Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Format I Read: Physical ARC
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads
For those who haven’t heard of Everything, Everything:
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.
Honestly, I’m super conflicted about this book. I really don’t know how I feel. My gut instinct says that I’m not quite fulfilled, but my brain tells me that this book was satisfying enough.
I’m caught between 3 and 4 stars–I’m giving it 3.5. It was a fresh, interesting read that kept me entertained enough to read it all in one sitting.
Unfortunately, the characters and their choices fell a little flat for me. Though I was empathetic with Madeline’s feelings, I disagreed with most of her actions. I felt that she was selfish, immature, and unnecessarily cruel at times. She acted more like a pouty fourteen-year-old than an eighteen-year-old adult. Her childishness was mildly understandable, as she’s lived the last eighteen years secluded from the world. However, I don’t think that’s a really valid excuse for what she did. I just couldn’t seem to connect with her like I wanted to. Something held me back.
The love story didn’t quite resonate with me either. It seemed a little too much like insta-love. I didn’t fully see the development there. I loved Olly, and the two were adorable together. I just didn’t connect like I wished I had.
I don’t think I liked the ending (no spoilers, I promise). I don’t think that it was true to the book. I felt like Yoon took the “easy way out” and found a loophole. It didn’t feel genuine, which was very disappointing in a book that was otherwise very promising.
The writing was lovely. I really enjoyed the way Yoon tackled the story, including IMs, diagrams, charts, mock book reviews, etc. It made the story easy to get into and easy to read. It also made it fly by! I was sucked in from the beginning. There wasn’t a single moment where I got bored or tired of the writing. Yoon really has a knack for words.
Normally, I don’t include quotes in my reviews, but there were a few that really stood out to me in Everything, Everything. See the following magical lines:
“I was happy before I met him. But I’m alive now, and those are not the same thing.” (ARC 181)
“promise: The lie you want to keep” (ARC 194)–written as a definition in the ARC, reformatted for this review
A lot of Yoon’s writing really struck close to home. She has an amazing talent! She gets 5 stars for her writing, for sure.
Like I said: lots of conflicting feelings about this book. I liked some things, didn’t like other things. Overall, I’ve decided that it was fairly satisfying. I got through it quickly. It was engaging and interesting. There was a splendid level of diversity that was very refreshing. It was a fresh take on an uncommon topic. I enjoyed, just didn’t quite love it!
I’d definitely recommend Everything, Everything as a quick, fresh, different read that will make you think! Also, you can bask in the beautiful words that Nicola Yoon weaves together.
With lots of bookish love,