Author: Nicola Yoon Pages: 310 Rating: (terrible I know)
Genres: Contemporary YA, Romance Goodreads
Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has not left her home in 17 years. Even so, her life goes on happily and quietly until the blue-eyed boy like the Atlantic moves into the house next door. The crush emerges by instant messaging and is growing and complicated through an endless number of conversations, desires, vignettes, feelings, illustrations, dreams …
And it is difficult to return to the usual routine with all the noises that come from outside. Suddenly, Maddy is aware of the gossip of the birds and of the rays of sun that are glued by its shutters. And the more she tries to separate herself from the outside world, the more determined she feels to enter it.
Everything Everything was a cute but somewhat predictable YA NOVEL about a girl living with a condition called SCID. Maddy is unable to leave her clean and sterile home, as she is allergic to everything, but when the quirky guy next door moves in she suddenly craves more beyond the bubble she has been so adjusted to her whole life.
Everything Everything was a quick easy to read story. Nicola wrote concisely and simple, but effectively she seemed to weave chapters of MSG format and drawings well within the story. It made it more interesting and interactive and added elements to the story, without them being pointless and unnecessary. I really enjoyed her style and use of short chapter and it brought me back to primary school when I read books with drawings and picture in the margins (Andy Griffin for example). I particularly enjoyed Maddy’s Mini book reviews, they gave her more personality and were an unconscious way of showing her interests in reading without (*cough*Caraval*cough*) telling it.
The plot wasn’t perfect at times and could be predictable, I saw it as your classic YA romance/girl next door, thrown in with a girl who was facing an illness. Although it’s predictability at times was a bit meh. I still enjoyed the story and it still had it own unique and refreshing vibe.
Maddy was a likeable, easy to read character. You could see how her personality was influenced by the way she had been brought up, she was naive but smart and funny and being locked up inside for so long, she had become accustomed and accepting of her reality. Obviously, until she craved something outside her bubble.
“For the first time in a long time, I want more than I have.”
I also appreciate the fact that Maddy was a character of colour but it wasn’t constantly forced or mentioned for the sake of Diversity. Further, it was nice to see a character with a strong bond to her mother. In saying that there were a few unrealistic elements, like her lack of friends (the internet?) and at one stage she was buying a credit card off the internet for herself.
There were a few WTF moments in relation to the actions she made, at times they seemed very irrational for someone who should have known better. It just felt unrealistic and like a bit of a plot device. like those moments in horror movies where the character is making these fucking stupid decisions and your just yelling at the screen the fucking smarter option but they’re to annoyingly stupid to realise. Okay, Perhaps it didn’t go that far.
As for Olly, sadly we really didn’t get to know him well, he was an interesting, quirky and very likeable character but we really only scratched the surface within his family life, social life and personality and didn’t get much behind the surface. In saying that the romance between Maddy and Olly was still, cute and although a bit fast, it felt authentic and very sweet.
See this is where the cheese and not so great message weaved its way in. I feel the message, although with good intent, was really not so great. The message we were basically left with was that it is okay to risk your life and health for love, which really isn’t romantic or at all something I’m okay with. I think there could be a better approach to this, and Nichola could have created a much more profound message.
Overall, Everything Everything was an easy to read contemporary romance, despite its flaws I would still recommend this to anyone who likes as classic, cute and slightly cheesy romance. Despite its message, it really gives readers a newfound perspective on the life of someone who basically lives in a bubble or with SCID’s.