Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon


Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: September 1st 2015
Page Amount: 320 pages
Price: $18.99 Hardback
ISBN: 0553496646 (ISBN13: 9780553496642)

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster (Summary and Cover Image from Goodreads!)

Maddy Whittier has never seen the world. Ever. At seventeen years old, the only thing she has ever seen are the white walls of her bedroom, the white t-shirts and white Keds she has in her closet, and her bookshelves, adorned with colorful, 110% sterilized, disinfected and sanitized hardcover books; the only thing she has ever seen with true color. Maddy has SCID, otherwise known as bubble baby disease, making the only contact she has with the world extremely limited. Her mother and her nurse Carla are truly the only people she has contact with, and even then, physical contact of any kind is strictly forbidden (because it will bring her several bacterium and viruses that her body cannot fight off, that could kill her). Maddy has never known anything other than the purified air being pumped into her house every four hours, air locked front door, and saran wrapped books. That is, until she meets Olly, her new neighbor next-door. Maddy realizes there (should) be much more to her life and the bubble she grew up in, and she will do anything to experience it.

Everything Everything is one of those books that will remain on shelves for a very long time, and touch the hearts of all who read it. Maddy is just one of those characters that you instantly connect to, and she welcomes you with open arms to read and know her story. With every page, Nicola Yoon tugs at your heartstrings, makes you laugh, cry and everything in-between, something that is truly unique to Madeline's story. This book is definitely one of the best books of 2015, and Maddy's story will stay in the hearts of readers for a long, long time.

Honestly, I don't know if I can express my love for this book in words. Maddy is a character that I instantly fell in love with. Her story, and just her personality overall, was something that I just instantly clicked with. Within pages, I was already envisioning the two of us becoming friends, and I know many readers will feel the same way.

Because Maddy doesn't really know what the world is like, nor has she had a chance to explore it, I would kind of classify her as an introvert. However, it is clear that when she meets Olly, she is definitely not shy. Maddy has several different pieces of her that many people can identify with - she reminded me of some of my friends in some chapters, of my family in others, and even of myself. I really enjoyed this book because Maddy was a character I could really connect with, and understand wholeheartedly - a connection that I find lacking in some of the most popular books in young adult literature today.

If you have been on the blog for a while, you know that I am a sucker for a great romance story. Everything, Everything definitely delivered! When Maddy meets Olly, it literally changes her world, and the relationship she fantasizes about drives her to push her limits, even if it kills her. (Yes, I do mean "even if it actually kills her".) Olly is such a sweet, caring guy, and he accepts Maddy for who she is. He does not want to change her at all, and Maddy felt the same way about Olly. I really loved this story because it was a romance that did not encourage change on either end. Everything, Everything was a fluffy read about a serious topic, and Nicola Yoon tackles this perfectly. I loved the romance because it was both everything I was looking for (and expecting), but also a unique twist on a common story. spoiler I was definitely expecting the romance to end on a high note, with everything turning out (relatively) fine and the characters going on to live long and happy lives. However, I was not expecting anything that lead up to it – all of the problems and challenges that these characters have to overcome were not even in my mind as I was reading it end spoiler
I also really enjoyed Everything, Everything because of the serious topic. I thought that Nicola Yoon crafted Maddy’s struggles incredibly well. Everything, Everything brings awareness to the fact that everyone faces individual struggles. While SCID is rare, many other people struggle with the thought of leaving their homes and starting a “new life” that is not entirely their own. Applying this in a general sense, many people want to try new things and step away from their comfort zone, but they sometimes lack the proper tools to do so. Maddy’s struggle with her illness in particular can be applied to any reader in a general sense. Maddy gives hope to the readers of her story, and encourages them to do the things that scare them, to do the things that allow them to grow as people, and to stay true to themselves, even when society sometimes says otherwise. Maddy’s story will help so many people – even if it was not written to do so in the first place. I love this story so much because it celebrates happiness in spite of struggle, not as a result of it.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this story! Everything, Everything is one of the best books I read this year, and I cannot wait until all of my friends have this book on their shelves. This book is definitely one to talk about.

Thank you, Nicola Yoon, for writing such a lovely story that tore my heart apart, placed it back together, and tore it apart again. Thank you for using your talent to tell such an important story that sent me on a roller coaster of emotions. Everything, Everything will be a hard story to forget.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous you got to read this but thrilled that you loved it! Everyone is talking about this book and I can't to read it :D
    It's such a unique topic and I too love a good romance, so this seems perfect!
    Also the cover is soo pretty!
    Your new GFC & Twitter follower :)
    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed


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