Review: "Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon

EverythingEverythingCoverAuthor: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publication: Corgi Children
Release Date: September 3rd, 2015
Pages: 320
Spoilers: Spoiler free, enjoy reading this! Just be prepared that you’ll only understand my enthusiasm after reading THE WHOLE book 😉
Special: Bored To Death Book Club
Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

I got to read this book for the Dutch, yet English speaking, bookclub, called “Bored to Death Book Club”. Every month we read and discuss a book that we pick together. And whilst I couldn’t make it to this edition of the bookclub due to my lungs being totally sucky, I did read and enjoy the book, and I will review it for you guys. I didn’t really expect anything of “Everything, Everything” but I was totally blown away!

Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone? Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.” [goodreads]

It all sounds very good, yet at the same time very terrible for the person whose experiencing it: Madeline is too sick to go outside of her house. Living under her mother’s supervision, she gets home-schooled, has no contact with the outside world and tries to make the best of it with. It sounds like a promising story, yet I was afraid it would turn out to be a knock-off of “The Fault in Our Stars” only a little bit different. Turns out I was all wrong, luckily. But I promised not to spoil anything, so I won’t go into detail what it exactly was that surprised me. But the ending has one of the biggest plot twists in all history of plot twists so you should seriously experience this book by yourself.


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The story is told from Maddie’s perspective, who is, after all she’s been through, a character that wasn’t annoying at all, even though she could’ve been one of those ‘spoiled by mommie’ brats. She was just a girl longing for the outside world while trying to stay alive inside of her tiny house, her own safe cubicle. She has interesting thoughts and I think Nicola Yoon really created an honest character that tries to except and fight certain circumstances like any other teenager would.

As for Ollie, I couldn’t relate to him at all. He wasn’t honest to Maddie, but as a read, you soon find out why he isn’t. But still, even though I loved reading chapters about Ollie and Maddie together, I had my doubts about him. But he turned out to be just really sweet and goodhearted and maybe even a little bit naive. I felt sorry for him but at the same time I wan’t to punch him in the face (no joke intended) and you know, let him speak up. It’s not that I don’t like him, I just kinda got frustrated by him.

What I absolutely adore about the book is how it looks. You have pages with just direct storytelling from Maddie, you have lists, pictures and IM messages. You have everything (everything) put together in one book, creating a world that you can easily image and felt so real. Nicola Yoon did a great job at the visuals department: describing surroundings is not something she does all the time, but still, implicitly you get to know a lot bout the surroundings through Maddie’s eyes, since she’s so fixed on what she’s been missing while being locked up in her home. The use of senses was one of the main reasons I think Nicola Yoon is a great author. I like her writing style and the whole thing put together. She also knows how to lighten up serious scenes with subtle jokes and references. So thumbs up on that department.

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I do believe she could’ve elaborated on the last couple of chapters of the book. To me it felt too fast, and maybe it was supposed to be that way, due to Maddie’s condition, but I just wished there was more for me to read. It’s both a critique and a compliment I think.  But over all I think Nicola Yoon kept great balance in telling her story with a lot of ‘action’ and some slower scenes in which the reader gets to know her living situation better.

I do have to warn you: I couldn’t keep it dry 100%. I think tissues are recommended.  Nicola knows how to play with emotions and I think the fact that Maddie is just an ordinary girl living with an extraordinary condition is very easy to relate to. I started to feel really close to the characters and wasn’t ready to say goodbye at the last page of the book. This story is so rare, I think it will stay with me forever and ever.

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“Everything, Everything” is a surprisingly good book with lovable characters and a plot twist you won’t see coming. You will wish the book contained about 50 more pages, because the characters will soon feel as if they are real, as if they are your friends, that you cannot get enough of spending time with. I recommend this book to anybody who loves Jasmine Warga, John Green or Rainbow Rowell. You will not get disappointed!

Have you read this book? I’d LOVE to know what your thought are!

 

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