Close Enough to Touch

“One time, a boy kissed me and I almost died. I realize that can easily be dismissed as a melodramatic teenager-ism, said in a high-pitched voice bookended by squeals. But I’m not a teenager. And I mean it in the most literal sense.”

Close Enough to Touch
By Colleen Oakley
Published: August 2017
Source: Advance review copy

Jubilee Jenkins is allergic to people. Really allergic as in any contact can land her in a medical crisis and if she doesn’t receive attention she can die. So she’s alienated herself from most people including her mom. Unfortunately when her mother dies Jubilee has to find a way to earn a living and actually go out into the world she’s kept at bay for so long.

Luck is on her side when she runs into an acquaintance from high school and she helps Jubilee find a job at the library. While the world is a bit scary and Jubilee is now having to talk to strangers on a regular basis, little by little she finds herself adjusting to her new life. Sure people may stare at her in her gloves, which she uses to avoid human contact, but at least she’s making the effort.

Meanwhile someone else making an adjustment is Eric Keegan. He’s separated from his wife, his teen daughter won’t speak to him and he’s now the guardian of a little boy whose parents have died and who happens to want to amass powers like those of Magneto from the X-Men. Still Eric is hopeful that he just needs time to figure out how to get everything on track again but after he meets Jubilee at the library things will never be the same for these sweet characters.

Of course there are some scary moments before Eric finds out he cannot just reach out and touch Jubilee and lots of angst for both Jubilee and Eric as sometimes they just want to go back to the way things were but ultimately the pair proves that we all long for some connection. Whether it be the romantic kind or just to know that you have friends or family rooting for you.

There was one slight issue I had with the novel and that was with the ending but I don’t want to spoil this for anyone but if you are looking for a sweet, romantic novel give this one a chance.

Currently Reading

Brr.. it’s cold today. We had a high of 29 but by Saturday we’re supposed to get to 70. Crazy right? So my dilemma of what to do about going to my book group or not as I hadn’t read the book was solved by our weather. The freezing temps and rain meant icy roads so a lot of businesses were closed. Our book group decided to postpone our meeting until next month. Hopefully I’ll be more inclined to read the book in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a rundown of my current reads. I’ve finished a couple of books so I’m now down to three books and all are so far, really good.

First up is The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins. I’ve loved several of his poetry collections and right off the bat one of the first poems in this one is “Only Child” which hit me at my core. I’ve already re-read that one poem several times and no doubt will write it out and put it in my poetry journal.

When I’m not reading poems, I turn to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. You’ve probably already know that this is a story of two girls growing up in Naples, Italy. This is the first in a quartet of historical novels and each character seems so alive. The books will span 60 years of the lives of the girls and those of other community members so I’m really excited to know more about Italy during this time frame.

My Kindle and nighttime read is Unpunished by Lisa Black. This is the second book the the Gardiner & Renner series. I really liked the first book and so far this is living up as a sequel. Plus, I was lucky to snag the latest book in the series via NetGalley. Maggie Gardiner is a forensic investigator and teams up with Jack Renner a police detective to solve crimes. Problem is that Jack Renner hides a big secret himself. Well, Maggie found out what the big secret was in the first book but still so far she is the only one who knows so what does she do with that knowledge? Good stuff.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these or what you’ve been reading lately. I’m in the mood to add another book to the mix so I’ll keep you posted!

In the Studio

I hope you all had a great weekend. It was a lovely weekend with lots of sun here although according to the weather reports we’ll be seeing some very cold weather soon. I guess I don’t mind as that means I can spend more time in the studio without being distracted by going out to do things.

This weekend I was in the middle of bookbinding. I’ve had books in process for months so it was time to finish some up and start planning the next ones. So aside from my little coptic bound postcard journals, I’ll have more sketchbooks and some new journal types. It’s so much fun to create.

As my husband was helping me take pictures of some of the finished books so I can post on my Etsy shop, he found some old calligraphy work he doesn’t need any more and gave those sheets to me. I’m so excited. I can incorporate some of the pieces into the “junk journals” I’m making so I can’t wait!

Of course as I’m planning my next journals that means a lot of time going through scrapbook papers, Italian decorative paper, marbled paper, and other beautiful papers that I’ve accumulated over the years. I’m really drowning in paper over here so I guess I better get busy making more books right? haha.

Anyway, that’s the scoop from over here. I have got to tell you about some of my current reads soon. I’m in the middle of some good books. How about you? What have you been up to?