Colleen Hoover's most recent novel, Close Enough to Touch, was chosen as an Indie Next March 2017 pick and has also been compared to JoJo Moyes' books. That's a lot to live up to.
I was sucked in from the very first line, "One time a boy kissed me and I almost died." I started reading and didn't want to stop.
Jubilee and Eric take turns narrating their stories. Jubilee has a rare condition: she is allergic to other people. Although she can be out and about in public, skin to skin contact causes a severe reaction. For the past nine years her life has consisted of staying in her house. After her mother's death she is forced to get a job and overcome her fear of people.
Eric Keegan has just relocated to a new town with his son Aja. Aja is going through a lot. His parents (Aja's father was Eric's best friend) died in a plane crash and Eric has adopted him. He's still trying to come to terms with the loss of his parents. Eric's teenage daughter and ex-wife are a few hours away and his daughter has all but cut him off.
When Jubilee meets Eric at the library where she gets a job, the two begin a friendship of sorts. Through short conversations, which eventually lead to Jubilee watching Aja after school and them spending holidays together, Eric and Jubilee discover they would like to be more than friends. Yet, Jubilee cannot touch anyone without risking her own life.
This is an interesting premise for a novel. I loved Colleen Oakley's writing and how I felt instantly connected to both characters. The alternating narrators works well for this novel. I loved how Eric decided to read the novels his daughter found important in an effort to connect with her.
Although I wanted more at the end, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. Close Enough to Touch lives up to all the expectations set for it. I have lots of friends who will enjoy this book and can't wait to talk it over with them.