Close Enough to Touch

Close Enough to Touch

by Colleen Oakley

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Close Enough to Touch 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think I have ever rated a book before this one and I read a lot! This book is heart-warming as well as heart-wrenching. I fell in love with Jubilee. I was so sad that it was over when I finished. I highly recommend!
gaele More than 1 year ago
Jubilee Jenkins has always been different: quiet and reserved, her worst fear is human touch, for she could have an allergic reaction so severe as to cause death. And, just before her high school graduation, she did almost die from her first kiss. So, it’s not as if her fears are unfounded. But, for the intervening 9 years, she retreated to live only within the walls of her home, supported by her mother and having little to no interactions with the outside world. When her mother remarries and leaves the house, there is little change for Jubilee, except for the loneliness: as her mother continued to support her financially. And then, one telephone call changed her life. Her stepfather informs her that her mother is dead, and the financial assistance will stop. Immediately. Thus Jubilee is thrust into the outside world, anxious and afraid, to find a job and reframe her life in a new way. Finding a position at the library – books are safe and familiar friends, Jubilee is just getting accustomed to her new way of existing when she meets Eric and his newly adopted son Aja. A tentative friendship begins as these two start to bond together in spite of their own reservations and insecurities, as they are both still grieving their losses. Oakley does much very well in this story: the anxieties and overwhelming emotions felt by both Eric and Jubilee are clear, and the missteps are easy to understand and comprehend. The determination of Jubilee to make a place in the world for herself, even if she requires a bit more personal space than many, is intriguing: she’s still afraid of many things but moves forward despite that anxiety, never letting a mistaken approach or path delay her for long. For Eric, his grief in the death of his friend, while trying to help Aja through that process was truly gorgeous. He’s clueless and hurting, but wants only to make those around him happier, even if only for a moment. While I found the relationship between Jubilee and Eric was perhaps unneeded, and that friends was a perfect step, the changes and growth that both experienced through their friendship brought them both growth and a new outlook on their lives. An unexpected but wholly fitting ending wraps up the story nicely, leaving readers with plenty to think about long after the last page is read. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
Jenny_Brown More than 1 year ago
A woman is allergic to other people but forced to enter the world when her mother passes away. Totally got caught up in this story and finished it in a single day. Loved that it was sweet without being sappy. Thought the characters were great and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
Close Enough To Touch starts off very promisingly with a certain strand of dark humour which, considering the subject matter, you would very much need to cope with an allergy to rest of humanity. To some extent we all have a figurative allergy to people but Jubilee Jenkins has a literal allergy to the human race and has become am agoraphobic recluse as a result and who can blame her? I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. There is a glossed over plot hole early in the story and it niggled at me so much I simply could not get past it for the rest of the book. Without giving too much away (I hope) Jubilee has been living as a recluse for 9 years never once leaving her home for 9 years and then in a matter of weeks she manages to not only leave her house but she regularily cycles to her new job in a customer facing service role. I also found Jubilee to be quite an unlikeable character but this is no bad thing. How could someone who cannot even touch another person without potentially dieing have the social niceties or be able to even relate to other people? For me her self-absorption and need for a "connection" which can border on pathetic sometimes rings true for this character; howver unlikeable it makes her. The secondary characters of Eric and Aja and are well written and well fleshed out characters. I really enjoyed the segments of the book dealing with the adopted son and his new dad. Their struggles to adapt to the loss of not only Aja's parents but the breakdown of Eric's marriage and his struggles to reconnect with his teenage daughter are poignant and genuinely funny in places. Close Enough To Touch is a decent enough book but schmaltzy in places and only really spoilt by what I preceived to be an early plot hole. It is definitely of that category that I always think of as "literary self help" and one that I generally enjoy. I didn't feel I'd wasted the day it took me to read the book and if this is a genre you have enjoyed in the past then you would find this a worthwhile read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first half of the book, oh my goodness!, well written, witty, poignant, laugh out loud funny. I was so excited to find this author. Then, the last third of the book was terrible. The author rushed to a predictable ending. Not so well written. I would not recommend this book, however, I will try something else by her - from the library
