How shocked were you by the twist ending? I wasn't surprised at all when Maddy became sick when she was in Hawaii. That seemed inevitable. But, I was really surprised that she wasn't really sick with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. It must have been incredibly heartbreaking for her to realize that she really didn't know her mother at all. And, to find out by an e-mail from a stranger, the doctor who treated her in Hawaii, must have made it more confusing.
As a mother, I can totally understand Maddy's mom's desire to keep Maddy safe, especially since she had already lost her husband and son. But, it was too bad that she chose to keep her safe by making her believe she was really sick. Maddy lost out on so many different experiences by staying in her house for all of those years.
Do you think that Maddy and Olly will continue to be together as the book implies at the end? They seem to be pretty compatible, and they had such a great time in Hawaii before Maddy got sick.
What do you imagine Maddy's life will be like after the book's end? Do you think she will want to go away to college, or spend a lot of time traveling? I feel like she would want to experience everything. Even simple things like going for walks or visiting a zoo or a park would be really exciting if you had spent so much time in your house.
Didn't you think that Maddy was a believable character, and her excitement for the world and new experiences was true to her upbringing? Nicola Yoon drew on her young daughter's reaction to experiencing new things to create the character of Maddy. She also made sure to make Maddy a biracial character, so that her daughter would be able to see parts of herself in Maddy. If you want to read more about Yoon's writing process and the inspiration behind the book, check out this article. Make sure to check out the We Need Diverse Books website if you want to learn more about the organization.
I hope you enjoyed the book this month! If you really enjoyed Nicola Yoon's writing style, you might want to check out her other book, The Sun Is Also A Star.
Let me know what you thought of the book by leaving a comment. I'm really interested to hear if you were surprised by the fact that Maddy wasn't really sick.
Join us next month as we read Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. I hope to hear from you in the comments!