Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
November 8, 2015
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.
This book has been getting rave reviews all over the place, and when I heard that Yoon was going to be at Anderson’s YA Literature Conference, I knew this would be one of the books that I read ahead of time. I am so glad that I did. Here are my thoughts after finishing:
ON THE PLUS SIDE:
- If you enjoy a sweet teen love story, then this is a great choice. I love the way that the relationship developed between Olly and Madeleine. I think it reflects how many typical teen relationships develop in this day and age.
- A variety of relationships were portrayed throughout the novel, and I enjoyed the inclusion of all of them (Madeleine and her nurse, Olly and various members of his family, Madeleine and her mother).
- I like that life is not portrayed as perfect in any of the relationships or dynamics. Some of the darker and more desperate sides of humanity are portrayed, and I like the balance of that within the context of a new love growing.
- The plot is unique, and I enjoyed having a different twist on a YA novel.
- I loved the writing – you all know how excited I get when I’m adding several quotes to my quote notebook. Here’s a snapshot of a couple of my favorites:
“Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.”
“One thing I’m certain of: Wanting just leads to more wanting. There’s no end to desire.”
ON THE MINUS SIDE:
- There are some inconsistencies in the way that Madeleine’s medical issues are handled (which is not totally surprising since she is allergic to everything, and I’m guessing that’s not even possible). It is necessary to suspend belief at times.
- I was not a fan of the ending and wrap up of this story. As you know, I try to avoid spoilers, but I found the conclusion quite a disappointment after enjoying the rest of the novel so much.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book if you are a fan of contemporary YA, particularly of YA novels that have a wide range of well-developed relationships.
What did you think of Everything, Everything?