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars for Close Enough to Touch Close Enough to Touch is my first Colleen Oakley book and it won’t be my last. I fell in love with Jubilee! Jubilee Jenkins has a rare allergy to other humans. Physical contact with other people can cause a deadly reaction and after a near-death experience Jubilee locks herself away from the public. For nine years she remained at home alone but with the internet she earned a degree and handled most mundane activities, like grocery shopping, without leaving her home. But when her mother passes away, thus cutting off her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave the safety of her home to find a job. In the real world Jubilee meets a lovable cast of characters. Eric Keegan is recently divorced and struggling to have a relationship with his teenage daughter and his adopted son Aja. As Jubilee spends time with Eric and Aja it becomes clear that we all suffer from different degrees of isolation. Jubilee has separated herself from everyone because of her condition, but Eric and Aja have suffered a devastating lost and are struggling to heal. I loved how Jubilee’s awkwardness made her an honest character and gave her keen perspective on life. The people she grew to know helped her overcome fears and lack of self-confidence. But she made an impact on their lives as well. When I first came across this book I was expecting a somber story of a girl struggling to live with a rare condition. It was a pleasant surprise to read a heart-warming story which had me laughing and crying. My only dislike was the ending which I felt was rushed. Despite this I did love Close Enough to Touch and I look forward to reading more from this author. 5 Star Audiobook Review Close Enough to Touch had 3 narrators: Candace Thaxton, Kirby Heyborne and Jonathan Todd Ross. I thought they all did an amazing performance and brought the story to life. I especially loved Candace Thaxton performance. She portrayed the quirkiness of Jubilee which was perfect and made me fall in love with the main character. This was my first audiobook with these narrators and I look forward to listening to more audiobooks with them.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
Can you imagine almost dying from mere skin contact with another person? Someone kisses you and you go into anaphylactic shock?! When I first read that Jubilee Jenkins suffers from this illness, I had no idea how much this story would actually impact me. It's not solely that disease in and of itself that left me speechless... but all of the rest that goes with it. Jubilee suffered a kissing incident at school (which was all done on a dare by classmates to see if the rumors were true. How horrible!) where she almost dies. From that point forward, she becomes a recluse and refuses to leave her home. To make it worse... her mother leaves to go live with her boyfriend, leaving Jubilee home alone, where she stays, inside her home, very little contact with the outside world, for over nine years. Nine years! When Jubilee learns that her mother has passed away and her stepfather will no longer be sending checks her way to pay for bills and such, Jubilee decides that her recluse days have come to an end and she must learn to live life like everyone else. She needs a job, and this will inevitably lead to leaving her home. Talk about stressful! Oh, how I felt for Jubilee. Though I suffer from anxiety to a certain degree myself, I can't even imagine how hard it must have been for her to realize that the life as she was so used to was over and she must start doing things differently. The idea of leaving a house that you haven't left in nine years... and not just leaving, but going out into the world and actually working a job in the public. You add to that her horrific disease where she cannot come into any contact with another person for fear of dying... yeah, Jubilee won my empathy vote. Wow. And to think people actually suffer like this. It blew my mind. Aside from Jubilee and how much I felt for her, I also found myself really empathizing with Eric as well. This guy is trying everything he can to do what he feels is right, and still he keeps pulling the short straw. Eric's own teenage daughter will not speak to him, and he's at a complete loss as to how to remedy this. This adopted son, Aja, falls into his hands when his best friend and wife pass away tragically, leaving Eric as the only person for Aja to be with. Aja has his own struggles, leaving this twosome in a heap of drama and conflict. Oh man, this poor guy... I just wanted to help him any way I could. Life is never easy... but these two definitely had it harder than most. As you can probably tell, this story really touched me. I read a lot of emotional stories about illnesses, both mental and physical, and I love learning more about how people deal with their disabilities. This story, however, really packed a punch stronger than most. I'm not sure exactly why it touched me so deeply, other than the way it was written. It was so hard to put down and I just wanted to constantly know what was going to happen next. What would happen for these two tortured souls. If they would ever be "okay" and how they would cope with everything that was thrown their way. I really felt as though I knew these characters on a personal level. This is such a powerful and even