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Close Enough to Touch

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,745 ratings  ·  1,203 reviews
Can you miss something you never had?

Jubilee Jenkins is no ordinary librarian. With a rare allergy to human touch, any skin-to-skin contact could literally kill her. But after retreating into solitude for nearly ten years, Jubilee’s decided to brave the world again, despite the risks. Armed with a pair of gloves, long sleeves, and her trusty bicycle, she finally ventures o
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Gallery Books
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Trish Walter
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Pam Not YA although I appreciated the lack of major swear words. This book deals too much with parenthood and family issues for me to consider it YA.

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  6,745 ratings  ·  1,203 reviews

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Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars! Oh, how I loved this book!

I must first thank my dear and lovely GR friend Linda whose glowing review enticed me to pick up this book. I’m so happy that I did!! I’m not sure I would have chosen this novel based on the synopsis – it didn’t call out to me or sound like something I would generally attract to. I love that this took me outside of my usual reading genre.

I didn’t realize how funny this story would be – I was giggling out loud in every chapter, which was such a nice change f
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
After reading Colleen Oakley's first book, I was delighted to learn she was releasing her second one, "Close Enough to Touch." This book gives us a different approach to what love looks like and introduces us to three very different yet similar, endearing characters.

Jubilee Jenkins developed a rare allergy to foreign human skin cells at age three. Her mother sought medical attention for her throughout the years, but there were no treatments sophisticated enough to help this condition. After suff
4.5 The Feels ★'s

"I know that if I've learned anything, it's that love is messy. It doesn't come to us in a perfect box all wrapped up in a bow. It's more like a gift from a child, crayon-scrawled and crumpled. Imperfect. But always a gift just the same.
It's just that not all gifts are meant to last forever."

Ohhh this book, It was sooo damn good! I love it. It Definitely has ALL the feels. It will make you laugh out loud, make you cry, and possibly both at the same time. This book is very quirky
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Jubilee Jenkins has lived for twenty-seven years with a rare medical condition that keeps her from touching other people. Her symptoms are severe and she had an embarrassing incident in high school which forced her to become a recluse. For nine years she did not leave the house and was dependent on her mother for financial support. When her mom dies, Jubilee find herself needing money and is forced to venture outside for employment.

Jubilee finds a job at the local library where she meets Eric K
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Quirky, super cute and endearing. I'll have to look at this authors other books.
Dee Montoya
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
4 Delicate Stars****

(ARC provided by Netgalley)

A breathtaking story about a woman who's life has been deeply affected by a terrible allergy. Jubilee is allergic to humans. This story takes the reader through the life of a girl who's terrified of being touched, after her first, and only kiss ever, nearly killed her...

 photo F10D8CAB-1542-4162-9C14-0F7CC4C8D6CF_zpsijcljgdh.jpg

Jubilee was diagnosed with a very rare allergy to people, when she was six years old. She can't come in contact with human skin because she gets terrible allergic reactions and i
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Wonderful, Quirky, Feel-Good Story!
CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH By Colleen Oakley is a great read!

"People did stare at me in high school -- like I was a curiosity -- but I didn't think anyone ever noticed me. It's a strange feeling to be seen but invisible at the same time."

I loved the heroine, Jubilee Jenkins! She is very charming and down-to-earth. She is a young woman with a terrible, rare allergy. She is deathly allergic to human skin contact! She can't be touched! Her mother left home when Jubil
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, romance, read-2016
4.5 stars. I loved this book so much up until the very end. I wanted just a little more from that ending. It felt rushed to me. Other than that, I adored this book. Absolutely loved Eric and Jubilee!
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jubilee Jenkins has a rare allergy to human skin cells. In short, she can't touch other people. The one time she broke the rules and kissed a boy she nearly died. Depressed and humiliated after that incident, Jubilee locked herself inside her house for the next nine years. But now her mother has died, which has left her without financial support. Desperate for a job, Jubilee takes a position at the local library. It's handed to her by a popular girl from her high school, Madison. Jubilee is slig ...more
Jacqueline's Reads


A Librarian Meets a Single Dad

This is my first Colleen Oakley book and it won’t be the last! I can’t describe to you the FEELS I received after reading Close Enough to Touch. Gah, this novel is EPIC, FANTASTIC and HEART-WARMING. It had everything I looked for in a feel-good novel with well developed, but slightly flawed complex characters, a thought out storyline and just pure adorableness all around.

