So, I guess that this is one of those awkward moments when you hate a book your co-blogger loved.
This book was well written, I can at least admit that. Nicola Yoon is a good writer, I do not doubt that her writing will continue to get better and that I might eventually like her novel, this one just was just not the one.
Now, if you want to read a gushing review for this novel, I get it, I really do. By all means feel free to go check out Angelica’s review HERE.
If you are still reading this, I assume that you are ok with what I will say next, so, without further ado, let’s move on.
I didn’t like this book, as implied by the rating. The characters were annoying, the romance was full of insta-love, and plot was subpar, and all the other little things that make a book great were lacking.
This is a book about illness, in the vein of most YA contemporaries about illness. That means that the fact the character is sick is nothing more than an obstacle in their search for true love, because, obviously, that is all that rare, dangerous, crippling illness are. Anyway, with this premise the book comes across as being super unique and special and all that jazz (just like all YA that deals with illnesses).The problem is that it is not different or special. It is childish, it is cliche, and it shows an almost comical representation of both physical and mental illness.
To its credit, the novel does have a diverse cast of characters, which I love, lead by the Afro-Asian narrator, Madeline. The problem is that they are all exceedingly annoying. The nurse, Clara, should get fired for endangering the life of her charge. The mother should get some serious help, and is clearly unfit to parent. Oliver, the boy next door, should also get charged for something, again for endangering the life of a girl he supposedly loves. Lastly, Madeline needs to learn to grow up. The world is not all butterflies, rainbows, and unicorn farts. Sometimes you gotta forget that the boy next door (whom you met a few weeks ago and have never met in person) is super extra hot, and perhaps not endanger your life for him.
“I was happy before I met him. But I’m alive now, and those are not the same thing.”
Seriously, settle down girl. You could actually from this. But hey, that’s just me and my opinion.
Lastly, I felt nothing for these characters. They could have all been hit by buses and I would have had absolutely no reaction, other than to wonder where the heck the buses came from.
To me, this book message isn’t about living life to the fullest. It isn’t even about being in love. To me, this books says that it’s ok to endanger your life and do commit many stupid, dangerous, and childish things, for the sake of being “normal” and getting a boyfriend, because these are exactly what the main character did.
Simply put, this book was not for me.