by Nicola Yoon
Expected Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Length: 307 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Obtained Via: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my final opinion of the work.
View at the Traffic light:
This story is just as striking as its cover. Everything, Everything is about Madeline, who has SCID, a rare disease in which she’s allergic to. . . well, pretty much everything. Okay, well not literally everything, but enough that she basically lives on lock down. Her air has to be filtered, people have to be decontaminated before they have contact with her, and everything, from her diet to what she can wear, is severely restricted. Madelin’s lived like that for eighteen years, but when Olly moves next door, she finds herself yearning for more. For the first time, staying safe & inside just doesn’t feel like enough.
Everything, Everything is told in an unique style that blends short, blunt chapters and a journal entries, lists, blog entries, plan tickets, and other documents. It’s the kind of style that’s not going to go over well with everyone, but I loved it. Reading Everything, Everything is like perusing a flipbook. At first, all you see are random scenes that don’t necessarily look interconnected, but once you get into it the picture becomes more complete until you understand the action that’s happening.
Madeline and Olly’s relationship is adorable, especially at first. They start by chatting online through emails and instant messages before every meeting in person, and it was clear they were good for each other. For Madeline, Olly was someone new to her small world and a new way to live. For Olly, Madeline was comfort while dealing with his abusive father. I didn’t 100% love some of the turns the romance took from a personal standpoint, but I think it makes sense for the characters. Their romance often felt a bit more obsessive than I typically enjoy reading, but considering where they were each coming from in their individual lives, I understood the character motivation. I also appreciated that Yoon describes the physical aspect of their relationship, which to me felt like an important aspect *because* Madeline gets so little contact with anyone.
I was also incredibly satisfied with the ending. I totally called it and thought the way everything built towards the end without being in-your-face was well done. It really struck home the themes of living for yourself and how life may never be 100% safe, but it’s still worth living. It made me feel deeply and care about Madeline and her future. I think it’s also important to note that if you pick this one up, there are plot inconsistencies. It’s worth sticking with, and makes sense in the end. Everything builds towards something, truly. My only issue was that I thought one aspect of the ending developed a little too quickly. It felt a little rush and like it could have been developed a bit more before that particularly plot thread was all tied up. On the whole, though, I REALLY enjoyed this book and recommend it.
A wonderfully and creatively written novel that deals with excellent themes of love and life without ever feeling stark or bare-bones despite the brevity of the content. Well worth a read. 4/5 cupcakes.