Thursday, 23 July 2015

review: everything, everything

Release date: September 1, 2015 (Delacorte)

 From Goodreads

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.

This was easily one of my most anticipated books for this year, and when I got approved for an eARC from Netgalley, I was absolutely ecstatic. And then slightly nervous. And then terrified. Because what if it didn't live up to my expectations? What if it turned out to just be another cheesy teen romance with a sick girl and a sad boy? What if, God forbid, it sucked? 

Spoiler alert: It didn't. 

Simply put, Everything, Everything was breathtaking. Every single detail was exactly what I hoped it would be. This was a book that I felt - all of Madeline's emotions got magically transferred over to me, and even though I have no idea what it's like to live with SCID, I could certainly sympathize.

It's very clear that Nicola has a knack for character writing. Seriously, I was absolutely engrossed with each and every character in this book, and I'm pretty sure Madeline is officially one of my favourite YA protagonists ever. Her attitude was so inspiring, and I was honestly in awe of her development. She begins as a very scared, very cautious girl (for good reason - even stepping outside for one second could kill her), but her relationship with Olly forces her to want, and strive for, more. I loved how brave she became throughout the novel, and how she pretty much just told her anxieties to shut up and back off.

As for Olly, I simply loved him. To me, he just felt incredibly authentic and real - especially through the IMs we see between him and Maddy. His character read as a very true and believable teenage boy. He's not one of those perfect, always optimistic and dreamy love interests. He's a teenager who's dealing with some shit.

Some of my favourite parts to read were the interactions between Maddy and her mother, and Maddy and Carla. It was really adorable how much trust and love she put into these people, and how she felt like they were integral to her survival. If I ever get sick and am bedridden for the rest of my life, I want Carla to be my nurse.

So, if you've read the book - you know that thing that happens? The thing near the end? Yeah, I definitely wasn't expecting it. And at first I was a little bit taken aback, but after mulling it over for like 5 seconds, I realized it was perfect. It was honestly so in line with the whole theme of the novel. I loved how it all ended.

One last thing that I absolutely adored was Maddy's little notes and dictionary entries and all the other little goodies sprinkled throughout the book. I felt that they added a lot to the story and really gave an extra intimate look into her mind. Overall, Maddy was a character I felt very close to and completely understood, which is really all I ask for in a protagonist.

Final thoughts: It's so rare that a book I look forward to so much actually turns out to be what I hoped it would be, but Nicola Yoon hit the nail on the head. Especially considering the fact that this is her first novel, I absolutely cannot wait to see what she has in store next. 

3 comments on "review: everything, everything "
  1. Awesome review! Glad your expectations were met and that you really liked a book you were looking forward to. I'm really curious about Madeline's situation and would like to understand this SCID.

  2. Fabulous review! I've been dying to read this.

  3. This sounds a cute book! I think I'm gonna post this for my new Waiting for Wednesday meme. :) Great review, Riley! <3

    Fiona of A Girl Between the Pages