Author: Nicola Yoon
Expected publication: September 1, 2015
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Format: 320 pages, Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Nicola Yoon | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
**I received an eBook copy of Everything, Everything through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.**
Madeline has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). She is allergic to everything. She doesn’t know and can’t really know what triggers a reaction unless she’s exposed to it. She has lived in a sterilized, air filtered home her entire life with her mom and her home nurse, Carla. This was the extent of her life and she more or less accepted it. She loved her mother and Carla and was happy with their company. Things change when neighbors move in next door and she sees Olly. Getting to know him starts to open her eyes to the possibilities of the Outside world and she’s starting to crave it more than before. Staying inside her house means that she’ll live another day, but is it really living?
Safety is not everything. There’s more to life than being alive.
Plot/Concept: The concept is very original in terms of YA. I don’t think I’ve read one with SCID before but I’ve seen it in movies. I think because of that, I was able to guess the plot twist early on. I literally read the synopsis, made my guess, and then read the book and found out I was right. I can’t say I was disappointed because I wasn’t. I genuinely loved the book. I really liked the ending but I also would have loved it if it went a different direction. I know that sounds completely cryptic but I’m trying to explain without spoiling anything. I think that the plot flowed naturally and I love the progression of the relationships. The romance was absolutely adorable and left me wanting more! I was really mad when the book was done haha.
Love is worth everything. Everything
Writing: For Yoon’s debut novel, the writing style was perfect. It felt like a simpler John Green … weird thing to say, I know. Some parts felt very John Green but so much better! It wasn’t complicated and the simplicity was so effective. I love the short chapters! It made the pace feel so quick. I love the integration of the emails, IM messages, web articles, and images! They add such character to the book. It was a lot of fun to read and see all those added details. The writing also helps you step into Madeline’s shoes, feel what she feels and everything. I also liked the minor details that seem unimportant but still ties into the story. For example, it’s emphasized how white everything in Madeline’s world is: white walls, white clothes, white shoes. I like how that is a direct contrast to the world outside that screams color and how you can see a change in Maddy once she starts buying colored clothes. I can’t say everything that I wanted to about that point because it can spoil the plot twist. *screams* THE PLOT TWIST IS INSANE! I mean, I guessed it but it doesn’t lessen the shock value.
I love how she wrote the characters. I loved that there’s diversity! That’s something that you don’t see a lot of. Other authors should follow suit! It was great seeing Olly and Maddy’s relationship grow. It wasn’t instantaneous, it was slowly building up to something bigger. I love how it started with gestures through the window, to email, to IM, to actual contact. It made it very believable. I love how Olly and Maddy were in similar situations, being a prisoner in their own home. Maddy because of her sickness and Olly because of his abusive father. Their relationship is so perfect because they mesh so wonderfully together. They are each other’s escape. It really explains how they got along so well so quickly.
Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.
Characters: The characters take the spotlight in this book. Maddy was an amazing protagonist. For someone with her condition and amount of loneliness, she’s pretty freaking optimistic and happy. I wouldn’t even know how to deal with that if I was in her situation. She’s very strong and smart — I love the little architect in her. She’s very funny, too. I’m not going to lie, she gets emotional and moody but who wouldn’t? It was expected but she’s very graceful about it where she doesn’t come off as whiny and ungrateful. Her mother is another strong person, I think. She’s had to live with the death of her husband, first child, and the sickness of her other child. She’s a very interesting character and in a couple of scenes I do feel very sorry for her.
Olly is the sweetest thing ever! I absolutely fell in love with him. He’s a math nerd! He was also a funny and strong character. His strength is drawn from a different situation altogether. He’s a very caring person and he’s so sincere. I love how he is with Maddy and how he treats her. He doesn’t pity her or treat her differently because of her disease. I would have loved to read something in his point of view! Carla, her nurse, is so sweet. If I had to have a home nurse, I’d want someone like her. She’s like Maddy’s second mother. She cares for Maddy as if she was her own daughter and I love the close relationship that she developed with Maddy throughout the years that she worked with her.
Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.
Memorable Moments: It’s so hard to pick memorable moments because there’s so many. One of my favorites is in the beginning, when Olly would do mini skits with the bundt cake and Maddy’s recipe for it! Seriously made me laugh. I love their IM messages and emails. I loved Olly’s limericks. I loved everything about their trip to Hawaii. The end. Oh, I love the end! It was so beautiful! I just love the message overall about living life to the fullest.
I was trying so hard to find the single pivotal moment that set my life on its path. The moment that answered the questions, How did I get here?
But it’s never just one moment. It’s a series of them. And your life can branch out from each one in a thousand different ways. Maybe there’s a version of your life for all the choices you make and all the choices you don’t.