This book has been on my TBR pile for a while now ever since the hype around it started on Booktube. I’ve finally just gotten around to reading it – and boy, am I glad I have! The first time I heard about the author Nicola Yoon was actually when her second novel The Sun is Also a Star was released, which has received an even bigger amount of love from all over. I have yet to read that one but since I’ve enjoyed Everything, Everything so much I can’t wait to read her second novel to see if it might be even better than the first. That’s saying a lot because I usually don’t read a lot of contemporary. Keep reading to find out why I enjoyed it so much.
| Published: 2015 by Corgi Books, Penguin Random House | Paperback Edition |
| Price: 9,99 € | 306 pages | ISBN: 978-0-552-57423-5 |
18-year-old Madeline lives sealed inside a house with airlocks, windows that can’t be opened, and virtually no visitors ever. She hasn’t left her house since she was a baby and going outside now might almost certainly cause her to die. In short, she suffers from an immunological disease called SCID that makes her allergic to everything in the outside world. Her only friends are her mother and her nurse Carla who she spends all day, every day with. Her only sources of entertainment are her books and the movie and game nights she shares with her mom. Everything changes when a new family moves in next door bringing with them a boy who is so intrigued by Maddy that he can’t seem to leave her alone, causing her to wish desperately, for the first time in forever, to be able to go outside.
First of all, the cover is gorgeous. The lettering is quite simple but adorned with very colorful illustrations depicting flowers, books, buildings, airplanes, music – you get it: literally “everything, everything” in any color imaginable. This ties in really well with all the beautiful illustrations inside the book (all done by Nicola Yoon’s husband), which are part of what made it such a joy to read. The whole thing is a very graphic read and design-wise it sometimes reminded me a bit of a very toned-down version of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
This is probably one of the fastest reads that live on my shelf. With roughly 300 pages, a lot of them are covered in drawings or left half-empty because of short chapters so it’s possible to read it in one sitting. Sometimes I love to read a very short book in between longer, heavier ones to switch it up a bit and this one is perfect for that.
The writing is quite simple: mostly short sentences and chapters, but with a lot of beautiful metaphors strewn in between that made it more special. I love that each chapter has a name and not just a number. The author managed to make the story emotional without being cheesy and that is an art. She made me feel and care for the characters and while I can’t speak from experience, I felt like Maddy’s voice was very realistic in terms of how she talked about coping with her sickness.
Sometimes the individual chapters felt only like little glimpses into her life and lacking a bit of glue to hold them together and weave them into a continuous story, but that mostly didn’t bother me. The only thing that I thought could have been done better was the ending. It seemed rather abrupt and I would have loved to see what happened in more detail.
I loved both of the main characters, Madeline and Olly. The story is told from Maddy’s point of view. Going into the book I was expecting it to be a bit dreary. Since she is so sick and virtually shut off from the world, in my mind she was bound to be a depressing narrator. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she’s the opposite of that. Maddy has accepted her life as it is and is as happy as she can be living in the confines of her home. She isn’t depressed or constantly complaining about her situation and instead able to keep her humor. Altogether, reading from her character’s perspective is very easy on the reader’s nerves, which is sadly so often not the case in other YA books.
I fell in love with Olly straight away. He doesn’t make Maddy feel like she’s a freak for being sick and at the same time he doesn’t treat her with kid gloves. It’s evident how much he cares for her in everything he does, yet he’s not one of those typical cheesy, make-me-want-to-gag guys who just can’t stop being all soppy in difficult situations.
I was happy before I met him. But I’m alive now, and those are not the same thing. (page 181)
This quote really captures the essence of the relationship between Maddy and Olly.
Everything, Everything is a quick but impactful read and an extraordinary debut novel. While sometimes a bit too quick for my taste, I still thoroughly enjoyed almost everything about it and it made me want to read more from Nicola Yoon. I’m definitely looking forward to her second novel, which I will also review on my blog.
Have you read this book? What did you think about it? Is it on your TBR pile or are you not interested in it?
Lots of love,
5 out of 5 Hubbles