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Nicola Yoon is the number one New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. She’s also a hopeless romantic who firmly believes that you can fall in love in an instant and that it can last forever.
November 2016 Book of the Month In a Nutshell: Race against time | Racing hearts | The difference a day makes | Intense tale of fate, fraught families and migrant lives told over the twelve hour period in which a teenage girl falls madly in love while desperately seeking to save her family from deportation. Natasha has been making solitary pilgrimages to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office for some time, but time has all but run out. On this morning’s last ditch visit the worst is confirmed: she and her family must return to Jamaica in ten hours. “What about college?” she pleads. “Do you have any idea what it’s like not to fit in anywhere?” While she's angered by the officer’s naïve assumption that her life will turn out irie in Jamaica, he offers Natasha a lifeline when he sets up a meeting with a top attorney, and so she sets off across New York to meet him. Meanwhile, Daniel’s story begins to unfold. Born in the US to South Korean migrants, Daniel is on his way to an interview for Yale when he’s smitten by a girl he happens to see. That girl is Natasha, and their attraction is mutual, and strong. But Natasha believes in science, not in “unprovable” things like love, though she can’t deny her rapidly intensifying feelings for Daniel. But it’s not long before Natasha has to meet the lawyer, and Daniel has his interview and so they must part. Then a combination of snap decisions and chance throws them back together, and they fall deeper in love as time ticks down. I adored the author’s debut, Everything, Everything, and this confirms her status as a writer of considerable talents. Expansively thought-provoking, incisively told and breathtakingly smart on love, identity and the shifting relationships between young adults and their parents, this is YA at its finest, and its exploration of migrant experiences (“for most immigrants, moving to the new country is an act of faith”) is insightful and timely. ~ Joanne Owen
September 2015 Debut of the Month. A great new debut about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love. “Love makes people crazy,” observes Maddy, the eighteen-year-old protagonist of this remarkable debut. It’s “worth everything. Everything.” Exploring the risks we'll take for love, and to protect those we've given our hearts to, Maddy’s story is utterly unforgettable. Since she was an infant, Maddy’s world has been confined to the books she devours, her devoted doctor mom and her loveable full-time nurse, Carla. For seventeen years, she’s lived with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or ‘bubble baby disease’, which means venturing outside could trigger fatal allergic reactions. But everything changes when a new family moves into her Californian neighbourhood, and Maddy is inexorably drawn to the enigmatic, black-clad Olly. They strike up a relationship, initially via instant messaging and then in person, when Maddy persuades Carla to allow Olly into their air-sealed house. He’s the biggest risk she's ever taken, Maddy comments. And Olly likens her to a fairy tale heroine, shut away like Rapunzel, except in Maddy’s case being rescued by a prince could kill her. But the deeper they fall in love, the more necessary it becomes for Maddy to take these risks. They share their first kiss and, “just like that, everything changes,” so much so, Maddy feels ready to risk everything to realise a lifelong dream with the person she loves.With enriching illustrations by the author's husband, David Yoon, himself a designer and writer, this is a heartrending, sparkling jewel of a novel, and its subtly-laid twist will take your breath away. - Joanne Owen