I picked up a signed copy of Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon at BEA and I’ve heard other bloggers raving about it since then. I realized that it’s release date is rapidly approaching (September 1st to be exact) and I decided to spend some time reading it this week for the Bout of Books readathon. Little did I know just how incredible Madeline’s story would be. I finished reading the book within 3.5 hours because I just could not get enough. Madeline is basically a bubble girl who’s spent her entire life inside and isolated from everyone, save her mom (who’s a doctor) and her nurse Carla, for fear of her weak immune system not being able to handle exposure to any foreign pathogens. But everything changes for Madeline when a new family moves into the house next door. This might sound cliched but I swear, the way it’s told is just beautiful. There’s so much raw emotion and the exhilarating excitement of experiencing things for the first time.
Madeline is a friendly and optimistic teenage girl despite her seemingly hopeless condition. Throughout the course of the novel I really admired her strength in relation to the comprehension of her situation, her love for her mother and her will to live. Madeline has always been mostly content with her life at home playing phonetic Scrabble, Pictionary, and having movie nights with her mother but she begins to question how she’s spending the time she has when she starts IM-ing with Olly, the mysterious and handsome new boy next door who always wears all black. Olly and his family struggle with an abusive father and mother that’s too scared to leave him and Madeline often trys to cheer Olly up after hearing his dad yelling from her window. Madeline keeps her relationship with Olly a secret from her mother and it causes a rift to form between them. Madeline becomes distant, falls deeply in love and starts taking risks that could mean everything. I love them so much and ship them so hard<3 I also adore Madeline’s nurse Carla who is sort of like a second mom. She always has Madeline’s best interest at the forefront of her decisions and I love her statement that life is a gift. All of the characters had their flaws but they were lovable, insightful and inspiring.
Nicola Yoon’s husband David Yoon created all of the artwork within the pages of the book which completely enhance the reading experience and add even more significance to the story. The sketches, dictionary entries, book reviews and charts were my favorite part of reading. They felt very personal and gave a true sense of Madeline’s creativity and what it’s like to be in her head. My favorite chart of hers is the one about measuring the passing of time before something exciting is going to happen because everyone can relate to that feeling. The book left me feeling invigorated and appreciative to have control of the the life I’m living. Madeline is such an inspiring girl and while the ending is rather unconventional and unexpected, the journey is everything everything.
Final Thoughts: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon is a must read contemporary YA novel about a girl who begins to examine her life, question the possibilities and search for meaning. Madeline, a girl with a fatal immunodeficiency disease, and Olly, an attractive and mysterious boy next door are an unusual pairing of characters who help each other unlock the strength laying dormant within themselves. The characters in Everything Everything are compelling and inspiring and so very well developed. The story is told through multiple mediums which enhances the overall novel and trust me when I say that it’s impossible not to fall madly in love with Everything Everything.
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. (via Goodreads)