Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Time taken to read: 1 week
Goodreads synopsis: 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.
I was really unsure about this book from the synopsis because I’m really over books about romantic relationships, but the concept of the main character being so sick she’s never left her house intrigued me so much. I loved the first half of this book. I loved Madeline’s voice, and I thought the writing was excellent. I loved the short chapters, the creative chapter titles, the varying format, the images and basically the whole style of everything. I also felt like Olly was very realistic. I feel like I’ve definitely known guys just like him that wear all black and like to climb shit that they shouldn’t be climbing and stuff like that. They’re weird as hell and they think they’re hot shit because of it. Guys like that are annoying, but they are very real. Oh, another thing I did love about this book is the diversity! I must admit, I had a lot of trouble picturing a half Japanese half African American girl, but I appreciate that she exists for YA readers.
Because this is a very new book, I would like to avoid spoilers, but I can’t. So if you haven’t read this yet and you want to, please do not read on. Although there was a lot about this book that bothered me, I did very much enjoy reading it, and I encourage you to give it a try. If you have read it already, please read on, and I will explain what I didn’t like about the novel.
I started to get pissed off at this book once Madeline got on the plane. I was like, if she’s so damn sick that she literally has never left her house for even a second for seventeen years, how is she on a plane right now and not dead? Like, there are probably so many germs on a plane, and there’s no way to escape them. Yet she’s fine for like three days, which made me angry. Of course, we find out why she’s fine, but that made me angry too. Like, her mother’s issues were super interesting, but I think the idea of having your whole life be a lie like that is just too much. Like, I think that would be very interesting for most people, but for me personally, I can’t take it. The thought of believing you have an illness your whole life and then finding out that it wasn’t true is so horrifying to me, I can’t even appreciate it for the fiction that it is.
Although, maybe what irritated me the most was the fact that she went and saw Carla before she got on the plane, and Carla 1. didn’t call Madeline’s mother, and 2. barely seemed concerned at all. This girl is not supposed to even step out into the backyard for half a second, and Carla’s like, “Well, have fun.” No. Send her home. Be a responsible adult, like you failed to be when you let the boy in the house, and then you got fired. Learn from your mistakes, lady. Not to mention the editing mistake of the name “Carla Pritchert” on the sticky notes on pages 150-152 instead of “Janet Pritchert”. (I think Janet was her name? I don’t have the book with me anymore so I can’t check. But it certainly wasn’t Carla.) I’m assuming by now someone’s caught that error and fixed it for future copies, but it was wrong in the copy I read and that was extremely irritating.
Anyway, I’m going to go back to watching Fringe now, my latest Netflix obsession. Happy holidays, readers!