Title: Everything Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
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.
“Sometimes you do things for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones and sometimes it’s impossible to tell the difference.”
Everything Everything is a novel that is many things at once. It is a tragedy, a romance, a coming of age, and a mystery. Nicola Yoon weaved in all of these elements beautifully into the story of Maddie, a teenage girl living with SCID, a rare disease that essentially makes it so that she can’t leave the house for fear of becoming sick due to the different allergens that she suffers from. The novel itself is written in short chapters, IM logs, pictures, and emails, and I found it to be an extremely entertaining and quick read.
Despite her condition, Maddie comes off as independent and sassy, but we soon find out that she does veil herself under the label of “the sick girl”. She doesn’t realize this fully until she comes to know the boy next door, Olly, and they begin to fall in love with one another. But what was beautiful about this interaction was that Yoon didn’t necessarily write this book as a tragic romance. She wrote it to be about a teenage girl who is getting to know her wants and needs for the first time in her life. Yoon has many insightful moments in the novel that connect well to the reader, and I felt that the story was trying to be so much more than it was.
However, my main critique of this novel is that the beginning seemed to drag, whereas the ending was rushed and too many things happened at once. Many of these things were not realistic and I felt like the novel was rushed to be finished. As soon as we get to see and understand who Maddie really is as a person Yoon cut her story short and left us with an ending that did not bring closure or understanding to the reader. I wish that Yoon had made the events in the ending more realistic and a bit more prolonged so that the book didn’t seem to end so abruptly. But I did appreciate her insights and the ideas that she based the novel on. She brought us many fascinating characters, but some of these characters, such as the mother, weren’t as developed as they could have been.
Overall, if I were still a teenager I would be swooning over this book. Teenage girls are sure to love it, and I am sure that it will be a classic in the YA world.
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