I had ZERO expectations going into this book. I thought the cover was quirky an
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“When it comes to timing, love doesn’t give a flying fuck.”

Yesterday I was all like . . . .

And declaring my love for all things unlovable and stabby and druggy and culty and on and on and today I’m . . . . . .

I know, I know . . . .

My only excuse Fridays are for fluff and I totally woke up yesterday thinking it was Friday - and trust when I tell you that today I have a MAJOR sad that it’s Friday 2.0 because unlike my
A surprising gem. "Close Enough to Touch" imagines what life might be like with anaphylaxis, which could kill, from skin to skin contact. Jubilee, now twenty seven, has had a few very close calls with death - like the time in her senior school that Donovan made good on a dare and that very public kiss - her first and only kiss - and that caused a life threatening attack.

When the outer world becomes overwhelming, after that incident, Jubilee manages to retreat from even the possibility of any da
Erin Clemence
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Close Enough to Touch” by Colleen Oakley is the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman who has spent the last nine years of her life living as a recluse, as she suffers from a rare disorder where she is allergic to human skin cells that are not her own (so essentially, she has an allergy to other people). When Jubilee’s mother dies, Jubilee is forced to go out into the world she is so afraid of, and she winds up working at the public library. While there she meets Eric, an accountant who is st ...more
Karen R
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oakley’s storytelling drew me in early on, in fact from the very first sentence:“ One time a boy kissed me and I almost died.”

A wonderfully complex story involving three main characters who I cared about, admired their courage and rooted for them as they managed to push through difficult situations, often with humor. There is Jubilee, a young woman severely allergic to human touch. “One day it’s a severe rash and then the next it’s anaphylaxis - life or death.” Then there is Eric, a divorced ma
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
It is hard to express my thoughts about this book. It actually kept me awake during the night after I finished it. My thoughts and emotions were all over the place. I read this in one sitting and cried many times through it.

The author has such an amazing talent for her unique depiction of the main character, Jubilee… Love the name too, but such an oxymoron to her despair and longing for love. I felt every hurt, every ounce of shame, every shred of anxiety she felt. The authors incredible ability
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
FYI The Kindle e-book is only $1.99 right now because the paperback version was released this week!

Close Enough to Touch is so much more than the typical boy-meets-girl story. Colleen Oakley has just the easy-reading, well-written style I love where not a word is wasted, and the plot solidly moves along. It's a dual narrative featuring Jubilee and Eric, with the precocious Aja featured as well; all equally flawed and lovable at the same time. As an added bonus, the characters love books and mee
This was an excellent rec from a friend. Thanks, Linda! I very much enjoyed before I go, and jumped into this one with gusto. It was such an easy and lovely read! Of course, it did not hurt that a lot of the story was based in a library, given my teeny library obsession and field of work.

Lovable characters, not only likable, but I loved them. Jubilee - what a gorgeous and perfect name – suffers from a horrifically rare allergy. She is unable to withstand human touch. It will drive her to anaphyl
Dale Harcombe
Four and a half stars.
The premise of this story sounded interesting. Jubilee Jenkins is 28 and hasn’t been out of her house for 9 years, because she is allergic to people. Literally allergic. Anyone who suffers with allergies knows how annoying they can be at times. But for Jubilee this one is total debilitating. Her last experience with another human being, a kiss, nearly killed her. So began her solitary life after her mother leaves her alone. With one phone call from her stepfather telling he
Kimberly Belle
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of this one--a love story starring a woman who's deathly allergic to other humans. Oakley handles the storyline expertly, by creating the perfect balance between heart-wrenching emotion and humor. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll turn the pages until deep in the night.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ahhh, this book was great! Close Enough to Touch is a story of Jubilee, a woman with a severe allergy to human contact, who hasn't left her house in years, and Eric, a recently divorced man, trying to raise his son, Aja, repair his relationship with his daughter, and make Partner at work.

