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Close Enough to Touch

by Colleen Oakley

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21220100,070 (4.05)4
A 28-year-old recluse with a unique allergy to physical contact with other people is forced to reenter the world after her mother's death, finding friendship with a 10-year-old troubled boy and love with his adoptive father.

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This book started out slow for me but when it took off it was like a rocket! There is so much I loved about it. Bouncing each chapter back and forth between Jubilee and Eric normally would have thrown me off but it works perfectly to be current with how each is feeling. Jubilee's health and her struggles are internal and then Eric's lifestyle and family life create his struggles. We all have struggles to deal with but we get back up the next day and try again. We all just keep trying. ( )
  whybehave2002 | Aug 23, 2020 |
With a main character named Jubilee Jenkins, this book is definitely as quirky as it sounds, whilst also being seriously thought-provoking. Imagine having an allergy to other people's skin and going through life without being touched, hugged or kissed? Welcome to Jubilee's lonely world.

Trapped in her own house for fear of anaphylactic shock through contact with human skin cells, Jubilee exists but doesn't live. The death of Jubilee's mother sets of a chain of events that will change her life, just when she least expects it. Just stepping out of the house and into her car is a big thing for Jubilee and I loved how she expected the car to start after so many years sitting idle. It is a visit to the gas station that sets Jubilee off onto a different path when she runs into an old schoolfriend; with kids being as cruel as they are, 'friend' is perhaps not the right term for Madison but I have to give her some respect as she certainly makes up for the actions of her youth.

Jubilee manages to get a job at the local library where she meets Eric through his equally quirky adopted son, Aja. It is no surprise that Jubilee and Aja hit it off, which is good news for Eric as he seems completely lost where Aja is concerned. Eric's relationship with his daughter, Ellie, has all but broken down and as much as I felt for him, I really just wanted him to get a grip and make things happen. I wanted to shake him and tell him that he's never going to make it up with Ellie when he has moved miles away and taken Aja with him; he needs to talk to her face to face and show her what she means to him.

With an allergy as severe as Jubilee's, she is of great interest to the medical world. I loved how Colleen Oakley 'makes it real' by including excerpts from articles about Jubilee in The New York Times. I loved watching Jubilee's story unfold as she learns not only to live with her condition but simply to live.

Close Enough to Touch is an absolutely fascinating and heartfelt story. It has a powerful message to never give up and to always look for solutions to the seemingly impossible.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion. ( )
  Michelle.Ryles | Mar 9, 2020 |
Wonderful story. ( )
  JulesGDSide | Nov 29, 2018 |
Oh heavens. We're getting new bookshelves, and I'm clearing the old ones. I found an ARC of this book, and have no memory of getting it. I do know that I picked up a number of freebie ARCs about a year ago, and wonder if this was from that haul. Anyway, I felt guilty in case it had been sent to me, and pushed it before the ARCs waiting patiently for me to get to.

Charming story, and as one with a serious allergy that has played havoc with my life (though thankfully, not this allergy) there were parts I could relate to. Also tickled that the main character is a book-lover. Can relate to that, too. ( )
  bookczuk | Oct 11, 2018 |

This book is perfection! I love every bit of it and how real the story felt. I think the story was written very well. I can see myself reading this book again some time in the future. If you’re looking for something heartwarming, this is definitely the book to read. ( )
  pistachioph | Aug 25, 2018 |
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Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
I don't want learning, or dignity, or respectability. I want this music, and this dawn, and the warmth of your cheek against mine.  --Rumi
You can keep as quiet as you like, but one of these days somebody is going to find you.  Haruki Murakami, 1Q84
Dwell in possibility.  Emily Dickinson
We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you.  Sylvia Plath
For my big sister, Megan, for everything.
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And then I keep reading, anyway---but not just because I like the story.  I like knowing that I'm touching her with my words.  That they're crawling in her ears as she sleeps.
Not until this moment, staring into Eric's eyes and feeling the full unfairness of this being the end, when we never even got to have a beginning.
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A 28-year-old recluse with a unique allergy to physical contact with other people is forced to reenter the world after her mother's death, finding friendship with a 10-year-old troubled boy and love with his adoptive father.

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Book description
And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a 28-year-old woman with a unique and debilitating medical condition - she's allergic to other humans. After a humiliating near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become reclusive in her adulthood, living the past nine years in the confines of the Victorian house her unaffectionate mother deeded to her when she ran off with a wealthy 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 - 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 no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, it psychologically, troubled adopted son who believes he has untapped telekinetic powers, 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...
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