Thursday, March 9, 2017

Review: Close Enough to Touch

Close Enough to Touch 
By Colleen Oakley
Published: March 7, 2017

Love has no boundaries...

Jubilee Jenkins has a rare condition: she’s allergic to human touch. After a nearly fatal accident, she became reclusive, living in the confines of her home for nine years. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

Jubilee finds safe haven at her local library where she gets a job. It’s there she meets Eric Keegan, a divorced man who recently moved to town with his brilliant, troubled, adopted son. Eric is struggling to figure out how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Jubilee is unlike anyone he has ever met, yet he can't understand why she keeps him at arm's length. So Eric sets out to convince Jubilee to open herself and her heart to everything life can offer, setting into motion the most unlikely love story of the year.

My review:

Jubilee hasn't left her house since she almost died as a teen when a boy kissed her on a dare. Since that time her mom has gotten married and moved away (Jubilee was invited to live with them but didn't want to go). Jubilee relies on monthly checks sent by her mom and she uses online shopping and other methods to avoid leaving the house or dealing with other people. Then she gets a phone call from her stepfather that her mother has died, leaving her the house but the monthly checks will stop. Now Jubilee has to find a way to support herself. When she finally plucks up the courage to leave her home, a chance meeting with a former classmate leads to a job at the library. 

Eric has his own issues to deal with--namely his estranged teenage daughter won't talk to him and his smart adopted son has some behavioral issues. When he takes his son to the library one day, his path crosses with Jubilee. He is intrigued by her and her Halloween costume (it was Halloween day and she was dressed as Emily Dickinson). She makes an instant connection with Eric's son Aja and slowly their lives intersect.

I felt bad for Jubilee and her sad relationship with her mother as well as her circumstances. It takes her awhile to overcome her fears but it seems to go deeper than just a fear of accidental contact. It's like she used that as an excuse to shut herself off emotionally from others but slowly that begins to change through her new job and tentative new friendships. She and Aja seemed to understand each other well which is a good thing since Eric was kind of lousy at communicating with his kids (but at least he kept trying). 

The romance developed slowly and obviously had some major obstacles but for those worried about a happy ending, don't worry--the story does end on a high note. It isn't exactly realistic but maybe that's a good thing. There has been a woman in the news in recent months who is deathly allergic to her husband and parents and a whole host of things so she has to live in a carefully sanitized environment. I hope and pray that there will be a cure for her one day.  I couldn't help but think of her as I read this book. Close Enough to Touch also reminded me of  a grownup version of the YA novel Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon which told the story of a teen who couldn't leave her house due to life threatening allergies. The ending of that book was different from this one but it also explored the choices of a young woman who is restricted by her health. Overall I liked Close Enough to Touch and prefer it to the author's debut, Before I Go.

Note: For those wondering, I thought the author did a pretty good job of portraying what it's like to work in a small public library.

I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. Funny, I immediately thought "this sounds alot like an adult version of "Everything, Everything"". I did like EE but there were a few things that were unrealistic that made me like a lot less than I wanted to. I wonder if this one will work better for me. Great review!

  2. I had seen this book in several posted on instagram. I like the cover but don't know what the story is about.
    thank you for the review. great!

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  3. I'm happy to hear that you liked this one. Each review I read makes me want to read it more and more. I loved Everything, Everything. I think that's one of the reasons I'm so interested in this one. Great review!


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