Read: July 6, 2017
“Love is worth everything. Everything.”
― Nicola Yoon,
Oh my heart hurts… it’s been over a month since I’ve read this book and it still hurts! Just a warning, there will be major spoilers about the ending, but I’ll add a spoiler alert right before I ruin the ending, so if you keep reading, I told ya so dummy.
I have to start with Olly. I love everything, everything about him. Was that too cheesy? I’m sure a thousand other reviewers used a line similar to that, so I had to jump on the bandwagon. Seriously though, Olly is so wonderful! He’s sweet, just witty enough to not be over the edge, and speaking of over the edge… some of those tricks he did I’m sure were amazing! Running up the walls a shit. He couldn’t be any more of an opposite to Maddy.
Maddy is sweet. To say that she is sheltered is putting it lightly. She does have a bit of a bad habit of spying on people, but what else is she supposed to do? She’s locked up in the house all day from fear of dying. I mean, like, if she catches a sniffle, she can die. So naturally she has to do something to occupy her time. Good thing Olly likes her spying on him.
Their email conversations were cute, but I especially liked when they communicated through the window. Olly’s jokes about his mom’s cooking and the teddy (it was a teddy right? I need to start doing these reviews right away), trying to get her to laugh, was hilarious.
Okay now time for a rant and…
What the hell was Carla thinking?! I mean, I guess it turned out good in the end, but seriously? Okay, I wanted to like Carla, but after the shit she pulled, I just can’t. It’s not just that she allowed Olly to come over. No. That’s not the worst part! It’s not even that she did it behind Maddy’s mother’s back, although that was horrible too. She had been Maddy’s personal nurse for years. She came in and out all the time. If she had went through Pauline, she might have convinced her to allow Olly to come over. “A child can’t live without a friend… she needs friends to keep her sanity… do you want her to be mentally ill on top of physically? It’s just one friend. She can be monitored to make sure they don’t kiss… etc.” But did she? No. I know that she had her suspicions about Pauline being mentally ill herself, about Madeline not really being sick, but she didn’t have any proof.
Now if you’re still reading, you probably know that Maddy wasn’t actually “sick”. The only problem she had was a low immune system due to being kept inside all of her life, away from germs. This problem was caused by her mentally sick mother who was afraid of losing her after losing the rest of her family. So yes, Carla was right. But what if she hadn’t been right? Maddy could have died.
Then she put the idea in her head that she had to live her life, because what was the point in being alive if she wasn’t “living”. So she ran away with Olly to Hawaii. As a mother myself, I couldn’t even fully enjoy reading the parts where they had fun and eventually had sex, because 1) she’s so young and 2) because she could get sick and die. I was certain she was going to die in the end! And she actually did get sick, because of her low immune system from (as I mentioned before) being kept in a sterile house all of her life. Oh my God! As a nurse, especially one who takes care of a girl who supposedly had an immune disorder, she should have know that if she were right and Carla really wasn’t “sick”, she could still get sick because… I’m not going to repeat myself. She should have known! I even knew this, and my career isn’t anywhere near the medical field!
And that brings me to my second problem with Carla. If she had her suspicions, Madeline deserved to know. Madeline could have been looking into it years ago. But Carla waited until Maddy started falling for a boy. Then her romantic side kicked in, I guess. Screw the fact that she was being abused.
Now that brings me to my next point. Before you all start throwing virtual stones, I do believe Maddy was being abused, but her mother didn’t realize she was being abusive. She thought she was keeping her child, the only person she had left in the world, alive. Pauline was sick herself, and needed help. So Pauline betrayed two people by keeping her mouth shut! So although this is very messed up for her mother to do this, at the same time I don’t completely put blame on her mom. It started with her trying to keep her daughter safe, and ended with her actually believing her daughter was sick. Mental illnesses are not something to brush off as “nothing”. I should know. But just as most people would consider it abuse if a schizophrenic mother beat the heck out of her child, I consider this abuse as well. Unintentional, but still…
So why didn’t Carla say anything?! If not to Maddy, then to another doctor or nurse? Why didn’t she report it to her superiors for further evaluation? She had years to figure this out. It was her job!! I want to scream. It makes me sick. But that’s part of what makes the book wonderful. It is so complex and all the feels are just… GAHHH! I was wide-eyed and open-mouthed quite a few times. It was just so emotional… And to listen to it on audiobook…
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