Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Madeline has a rare disease, one that makes her allergic to everything. Literally everything. She hasn’t left her house in seventeen years, and only gets to see her mom and nurse.
But then one day a moving truck arrives next door, and Olly, the all-black wearing boy with the beanie, becomes her new neighbor. He sees her. Madeline know she won’t be able to stop falling in love with him, she also knows it’s going to be a complete disaster.
I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while, and I’ve only heard good things about it and author Nicola Yoon. I’ve been in a little bit of a fantasy rut, so I decided to finally pick it up as part of #DAReadAThon.
I really enjoyed the format and writing of the book. It’s super light and easy, I literally read this book in one sitting in a couple hours. I started and next thing I knew I was a hundred pages in. Very quick. Part of the reason behind this is the unique format. There are sections that are conventional narrative, that’s probably most of the book, but besides that there are emails, instant messaging chat, little self-made logs and lists. My favorite like different format in the book is probably the spoiler book reviews Maddy writes. Like they’re great. For example, she reads Lord of the Flies and her review says: “Spoiler alert: Boys are savages.” I started cracking up alone in my room when I read that. #True.
Also, Nicola Yoon constructs some really beautiful sentences. There were phrases that really hit me, and I wanted to read over and over again.
I liked Maddy. She’s a bookworm, so obviously that’s point in her favor. I also thought her whole homeschooling via the internet and her interest in architecture was unique. That being said, I felt like there wasn’t too much to her personality, she really only shined in her conversations with Olly. At other times I felt like she could’ve used more depth and characterization.
I was very intrigued by the disease she has. But I felt like I was lacking a lot of detail and thought that there would’ve been more medical stuff. Like I didn’t fully understand it or what caused her to get sick at certain times or what would happen to her if she got sick. It’s never really fleshed out.
I briefly mentioned this, but I read this book as part of #DAReadAThon. Maddie is mixed race, half African-American and half Asian. I really appreciate Yoon for writing a diverse main character, especially a type of diversity that I haven’t seen a lot of in young adult. That being said, Yoon doesn’t make it a thing or push it. I don’t actually think it’s mentioned until good chunk into the book. It’s just a fact of life for Maddy, part of who she is but not the most important part. And maybe it’s like that because of her being stuck in the house and her disease.
Maddy’s relationships with her mom was really sweet to see. They’re really close as they are basically the only people they have left, as Maddy’s father and brother died in an accident when she was a baby. I don’t think you get a lot of close parental relationships in young adult. That being said, her mother seemed slightly underdeveloped. And she did frustrate me a bit. She doesn’t want Maddy to interact with Olly even online, but I can’t see how this mom would not want her daughter to have like no friends at all. This is in comparison to Carla, Maddie’s nurse who is basically like a second mother. I loved Carla, she’s honest, caring, and just the right amount of feisty.
And speaking of relationships, that brings us to Olly. I liked Olly a lot. But I think like most of the characters in this book I still felt a little surface with him. He has some issues of his own going on which complicate things and I enjoyed that, but I just didn’t latch on and feel for him completely like I have with a lot of other contemporary guys. He is pretty cool though, with his floppy hair and parkour. I will say, like Maddy I think Olly really shined in their dialogue. There emails and IMs were so perfect.
I will say I was anxious reading most of this book. Like going in after reading the summary you know she’s possibly gonna get hurt emotionally wanting what she can’t have or get sick. Like I was just so anxious the whole book. I will say I personally liked the way the book ended up. I think the end could’ve been a little more fleshed out and gone deeper, but overall it changed pace and offered possibilities.
All in all, Everything, Everything made me smile. I didn’t sob or fall in deep love like I have with characters from other contemporaries, but it made me smile, laugh, scoff and blush. It’s light, cute, gives you the fuzzies, and worth a read. You can buy it on Amazon and find the author at nicolayoon.com. Plus, keep a look out for the movie adaptation coming out this year.