Book: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Expected Publication is September 1, 2015 by Delacorte|250 pages
Where I Got It: I received an advanced copy of the e-book from netgalley.com. This hasn’t influenced my review in any way. Promise!
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
I really liked Everything, Everything! I wish I loved it, and it came really close to me loving it…but overall, it’s been a while since I’ve been so emotional/excited about a book.
I really liked Maddy, and I felt for her. She can’t leave her house, and she only has her mom and Carla. And Olly. I loved her relationship with Carla, who was nurse and friend, and Maddy really needed that. I can’t imagine having such a rare disease, and it makes me wish we learned more about it in the book, because we don’t get anything about it. Not that the book has to include more about the disease, but at the same time, if you’re going to have a character who has a rare disease, it might be good to have more than a vague explanation of what it is. I have a theory, but it’s the kind of theory that is a huge spoiler, so I won’t mention it here. I like that she is not defined by her disease- while the book is about a character with SCID, it’s also about so much more than that.
I did like how the story was told- there are graphs and charts and IM conversation and e-mails and vignettes, and it worked so well for the book. Something like that, particularly when the entire book is told that way, has the possibility of going very wrong (at least for me), but something about it worked really well for Maddy and her story.
I really liked her relationship with Olly, and I feel like, through him, her world expanded a lot. In the beginning, it is slightly insta-love-y, so just keep that in mind if that’s not your thing. But give the book a chance, because it really is an awesome book.
Here’s the thing. I’m trying to write this review without talking about the ending. And the ending is really spoiler-y and I really need to talk about it, because I can’t just not talk about it. Let’s just say that I have mixed feelings about the ending. I’ll have spoilers after my rating.
4 stars. Overall, I really liked Everything, Everything! It made me feel the feels, and even though I’m not sure about a few things (which did lower the rating for me), I would still recommend the book.
Now it’s time for the spoilers. If you don’t want to know, please stop stop reading here!
I don’t know how I feel about Maddy not having it. I understand why her mom said she had it, because her husband and son died, and a few days later, Maddy got really sick. I get the mom didn’t want to loss Maddy either, but making it up, and Maddy losing her entire childhood because of it…it makes me so sad for Maddy.
My theory for why we don’t really learn anything about SCID? I wonder if we get no information about it because Maddy doesn’t really have it. And how did no one realize what was going on? Did Maddy even see any other doctors, besides the one in Hawaii, or the one she as a baby? Or even the doctor she saw to figure out if she really had SCID? Or Carla? Did Carla not question it at all? How on earth did Maddy go 18 years with no doctor’s visits, except for whatever it is her mom did that entire time? It seems like Maddy didn’t have a lot of in-person contact, and I wonder if anyone questioned that. Maybe the mom didn’t have friends, or invite people from her work over? I feel for the mom, I really do, and it definitely seems like the mom has some issues of her own to work through.
Maddy is going to have her share of issues after learning the truth, and her immune system has to be all kinds of messed up since she’s never the left house. It’s sad that it took running away for her to figure everything out, especially when she gets sick and ends up in the hospital. The hallmarks of it are mentioned, and I wish it were explained what those were, I really do.
It doesn’t completely ruin Everything, Everything for me, but it was frustrating that it was all a lie, and it does take away from it a little. Not enough for me to make me hate it, because overall, I really liked the book. But it was enough to keep it from being 5 stars. It’s definitely something that I can see being really divisive for people.
And I’m not quite sure what the point of her having SCID is if you’re going to make it so that she doesn’t really have it. I know it really changed her view of things, and her life would have been completely different if she knew she didn’t have it. It did make it feel like it was there just to be add an interesting twist.
That is all for spoilers, I think. I hope everyone has a good Monday!