hopeful story, and I definitely recommend it. It's a great summer beach read for sure, so add this one to your TBR's! Audiobook Impressions: Yay for two narrators!! When books have two points of view, I'm always a huge fan of having two narrators. Especially when one is a male and one's a female. In this story, we get both Jubi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't put this book, great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Definitely pick up this novel to read this year as it is one that should not be overlooked. Colleen Oakley’s writing was spectacular as I was completely immersed into the character of Jubilee and her “condition.” Avoiding contact with other humans, Jubilee remained housebound for years, one close encounter with death was all that she needed to realize that isolation was the best option that she had. Jubilee did not waste this time while she was alone, she saw options and took advantage of them. Jubilee was a bright, young woman with a “condition.” Her life changes when her mother passes away and Jubilee realizes that she cannot hide in the house any longer. This woman, who was resourceful, will now have to venture outside the threshold of her doorway. I walked the walk with Jubilee as she saw the vast blue sky up above her, as she saw the crowds of people and mapped her way around them and how she tried to hide amongst the many who she thought were staring at her yet she could not get close to them. Her world which was once limited to the walls inside her mother’s house has now increased and the people, the opportunities and the obstacles are limitless. I laughed as she made her way into her new surroundings, I cried (actually, I bawled a few times) as I was so overcome with emotions and I cheered for her as she finally became the person she was hiding in the house. This was definitely one of my hair-dryer novels, one that I just couldn’t put down and one, that I hope you will enjoy also. “I am going to suffocate you.” (I don’t like to quote ARC’s but this line……marvelous, simply marvelous!) I received a copy of this novel from Gallery Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
CaptivatedRding More than 1 year ago
Jubilee Jenkins is one of the most unfortunate characters that I've ever read about. To not be able to experience touch of any kind would be awful. And on top of that she suffers from agoraphobia and is unable to leave her home for years. Then there's Eric Keegan who struggles with becoming the best parent he can be while realizing that parents are not perfect. From the first chapter of "Close Enough to Touch" I realized that more than a love story, this would be a story about a woman who needed to come to terms with the cards that life had dealt her while also getting over the fears that have overtaken her for the past nine years. And also about a man who needed to strengthen the familial bonds that evade him. These two characters would help each other in ways that either of them probably ever anticipated. Couple that with the smoldering heat between these two, who can't even touch one another, and you've got a beautiful story that warmed my heart. I can't wait to read more from Ms. Oakley.
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
Favorite Quotes: I didn’t wake up one morning and think: ‘I’m going to become a recluse.’ I don’t even like the word ‘recluse.’ It reminds me of that deadly spider just lying in wait to sink its venom into the next creature that crosses its path. I hate when people self-diagnose. I watched my mom do it for years – she had everything from rabies (even though she’d never been bitten by an animal) to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to syphilis (although, in retrospect, that diagnosis wouldn’t have been exactly surprising). I don’t know why I’m so drawn to her. She’s beautiful, yes, but it’s more than that. There’s something different about her – how she’s guarded yet completely vulnerable at the same time. She’s like a Rubik’s Cube that I find myself eager to sort into a pattern that makes sense. Or maybe I’m eager to sort out why I keep thinking of her. I don’t know. I’ve never met anyone quite like her. And I was never good at Rubik’s Cubes. Is there a proper way to grieve? Step-by-step instructions? I thought you just cried a bit and got on with it. My mind flashes to the day I came home from school as a kid and my gerbil Alvin was lying in his cage, unmoving. ‘Chin up,’ my mom said. ‘Life goes on.’ I just remember thinking: Not for Alvin. My Review: Close Enough To Touch provided a highly intriguing premise and the most vividly peculiar cast of characters (primary, secondary and tertiary) that I can ever recall. I was fascinated and reveled in the introduction of each and every one of them and the levity their cleverly described attributes, mannerisms, and nicknames provided. Each quirky character was every kind of odd, but Jubilee and Aja were the most eccentric. Jubilee was emotionally stunted and immature, as well as medically challenged; and to my consternation, she was often a shrew towards the precious yet clueless Eric - whom I adored him above all others. The storyline was intriguing, ingenious, entertaining and full of feels. Ms. Oakley’s writing was highly amusing, engaging, and loaded with ironic inner musings, keen insights, heart-squeezes, wry observations, and witty banter that kept me smirking and easily annoyed if interrupted. It was superb.