How is the book treating you so far? The format is really interesting, isn’t it? There are so many different emails, text messages, lists, and pictures sprinkled throughout. Did you enjoy how author Nicola Yoon told the narrative? I thought that made the book different, fun, and fast to read.
On her blog, Yoon shared a behind the scenes photo of one of the first sketches she did for the story. Her husband ended up stepping in to create the art that we see in the book, and I think you’ll agree that was the right call after you look at her initial sketches. Yoon shares more about collaborating with her husband in this interview.
In this first section, we’re introduced to our main characters, Madeline and Olly. What do you think of Maddy and her illness? Can you imagine living inside, completely unable to interact with the outside world? She seems to have a pretty good attitude about it all at the beginning of the book. Were you surprised by all of the things she did while not leaving her house? Did it remind you of the movie Tangled, where Rapunzel lives in her tower but still finds tons of things to do every day?
Once Olly shows up, things become more complicated. Did you guess that they would eventually meet in person once they started messaging each other? Do you think it was a good idea for them to meet? I completely understood why she would want to meet and why her nurse, Carla, would approve, but I was wary anyhow. It seems like at least one of them is going to be heartbroken by the end of the book.
Did you know that Madeline’s disease, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, is a real disease? The most famous case was David Vetter, sometimes known as “The boy in the bubble.” David Vetter was born in the 1970s, so he didn’t have all of the technological advances that Madeline did in the book, but doctors were still able to learn many things about the disease by studying him. Unfortunately, David died when he was 12, but his family has worked to make sure that all babies are screened for the disease. You can learn more about David in this video.
Are you excited to keep reading along to find out what happens to Maddy and Olly? Do you have any guesses about how the book will end?
I hope you’ll join us next week as we talk about the next 100 pages! Make sure to leave me a comment, so I know how you are liking the book.