Title: Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Date of Publication: September 1st 2015
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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.
“Love is a terrible thing and its loss is even worse. Love is a terrible thing and I want nothing to do with it.”
Guuuys!!! I really, really loved Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Everything, Everything. I have no words for it other than it was everything I was looking in a Young Adult Contemporary novel.
So, this book is about Maddy, a teenager who is allergic to the outside world. Like, literally. She has SCID—Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. I actually did a little reading about this and it’s heartbreaking to see actual people suffering from it. Anyway, I liked Maddy off the bat because she’s a bookworm and even in her dire situation, she managed to stay positive. She kinda reminded me of Kate from Bright Side and when I realized that, my heart broke even further. I love me some strong heroines and I’m glad Maddy is one of those.
And then there’s Olly—the new guy next door who managed to capture Maddy’s heart. Actually, they captured each other’s heart and it was really heartwarming to see how their feelings for each other developed over time. I liked Olly because he’s very understanding and the fact that he’s the bright side to Maddy’s days and Maddy is his, I was instantly endeared by him.
I also found this book to have a positive vibe, despite the struggles that these two MCs were facing. I found myself laughing at their conversations through IMs. Also, guys! I can’t forget to mention—there were really cute graphics inside this book and they were drawn by Nicola’s hubby, Mr. David Yoon! Aren’t they so sweet?
Aside from that, this book also plays a part in the #DiverseYA movement. As we all know, diversity is now a topic that has been openly welcomed and carefully tread in the Young Adult world. Here in Everything, Everything, Maddy is actually a half Japanese, half African-American. Now, let me tell you that I loved this part. We need to learn and be open about different cultures and how it affects the literary world as well as the readers of this genre, don’t you think?
Moving on, you know right from the start, I was already thinking of ways on how they could be together, like together, together, without the restraint of Maddy’s affliction. Guess what—I was a fail at that. Seriously, I couldn’t find a way on how they’ll get over this hurdle. But I read on, trusting that Ms. Yoon would deliver a perfect climax and ending since the first half of the book was already so good. And delivered, she did! I was not expecting the turn of events from about 70% of this book! The twist was very clever and I can say that I absolutely didn’t expect it! I was shell shocked! I don’t know what else I could say to express my astonishment regarding the how the events turned out. It was a very pleasant surprise.
Overall, I really think that Ms. Yoon’s debut has the perfect ingredients to make this book a perfect novel—wit, heart and beauty (I mean, just look at that cover). It’s a winner!
So guys, if you’ve read this book, care to tell me what you thought about it? Why do you think diversity is important in books that teens are reading nowadays? Would you risk your health for a chance to experience true love?
“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”
*Thanks to Delacorte Press for granting me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.