I received this book for free from Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
Published by Gallery Books on March 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Women
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2017 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
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...
Close Enough to Touch is an evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart.
I stumbled upon this one on Brandie’s early enough that I was able to request it and get approved. I am so happy I did because this was really a delightful little book that I fell in love with.
Jubilee Jenkins has the rare medical condition that she is allergic to people. She had learned to live with it but after a near death experience, she hasn’t left her house in 9 years. After her mother passes and Jubilee needs to support herself she has to get a job, actually leave her house and face people again. Eric Keegan is one of those people. He is a divorced dad of a daughter who doesn’t speak to him and an adopted son with some issues who just moved to Jubilee’s town. When these two meet there seems to be a curious connection that neither is sure they should explore.
I loved Jubilee. She was super quirky which I guess would be the case of someone who is allergic to people and hasn’t left the house in nearly a decade. I was amazed at how she figured out how to do so much without leaving the house. I did feel so bad for her for what happened in her past and her relationship with her mother. Still, I was happy to see her push herself to get out and keep on living when she needed to. While it all kind of happened a bit easy I still liked to see her get out and interact with people again. As a giant bookworm (what else do you do for 9 years at home???) the library was the perfect job for her and for me to get to read about.
Eric was a bit of a mess himself but in a different way. He had moved for a job with his adopted son and left behind his daughter who isn’t speaking to him. His adopted son, Aja, is clearly having some issues that Eric doesn’t know how to deal with. I really liked Aja and felt for him as we learned more about him and his biological parents.
When Jubilee and Eric (and Aja) ran into each other at the library you could see a kind of instant connection/spark/ or something. While I liked seeing Eric and Jubilee form some sort of relationship, I loved that Aja found someone in Jubilee he could talk too.
There was a lot of growing with these characters, a lot of healing of relationships and selves and a lot of awkward but feel good moments. My only issue was the ending got kind of wonky. I feel it was a litte half assed and rushed. Still, I loved this story and these characters so much. I have already ordered another Colleen Oakley book and cannot wait to get to it!