Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Publication date: 3rd September
Publisher: RHCP Digital
Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?
Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Everything, Everything, and now I can understand why. Everything, Everything is a truly brilliant and heart-warming book, and I was completely blown away by it.
Nicola Yoon’s debut novel focuses on Maddy, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from SCID, also known as severe combined immunodeficiency. In other words, Maddy is “allergic to the world”. She has not been able to leave her house for practically her whole life, and the only people she has contact with are her mother, nurse Carla, tutors and online friends (our protagonist is a blogger!). One day, a new family moves into the house next door, and Maddy instantly connects with the teenage son, Olly. From that moment on, Maddy’s life will never be the same…
Everything, Everything is beautifully written. I fell in love with it right from the very first sentence: I’ve read many more books than you. I honestly think I could have finished Everything, Everything within a few hours, if I’d had the time: the story is fast-paced and the chapters are so short. I love the way in which the author incorporated different forms of writing into the book, as a way of breaking up the story. It’s packed full of IM messages, mini book reviews, definitions (created by Maddy), and even doodles (designed by the author’s husband!). I’ve never really come across this before in other books. It’s so creative.
On the contrary, one character I did not like was Maddy’s mother. I understand that she only wanted to protect her daughter, but her way of doing so was a bit extreme.
I have read several reviews where Everything, Everything has been criticised for its twist. However, while I was shocked by it, the twist actually helped me understand the book better.
If you’re looking for a unique and eye-opening book about taking risks, and don’t mind a bit of insta-love, Everything, Everything is the one for you.
Favourite quotes / moments:
- “In my white room, against my white walls, on my glistening white bookshelves, book spines provide the only color. The books are all brand-new hardcovers – no germy secondhand softcovers for me. They come to me from Outside, decontaminated and vacuum-seeled in plastic wrap.”
- “Then 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’s white with a pale honey tan and his face is starkly angular. He jumps down from his perch at the back of the truck and glides across the driveway, moving as if gravity affects him differently than it does the rest of us. He stops, cocks his head to one side, and stares up at his new house as if it were a puzzle.”
- “He’s staring up. Our eyes meet. Vaguely I wonder what he sees in my window – strange girl in white with wide staring eyes.”
- “that’s not the same as being a real person who can be visited by strange boys bearing Bundt cakes.”
- “The Bundt is lying on a white sheet. An upside-down plastic water bottle is attached to what looks like a coat hanger and is hanging above the cake. A string hangs from the bottle to the Bundt like an IV. Olly appears wearing a white jacket and stethoscope. He’s frowning down at the Bundt and listening for a heartbeat. I want to laugh but I don’t let myself. Oily looks up and shakes his head solemnly. I close my curtains, suppressing a smile, and walk away.”
- “Maybe we can’t predict everything, 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’m in an endless field filled with red poppies.”
- “The room falls away and I’m in a featureless white landscape dotted with open doors that lead nowhere.”
*I received an ARC copy from Netgallery. All thoughts in this review are my own.