Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: Delacorte Press for Young Readers
Release Date: September 01, 2015
Series Details: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
I have high expectations from Everything, Everything. First, those high ratings and awesome reviews. Then there’s that eye candy cover. Followed by a unique and catchy premise! This book wasn’t bad but I wasn’t over the moon with it either. I think the idea was great and having a protagonist with SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency)—an illness that I didn’t know anything about—makes it an even more intriguing read for me. The ending felt like a cop-out though, and I wasn’t very satisfied with it.
“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.”
Yoon’s writing was lovable as ever. It has the same charm and smooth flow that I saw and loved in The Sun Is Also A Star. Hers is the kind of writing style that will make you fly through the pages without even noticing that you did. The short chapters really worked for me. It felt like the book is giving us a story using only a few words but without losing the weight of the message that it’s trying to convey—that love is a wonderful thing that could ignite hope, but at the same time, it could also drive a person to do stupid things.
“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”
The creativity applied into this book is impressive. It includes graphics and illustrations—from Madeline’s charts down to the drawings in her journals—that just adds to the cuteness of this book. Also, Madeline’s own version of a dictionary and her short spoilery book reviews were a perfect hit for me. They’re made of one or two sentences but they’re a bomb.
prom·ise (ˈpräməs) n. pl. – es. 1. The lie you want to keep. [2015, Whittier]
The premise was intriguing. Here’s a story of a young girl, Madeline Whittier, who haven’t been outside the safety of her house because she’s sick. She’s not dying but she could die any minute the moment she exposes herself to the outside world. She seems fine following the rules and routines until she meets Olly. Suddenly she wanted to see what life is beyond the house’s airlocks, what it’s like to feel the breeze on her skin, what it means to be alive.
For the first time in a long time, I want more than I have.
I haven’t heard of SCID before. I wasn’t aware that such illness exist until I come across this book. So I really appreciate that the author brought this into the light. But Maddy’s illness wasn’t the center of the story. There wasn’t much explanations about it which is kind of sad because this book could have been a good platform wherein you could give voice to people like Maddy, and make other people understand about their condition a bit. Even for fiction I think this one lacked a little more research about the illness. The story was a combination of cute and heartwarming in the beginning. But when I finally got into the twist, I felt like Maddy’s SCID was only a tool used to complicate the plot.
“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”
I really love the diversity in this book. Sadly, I felt too little connection with the characters. Maybe if the book had been a little longer it would give me time to connect to them more? Just maybe. I admire Maddy’s strength, her desire for wanting more, and her hopefulness. And then later in the book she suddenly became impulsive with her actions, rebellious, and resentful, which I hate reading about. I’m all for taking risks. But risking her life for a guy without even considering how much she’ll hurt her mother who love her dearly too, wasn’t okay with me. I was expecting that the first time Maddy steps out of the house would leave some message, or a lesson, an impact to the story. But when it happened all I saw was total stupidity.
Sometimes you do things for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones and sometimes it’s impossible to tell the difference.
The romance was another case of insta-love but it was cute. Sure I liked the humor in Madeline’s and Olly’s conversations but there were also times when I struggled with it. I wasn’t very impressed with the idea of the romance being Maddy’s strongest drive to live. I think it’s better if Maddy wanted to go out and see the world because that’s what she wants for herself and not just because she wants to be with Olly.
I decide then that love is a terrible, terrible thing. Loving someone as fiercely as my mom loves me must be like wearing your heart outside of your body with no skin, no bones, no nothing to protect it.
That twist towards the ending was totally unexpected. I just wasn’t shocked by it. It sort of lacked the impact that I was hoping for in this kind of book. It felt like I was cheated which cost the book a star. Also I didn’t like that this ended with Maddy being so unforgiving towards her mother. At first I kind of understand her anger because if I was the one being lied to and kept away from the world for seventeen years I’d feel bad too. But what Maddy failed to understand is that her mother had been suffering—been sick—for a very long time. She’s willing to get better. But with Maddy choosing to leave her to chase after a boy, I don’t think that’s going to help with her recovery. And Maddy made the choice without even considering that.
“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”
Overall, this book was cute and fun to read. I personally prefer Yoon’s The Sun Is Also A Star but if you want some quick read with balanced humor and heartwarming drama, diverse characters, and unique plot, go check this out.