Close Enough to Touch, Colleen Oakley: Book Review

A love story that exceeds all boundaries

close enough to touch colleen oakley book reviewGallery Books / C. Noel
Close Enough to Touch Book Cover Close Enough to Touch
Colleen Oakley
Adult Fiction
Gallery Books

From the author of Before I Go comes an unconventional love story perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes.

One time a boy kissed me and I almost died... 

And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman with a rare and debilitating medical condition: she’s allergic to other humans. After a humiliating near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become a recluse, living the past nine years in the confines of the small town New Jersey house her unaffectionate mother left to her when she ran off with a Long Island 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—that 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 who is no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son, 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, with a unique condition...

Close Enough to Touch is an evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart.

This review contains quotes from the novel.

*Special thanks to Gallery Books for allowing us to read Colleen Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch.

Colleen Oakley‘s Close Enough to Touch is a promising love story that will tug at your heartstrings and is perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon‘s Everything, Everything.

Starting off the novel is our main character, Jubilee Jenkins, who we learn is afflicted with a rare disease that prevents her from having human contact. This derives from an incident Jubilee experienced that nearly claimed her life and has made her live a hermit life for the past nine years. But when she learns that her mother has passed, she realizes she has to face the world full on and that bears its own share of challenges for her.

“Another thought floats on the periphery of my brain, waiting to be let in. A terrifying thought. A thought that I realize maybe I’ve known deep down but haven’t wanted to admit to myself. But it’s hard to deny it when I’m leaning against the front door inside my house, unable to slow my heart or stem my tears or stop my body from shaking.

And that thought is: Maybe there’s another reason I haven’t left my house in nine years.

Maybe it’s because I can’t.

-excerpt from Colleen Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch

Her first step into her new lifestyle is getting a job at the local library where she finds she is most comfortable. One day she meets a man named Eric Keegan at her job. He is divorced and has moved to the town with his adopted son. All Eric wants to do is become the man and the father who he has always tried to be. After he meets Jubilee, he realizes that she is the woman he wants, but she has been keeping him at a distance and he cannot figure out why. So Eric’s goal is to try to get Jubilee to open to him in a way she has never been able to do. Eric and Jubilee have one heck of a love story.

Man, this book did a number on me. I am an emotional wreck after reading this because Eric and Jubilee are goals. Their love story was so much fun to see unfold. I loved Jubilee’s character because she was stronger than she thought she was. She was able to step out of her house after losing her mother and start to live her life the way she wanted too. I found her courage to be remarkable especially for someone who is allergic to human touch.

In all, I would certainly recommend Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch to fans of Nicholas Sparks, Colleen Hoover, and Molly McAdams.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.