At first, I thought the story would be too predictable and generic but, it did not disappoint! It was a bit deeper than I was expecting, in a good way. I also liked the references to numerous books throughout t
Laura Rash
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a unique idea & storyline. I really truly loved this book. The ending felt a bit rushed & left me wanting something different but it was still so very very good! ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book immediately snapped up my attention. Jubilee Jenkins can't be touched. Jubilee wasn't allergic to the most common things like peanut butter or bee stings or pet dander. Astonishingly she was allergic to other people. She was diagnosed with type IV contact dermatitis to foreign human skin cells. One time a boy kissed Jubilee and she almost died. Her lips started tingling. Her tongue swelled to fill her mouth. And Jubilees throat closed and she couldn't breathe. Everything went black. Fo ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really expected to enjoy this book. But, overall, it was rather disappointing.

What I liked:
1. The premise sounded so interesting! As a nurse, I wondered if it was possible for someone to have allergic reactions to human dander.
2. Jubilee's complicated relationship with her mother was well written; all sorts of dysfunction that was interesting without being melodramatic.

What I didn't like:
1. Characters:
I couldn't connect or empathize with the characters. I understand that all characters n
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

"I know that if I've learned anything, it's that love is messy. It doesn't come to us in a perfect box all wrapped up in a bow. It's more like a gift from a child, crayon-scrawled and crumpled. Imperfect. But always a gift just the same.
It's just that not all gifts are meant to last forever."

Jubilee Jenkins has a rare allergy...she is allergic to foreign human skin basically human contact. She breaks out in hives when contact does happen, but she's also had more severe reaction
Morelia (Strandedinbooks)
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
***4.5 STARS

Thank you to Gallery Books for sending me a copy for an honest review!

Does the giddiness over a good book ever go away?
This was my first Colleen Oakley novel and honestly, where have I been? I will mostly certainly not miss another one of her novels!
This story pulled me in immediately, and not just because of the rare condition the main character lives with; I was also pulled in by the sweet, blooming romance, the small bits of hilarity here and there, and the heart-warming, but a
 Megan • Reading Books Like a Boss (book blog)

Do you think you could go more than twenty years without touching another person? Without feeling the simplest display of comfort, a consolation, a hug, a brushed kiss on the forehead?
"One time, a boy kissed me and I almost died."

Due to a rare genetic mutation, Jubilee isn't able to experience even the slightest touch of another person, without risk of death.  After a nine-year self-imposed exile, her fear of being touched reaches far past her own health concerns and has morphed into ago
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Strongly recommend this read - what an engaging narrative.

My View:
What a reading week I have had! A week full of un- putdown able reads, of 5 star after 5 star narratives that will stay with me for a long time and this book belongs on that list of outstanding writing that forms the “Best of 2017” list in my reading diary. This one really surprised me – it was not what I was expecting!

What can I say to convince you to pick up this book because I know that if you start reading it by the end of the
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-for-review
I loved this heartfelt book and I couldn't put it down. I finished it in 24 hours which is a rare feat for me. Oakley does an excellent job of taking a character, Jubilee, who has had no social interaction for years because of an allergy to humans (stay with me), and making her lovable and fun. You cheer with her every step of the way. And even characters you want to dislike when you find out they are more than meets the eye, you don't have it in your heart to hate them or dislike them.

I loved
Judy D Collins
Talented storyteller, Colleen Oakley returns following her smashing debut, Before I Go (2015) with her latest poignant love story, CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH – full of emotion, readers will laugh and cry and fall in love with the memorable characters.

“ . . . Love is messy. It doesn’t come to us in a perfect box all wrapped up in a bow. It’s more like a gift from a child, crayon-scrawled and crumpled. Imperfect. But always a gift just the same.”

Jubilee Jenkins did not wake up one morning and think
Merphy Napier
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
An introspective story with a wide range of mental health rep and a slow burn romance. I really enjoyed this book a lot and really fell for the characters. I'm not sure how wide the range is for readers but I'd say if it looks interesting, give it a go. I really loved it.
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Più complicato di un semplice romance 1 3 Mar 31, 2018 10:55AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2017.11: Close Enough to Touch 1 39 Mar 17, 2017 06:44AM  

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Colleen Oakley is the USA Today bestselling author of You Were There Too and other unconventional love stories. Her books have been named best books by People Magazine, Us Weekly, Library Journal, and Real Simple, and long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world's biggest lapdog, Bailey. Her fourth novel THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF ...more

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