Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Hardcover, 320 Pages
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Summary: 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.Amber received a copy of Everything, Everything at BookCon this past May, and she lent it to me to read. (I wasn't able to get a copy because I was rushing to get to the Swoon Reads party!) Anyway, I was super excited to read this book, and I'm really glad that I did. The story itself intrigued me - a girl who was ultimately allergic to everything in the world, since her immune system couldn't fight off anything. Long story short, a bubble-baby. Someone with virtually no immune system.
I had no idea how horrible of a disease that could be until I started this book, and I couldn't even imagine what it was like to be Maddy. There are so many things that I, as a perfectly healthy person, take for granted - this book taught me that. I go stir-crazy if I'm stuck inside of my house for more than a day. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if I was never able to leave my house, ever.
As you start off the book, it seems as if Maddy is pretty okay with being alone. I guess she was, because in a way, since she never got to experience life outside of her house, she didn't really know what she was missing. Obviously she wasn't locked in some cellar with no internet or TV - she knew what the outdoor world was like. Having not experienced it herself, though, she didn't crave it all that much.
Until Olly moves next door - the parkour expert with black clothes, a shaved head, and an immediate liking for Maddy, the girl who he thinks is just "grounded." When he happens to find out what's wrong with her and doesn't ostracize Maddy for it, it makes her all the more eager to meet him. And it makes her mother all the more eager to shut her daughter off from the rest of the world.
This book really captured my interest. I was fascinated to read about how people with SCID live - shrink-wrapped books, sterilized everything, never any open windows and constant air purifiers. It sounds - pardon my bluntness - absolutely terrible. Maddy herself was a great character that Yoon really brought to life as well - Maddy was smart and imaginative, yet honest with herself. She knew what her disease meant. And she wasn't stomping around and throwing temper tantrums about the fact that she wasn't allowed to interact with anybody. She did all of her online classwork, hung out with her mom and her nurse, Carla, stayed on her laptop, and accepted the cards she'd been dealt in life.
The question is, who dealt them?
This paragraph contains spoilers so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet! I really liked Carla. She was definitely one of my favorite characters, even if she was a bit reckless at times. (Although defining her actions of letting Maddy visit Olly and not dragging Maddy back when she visits her can only be deemed "reckless" based on what point of view you look at it from. To Maddy, it was compassion and faith in her. To Maddy's mother, it was careless and endangering.) Maddy and Olly's trip to Hawaii made me smile the whole time, since I've been there myself (and I even snorkeled and saw a humuhumunupunupuapua'a!), so it was nice to think back on that. The whole Hawaii experience was definitely written accurately, with the beaches and the snorkeling and the resort and the people and the leis and the food and all of that wonderful stuff. The book honestly made me miss Hawaii even more :(((( I was happy for Maddy, though, especially when she got to experience being in love with Olly all on her own, without her bubble or mother or sickness or worries.
I'm not going to ruin the ending of this book for you, but I will definitely confirm that you will be sucker-punched with shock like there's no tomorrow. I suspected something to happen, but definitely nothing of this scale and I certainly never expected that plot twist. Yoon absolutely knocks you off your feet and she deserves an endless round of applause for that. It was freaking incredible and anybody who hasn't read the book needs to pick it up right this very second and give it a start. The very ending was sweet, too - it had me smiling a whole lot. :)
All in all, Everything, Everything is a refreshing contemporary read told from the point of view of a teenage girl that very few of us can relate to, so it's interesting to see life from her perspective. I really enjoyed this book and I'm sure that other YA contemporary fans will feel the same. Even if you aren't a contemporary fan, I urge you to give this book a try because it's something different and it definitely captures your attention from the first page to the last!
Nicola Yoon is an amazing YA debut author and I can't give her enough applause. I really enjoyed the story, the characters, the twists - the whole book!