Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Review: Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley

From the author of Before I Go comes an unconventional love story perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes.

One time a boy kissed me and I almost died...

And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman with a rare and debilitating medical condition: she’s allergic to other humans. After a humiliating near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become a recluse, living the past nine years in the confines of the small town New Jersey house her unaffectionate mother left to her when she ran off with a Long Island businessman. But now, her mother is dead, and without her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave home and face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

One of those people is Eric Keegan, a man who just moved into town for work. With a daughter from his failed marriage who is no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off-course, and how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Then, one day, he meets a mysterious woman named Jubilee, with a unique condition...

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Gallery Books 
Genre: Contemporary/Womens Fiction/Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

This book was about a woman named Jubilee who is was allergic to other people. She could not have skin to skin contact with another human being without serious consequences. When she was kissed by a boy in high school she almost died and the humiliation and anger kept her behind closed doors for nine years. It wasn't until the death of her mother and the end of the monthly cheques that she was forced to leave her house and find a job.

It was at her new job at the library that Jubilee first met Eric who was dealing with a multitude of issues himself. His daughter wouldn't talk to him and his adopted son was struggling. Circumstances brought the two of them together in an unlikely friendship that turned into so much more.

This book was about a lot more than the developing feelings between two people that could never be acted on. It was about the numerous anxieties and fear that Jubilee had as a result of her severe allergy. It was about her overcoming those obstacles in order to learn to really live her life. In my opinion, this was the most beautiful part of the story. Don't get me wrong, the budding romance between Eric and Jubilee had me captivated and I was hopeful but it was the combination of both aspects that made the story what it was.

There were moments that made me smile, there were moments that made me cry. Mostly there were moments that made me proud as Jubilee learnt to live her life fully for the first time. I enjoyed every moment of this story and the roller coaster of emotions that I experienced while reading it. This was the second book by Oakley for me and she is definitely on my lists of authors to watch.

About the Author
Colleen Oakley’s debut novel BEFORE I GO was a People Magazine Best New Book Pick in January 2015, an Us Weekly “Must” Pick, a Publisher’s Lunch Buzz Book, a January 2015 Indie Next List Pick and deemed “an impressive feat…an immensely entertaining, moving, and believable read” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Formerly the senior editor of Marie Claire and editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness, Colleen’s articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world's biggest lapdog, Bailey. Her second novel CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH will be published by Simon & Schuster in April 2017.

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