*A note on the cover: It’s stunning.*

• The birthday ritual is so familiar and comfortable. It reminds me of traditions with my family. Like when my sister and I go see a movie; we buy fries from Five Guys, never mind we just stuffed ourselves on dinner, one caijun and one regular with malt vinegar and lots of ketchup. I bring vegetables and we eat mochi on the way home.

• I predict she is going to get in a fight with her mom over this boy. She’ll want to go outside, but her mom can’t let her because she’s lived in the house without leaving for so long. Also she might die if she leaves or he comes in.

• OK, what happened to her dad?

• All black is really a trend right now. Like a tribute to high school days when kids try to act goth.

• Do these kids go to school? Maybe they graduated early because they moved?

• OK, now what happened to her brother?

• I love how modern this book is. Like something like TTYL and Eleanor and Park mashed together.

• Her time techniques are hilarious. And also her graph of perceived time versus actual time is everything.

• This was bound to happen, I mean, you can’t keep a secret like this under wrap for that long. I don’t even know what to say at this point in the book. I feel the betrayal her mother feels and her fear (for Madeline’s health and their *deteriorating* relationship); I also understand Madeline’s need to explore and want to be involved with something outside the house. I remember wanting to try things and my mother’s apprehension (rightly so in some cases) and feeling frustrated. There’s definitely a point somewhere in the teen years parents have to acknowledge the teenagers agency, where and when is still TBD and will definitely depend on the individual.

• I really enjoy the realistic relationships we have here, or what I feel is realistic. No matter now annoyed I was at my friends/family members, I was always willing to talk about my favorite/interested topics. The desire would feed on my will until I gave in and the problem “evaporated.” Not exactly a healthy way to handle conflict, but that’s how it worked in my family. There were only three of us, so you could only go so far without speaking to one another, especially when I needed a ride from the one who could drive.

• “Funny, smart and beautiful in that order, and that the order matters” YES. SO FOR THIS RIGHT NOW. I’m so tired of MC being described as “beautiful,” “gorgeous,” whatever. You are more than you look like, and when looks are always the first thing mentioned, it’s hard to believe that sentiment isn’t true.

• Three smiles a day, and missed smiles carry over? This is some serious bullshit. Does that means smiles carry over too? Also, can you say CONTROL FREAK. Hey did you know, false, faked happiness is also unhealthy.

• I felt angry and livid that the author would use such a blatant ex machina to end this book, but then again, we’re quite far from the end. Then I read the next few pages and I can believe it, want to believe it. That her mother was pushed to the extreme when her father and brother were killed. She wanted to preserve what little family she had left. I never want to imagine this disease actually exists. The only way for this to be a happy ending is for it SCID not to exist.

• I want her mother to be right, I want her to be wrong.

• *See note about realism in this book*

• I had this thought in the middle of the book. But I wanted to post it at the end because I feel like it’s more relevant now than earlier. I like the idea of this book, but at the same time reading a book where the MC’s whole life is changed by a boy? I know this actually happens in real life, and has happened to me, but I would also like to see a book where a person is completely isolated and then makes a friend (romantic interest be damned) of either gender (regardless of sexual orientation) and changes because of that. No matter what everyone says, you need more friends than your romantic interest. Not a bang on this book, just something I’d like to see explored in another.

• Even so, this book was much more than I expected, and I love it for that.

• 7/10, I probably would wait to read this again because it was that thoughtful.

 

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