Thursday, August 13, 2015
REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Right from the start this book grabbed my interest and didn't let go right up until that very emotional ending. I loved the two main characters and getting to know them both. Just everything from the characters to their relationships to each other to this whole situation had me feeling all the feels. All of them. And it's been awhile since I felt so incredibly absorbed into a story like I did with Everything, Everything. It was a really amazing experience reading this book.
Everything, Everything is the story of teenage girl Madeline who has a very rare and unusual condition in which she is allergic to practically everything. In order to survive, she hasn't left her house in 17 years and is cared for by her mother (who is a doctor) and a nurse, Carla, who comes in daily. To be honest, Madeline has no real issues or complaints about her life, she studies online and she feels happy to spend time with her mom watching films and playing made up board games. And she gets on great with Carla (and their friendship is so adorable!).
That is until Olly and his family move in next door. And Olly and Madeline unexpectedly start up this friendship online that progresses into more. And with the arrival of Olly, Maddy starts having all these other thoughts about wanting more of her life than what she has. She starts to question what it means to live and what's important to her and she starts to realise everything that she's been missing and what things mean so much to her that she'd risk her health for.
One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book is the diversity in it. Obviously Maddy has this unusual condition but she's also mixed race and everyone (the two people in her life) are people of colour and that is what's normal for her. So much so that the fact that Olly is white is pointed out for being odd person out. I loved that. And more mixed race main characters, please.
Another thing I really loved about Everything, Everything are all of the relationships. Carla and Maddy's friendship was really sweet. It's quite clear that Carla is more than just a nurse to Maddy. There's friendship there but she's also sort of a mother figure as well, someone who is really trying to look out for Maddy and someone who does stuff like bring Olly into the house so that Maddy can experience new things. I loved Carla.
I also really enjoyed this complicated relationship between Maddy and her mother. You can see a lot of the cracks appearing in this mother-daughter relationship as this story progresses and as Maddy pulls away from her mother. She's growing up and becoming her own person which makes less room in her life for her mother's opinions and protection. It all really made sense.
But at the heart of this story is this incredibly sweet new friendship that turns into more between Maddy and Olly. I actually really love that theirs is a relationship that starts mostly with them talking online, sending messages and emails back and forth. They are impossibly cute together. And then when they start meeting in person? My heart almost burst at that exciting/nervous stage of new relationships. ARGH, the feels.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is definitely a book to keep an eye out for. It's emotional and romantic and diverse. It has a wonderful cast of characters and relationships that are fascinating and complicated. I'm definitely excited by this book!