Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: YA Contemporary
Number of Pages: 320
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
My Rating: 5 stars
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
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.
Good Lord, this book was so beautiful, not to mention unexpected. Ladies and gentleman, I give you my gushing review of one of my favorite reads of 2015.
Everything, Everything tells the tale of Maddy, a girl living with an extremely rare medical condition that prohibits her from ever leaving her house. To sum it up, she’s basically allergic to life. Because of this, she’s had quite a strange upbringing, and hasn’t really made that many friends. Her world is small and insular, and Maddy has resigned herself to the fact that she’s probably never going to have more.
But then Olly and his family move in, and everything changes.
Through a window, Maddy and Olly begin a sweet friendship that eventually blossoms into a beautiful relationship. Though their relationship is one of the main focuses of the story, Everything, Everything touches on so many other, much deeper topics, such as family issues and dealing with illness. The story itself takes unexpected twists and turns, and I’m so glad that I had the privilege of being along for the ride with Maddy and Olly.
The formatting of Everything, Everything is pretty unique, though it’s a trend that I’ve seen emerging in recent YA. The book itself isn’t purely narrative. It includes various pictures and charts, and I found that all of the “extras” included really flowed with the story and added to it. Though I’ve seen pictures and “extra” things used in books before, I don’t think I’ve ever seen these elements utilized so masterfully. There wasn’t a single picture or chart that I thought was out of place or not needed. Another feature included is emails and instant messages between Olly and Maddy, which were a treat to read. The best part? Yoon managed to create some serious character development even through short IMs and emails.
One of the most impressive aspects of this story for me was Nicola Yoon’s writing style. I honestly couldn’t believe that I was reading a debut novel. Yoon’s writing enchants the reader, and I just couldn’t stop turning pages. Her writing flowed so well that I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting, only getting up when I had to go to the bathroom. It was seriously that good. I found Maddy’s voice to be so authentic, and I felt like Yoon channeled a teenaged girl perfectly. I was really able to put myself in Maddy’s shoes, and I was almost immediately deeply invested in the story.
I could go on and on about how much I loved this book. Everything, Everything is the very definition of a five star read in my book. I highly recommend that you go out and purchase it on September 1st. I’m looking forward to reading more from Nicola Yoon in the future.