his IM address and holds it up at the window so she can see it. Maddie bravely opens the doors of communication with Olly and a whole new world is opened up to her. At first there is plenty of getting to know you IM’s and, it takes a while, but eventually she reveals her illness to him. Instead of being scared off, he accepts her as she is and is even permitted to occasionally visit (after lengthy decontamination procedures and plenty of rules).
After getting to know Olly, can Maddy be content with her tiny life? Can she continue as she always has? Or will she be brave enough to break free of her prison and Live (even if it is for only a moment)? I love the progression the story takes. Having experienced a debilitating illness that had me confined to my home I completely understand those moments where she feels as though she is in the world but not part of it. Alive but not living. What you wouldn’t give to just go outside and play and be normal for a minute, an hour, a day, a lifetime.
This book is seriously adorable and perfectly captures the delights of first love and the heartbreak too. It has moments of pure joy and complete daring, heartfelt and tender at times, and also forlorn on occasion. I had a suspicion about the truth and the connection it had with the dad and brother. It was mildly devastating to find out I was right. But at the same time, I can understand to some degree and feel a sense of sorrow for her. I would love there to be a sequel. I adore the way it ended, but after not replying to his messages for so long, I am curious what happened in his world post move. Did he move on? Is he there just out of curiosity, or only as a friend? What happened with his dad?
I love the layout of the book. Her spoilers are awesome. The diagrams super cute. It is a really engaging and captivating layout that helps you become completely engrossed in this fabulous story. It is written in a way that is thoroughly charming and I struggled to put the book down. Hangover inducing for sure. I ended up reading the entire book in one go. I will definitely be seeking out more from this talented author.