STORY: The world is not a stage for 17-year-old Maddy. Instead of doing “normal,” Maddy is confined to her room and has been for the last 16 years. She has a disease that makes her allergic to, well, everything. Unable to have visitors never mind see the world, Maddy lives with her mother (a doctor) and the nurse who comes to monitor her condition daily. Then everything changes. He moves next door.
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Olly is scared. His father is no role model, and yet his mother remains with him. He stays for the sake of his sister and mother. From the moment he spots Maddy in the window, Olly takes in interest in his sheltered neighbor. Through IM conversations and eventually, a meeting, this unlikely pair forge a friendship that takes them to unexpected places.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon | Book Review
Those who read the YA market will know Nicola Yoon is a popular author. Most of what I’ve read in relation to her novels is complimentary, and I can see why. Her debut novel, Everything, Everything is a fragile thread that stitches together an equally delicate story that is sure to tug on your heartstrings.
“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.” – Nicola Yoon
The story’s beginning and format is one of the most unique I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. A novel about a character who is allergic to everything (the world, people) and susceptible to everything (for more reasons than one) is an incredible challenge. Its outline and progression has the potential to become confining. In the hands of this author, no such complication arises. Instead of reading as boring, this blossoms into a narrative that challenges and fixes itself in our hearts. It’s a first, one person narrative yet even still, nothing gets stuck.‘EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING’: Contemporary YA Experiences 'Everything' For the First Time #FWarchives #YALit Click To Tweet
The one thing that may bother some readers, depending on your definition, is the ending. Or the prelude to the ending. For me, it’s a beautiful juxtaposition that, yes, does pave some roads, but in no way erases them. Just because a clear(er) path is set forth in no way means everything comes up daisies. Yoon gives us a satisfactory conclusion without paining everything perfectly, and I loved that. The transition from devastation to hope feels real, and while the book does simply “end,” for me, there couldn’t have been better words or setting with which to end this.
With the film adaptation releasing May 19th, there is no better time to pick up Nicola Yoon’s debut. It’s charming and sweet; swoony and a little bit sassy, plus Olly and Maddy? They’re a sweet couple easy to “ship” and root for. Their relationship grows primarily from their notes to one another, and it works to the benefit of this format. Between the fun doodles and short chapters, this is a quick read that still feels “full.” In other words, it’s a story that will work its way into your heart. ♥
About the Book
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Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Random House)
Publication Date: 2016
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Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen, Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Content: There is some minor, commonplace language. Teens spend the night together; though there’s no misunderstanding they have slept together, the scene isn’t graphic. The content would earn a PG13 rating.