Title: Close Enough To Touch
Author: Colleen Oakely
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Release date: March 15th 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
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.
Where has this author been all my life?? What an amazing book! I never thought there would come a day where I gush and squeal over a Contemporary Adult Fiction, but this beauty showed up and proved me wrong!
Another thing that stood out most for me in this book was Jubilee’s character development. We see her break out of her shell and watch her grow to become this woman with courage and true spirit. However you see it, it’s a slow burn of a book. The story literally revolves around two characters, their job and their family. That’s it. But when both the characters’ lives intertwine, that’s when things get interesting. In between the angst, we get this perfect blend of wit and sarcasm. Eric and Jubilee are such dorks when they’re around one another. Things just intensify when you read about them being together, yet ironically they’re constantly being adorable and awkward around one another. I had some good laughs with this book, as you can tell! 😆 Eric and his adopted son Aja are both such relatable characters. They are people who are a little lost in the world, but aren’t we all? My heart melts a little every time I read about Aja. He’s my favorite out of the lot! ❤
The only problem I had with this story was the ending. I was a bit messy and it didn’t have a very good build up. Everything felt rushed and forced. I knew where the author was going, I just didn’t like the way she set it all out. I’m not completely unsatisfied with it, though. I couldn’t have ended it better myself, it just didn’t wrap up perfectly like a neat little bow, you know?
Everything else was great though! Oakley has the ability to write such an immersive story. This book is also a great representation of the power of words and books. Here’s the catch: Jubilee is allergic to humans. Physical contact may cost her life. She’s been sheltered her whole life, but when desperate times calls for desperate measures, Jubilee is thrust out into the real world where she can potentially harm herself just by interacting with people. You might think and go: huh, how is a love story going to form from there? This can’t possibly work out. Oh, but my dear readers, love is much more than having physical contact. Oakley is able to prove just how important and effective words are. Plus there were so many bookish references! Jubilee is an ardent reader herself, and being surrounded by only books and texts her whole life clearly made a huge impact. The author discusses the idea of reading as an influential tool used in every day life and that no matter how different you are from the rest of the world, you can still connect to people with words.
Definitely not my last Colleen Oakley novel. I’m in a major book hangover because of this one. *sigh*
Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! ❤