Book Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything is a creative and ambitious project from debut author, Nicola Yoon, to give us a glimpse into the life of a girl with SCID and her coming-of-age love story with the boy next-door.
Does it live up to all the hype it received? Let’s discuss.
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.
Everything, Everything tells the story of 18-years-old Madeline Whittier (Maddy) who never left her house due to severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). She practically lived in a sterilized house with air lock and only have ever seen her mom and her nurse, Carla, on daily basis, besides the rare visits of her teachers. She likes reading, has tons of books, and has her internet friends, which doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that she could not sneak out from her house, meet up with her friends, or even go to the grocery store. Everything was going okay-ish for Maddy until a family moved next to her house and her new neighbors disrupt her daily life, especially the boy next-door named Olly.
For the sake of discussing my opinion about Everything, Everything, I will divide this book into three parts.
The first part of the book was the best part. It was hilarious, creative, sincere, and you could totally see why Maddy fell head over heels over Olly. The episode with the Bundt cake is so funny and cute, it’ll make you feel ALL THE FEELS. As the relationship grew, Maddy no longer felt content with her life as it is. She wanted Everything. This proved to be the turning point of the book.
The second part reads like your regular teenage romance. It is adorable and I have to give props to Nicola Yoon, she sure knows how to make you swoon (pun only partly intended, and yes I know it’s an awful pun). I have some problems with the second part, and I became a little disconnected with the characters, but it could still be remedied by some sarcastic jokes.
Then, the twist happened.
That brought us to the third part.
How I wish she didn’t choose it as her plot twist. I am sure not everyone would feel the way I do about this twist, but I feel like she’s taking the easy way out. The ending was also a little rushed, it’s almost like she ran out of pages and needed to wrap things NOW. The good thing that came out of it is Nicola Yoon left it as kind of open-ended.
There are many things worth praising about Nicola Yoon’s debut novel. It incorporates beautiful illustration, IM and email conversations, even project reports that are often hilarious as well as heartbreaking. Her protagonist is a mixed race girl, but the book itself never made such a big deal about it, which I love. Yoon also succesfully describe two persons falling for each other through written emails and IMs, which is not an easy feat. She is a very creative author, for sure.
Nobody is more disappointed than me that I do not love Everything, Everything as much as I want to. It has all the ingredients to make it great and it was on the course to become amazing up until that twist and ending.
Overall, Everything, Everything is a cute story about a girl growing up and falling in love. It’s creative and beautiful and it will make you laugh. When I think about it, the love interest doesn’t matter much in this book. In a way, gorgeous, hilarious Olly was the perfect manic pixie dream boy. He forced Maddy to change the way she’s been living, to act, to do things in the name of love. So yes, Everything, Everything is a love story. It could be so much more if only the author didn’t choose to twist the story the way it was, but, alas, it’s happened. Everything, Everything is still very enjoyable and surprisingly a light reading despite its heavyweight theme. As far as debut novels go, this one is heading in the right direction. I will definitely keep an eye out for Nicola Yoon’s next book.
3 stars out of 5 stars
Have you read Everything, Everything? What do you think about the book? Or perhaps it is on your TBR? Let me know what you think below and let’s discuss!
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