Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon – Delacorte Books – Published 1 September 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.
Fast five favourites: the beautiful drawings that are scattered throughout this book and which bring it to life. Olly’s desire to climb and move. The references to The Little Prince. The use of symbols, such as colour. And Madeline, wonderful narrator and protagonist.
I am a little late to the party with reading Everything, Everything, but after reading The Sun Is Also A Star, I knew I had to put Everything, Everything on my reading list. And, as most would agree, Everything, Everything is well worth reading. Beautiful, evocative, and compelling, it is so very easy to devour, while standing outside of the plethora of YA contemporaries for its diversity and uniqueness.
Madeline doesn’t go outside. To go outside would be a death sentence. She has severe combined immune deficiency and has lived her entire life safe within the walls, windows and air filters of her home. But she has her mother and her awesome nurse Carla, homeschool and, of course, books. Lots and lots of books. But then a new family moves in next door and she is inexplicably drawn to the guy who wears all black and can’t stop moving. Madeline and Olly start a friendship via messages written on windows and emails. But starting something only makes Madeline want more, until she is ready to risk everything to have a chance to finally live.
Short chapters, visual emails and messaging, and likeable narration make this book easy to read while the beautiful drawings bring the story to life. I admit that I saw the ending coming a mile away, so there was no surprise twist for me, but I enjoyed the unfolding of the story nonetheless.
Apart from everything I loved there were a few things that caught my attention and detracted from the story. I didn’t like how the romance develops quickly into passionate, all-consuming love affair territory and there were a few conveniences, like Maddy’s endless funds, that are too easily explained away but aren’t realistic. Aside from those few things though, this is a creative story and very enjoyable to read.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: SCID, family, romance, life, homeschooling, new experiences, diversity, social themes, love.
Reading age guide: Ages 12/13 and up.
Advisory: Sex scene with vague and implied details.
Published: 1 September 2016 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, audiobook, ebook. 310 pages.