Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Random House Children’s Book
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
Source: Borrowed from library
Read All About It:
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.
The first thing I noticed about Everything, Everything is how beautiful Nicola Yoon writes. There are numerous lines I could quote that capture Maddy’s struggle as she learns to make decisions for herself about what is important.
“I was trying so hard to find the single pivotal moment that set my life on its path. The moment that answered the question, ‘How did I get here?’
But it’s never just one moment. It’s a series of them. And your life can branch out from each one in a thousand different ways. Maybe there’s a version of your life for all the choices you make and all the choices you don’t.”
This coming-of-age story is a bit different than most since Maddy has a disease that won’t allow her to leave the house. She has not experienced school, friends, or any part of the outside world and the only people she gets to be around are her mom and Carla, her nurse. Since she is stuck inside, reading became her hobby, which made it easy for me – and I’m sure many other book nerds – to relate to her. She also is incredibly fierce, which at points made me want to shout at her, “what are you doing?!” but it also made her seem incredibly strong despite her disease. I loved that she is a diverse character too. I don’t think I’ve ever read about an Afro-Asian character, but it was nice to read a description that wasn’t about long straight locks and big round eyes.
There is just one problem I have with the book, but it’s a SPOLIER SO SKIP TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH. Have you skipped ahead? Stopped reading before I mention the spoilers? Good. My only problem with the story is that Maddy’s mom lying about her having SCIDs seemed like the easy solution for Maddy and Ollie to be together. Plus, it creates an ending that suddenly shifts me to feeling sad that Maddy wasted the first part of her life inside and sad for her mom’s mental state. The shift of focus would be okay, but then the end wrapped up quickly.
Luckily, what I dislike about the book is outweighed by the beautiful writing and great character dynamic that makes for a cute love story.