Madeline has SCID (aka "bubble baby" syndrome), so she has never left her house. She only ever sees her mother, who is also her doctor, and a nurse who cares for her when her mother is away. Then one day a new family moves in next door, and Madeline is captivated by the boy whose window faces her own. Madeline thinks she loves this boy, but how can she have a relationship with a person she can never meeet?
Like many other reviewers, I was intrigued by the concept of this book. A "bubble baby" who has never left her house? Interesting! A biracial main character? Awesome! Unfortunately, this story fell flat on many levels. The following paragraph contains spoilers, so please consider yourself forewarned.
Madeline's SCID seemed sketchy to me from the beginning. There's simply NO WAY her entire house could be completely sealed off and disinfected. I don't believe that the magic airlock her mother and her nurse go through each day could kill all the germs she'd be dealing with. The original "bubble boy" lived in an environment where he was never, ever touched by human hands. Yet Madeline wanders about the house and likely eats food that has come in from outside. She even escapes the house on more than one occasion, yet her mother doesn't take her to the hospital to get things checked out? I don't buy it. Then her mother shows her a picture from a family vacation when Madeline was four months old and her family visited Hawaii. Nope. Not possible. And it turns out I was right. Madeline's mom has a mental illness and has been trying to keep Madeline close to her since she lost both Madeline's father and brother in a car accident, so she invented SCID as an excuse to keep Madeline at home FOR HER ENTIRE LIFE.
All in all, this story is just another spin off of The Fault in Our Stars, complete with an impossible trip and an impossible insta-boyfriend.
Recommended for: young adults
Red Flags: Madeline and insta-boy have sex when they're in Hawaii. The description isn't very explicit, but it's pretty obvious what happens
Read-Alikes: The Fault in Our Stars, All the Bright Places, Broken
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for the purposes of review.