Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: September 1, 2015
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 book was just okay for me. It pains me to say that because I was SO looking forward to it, especially after hearing great reviews from some people whose opinions I trust. Let’s start with a couple things I liked about the book.
Madeline and Olly’s interactions were very cute. It was nice seeing first love from such a place of innocence. I also really liked the different illustrations, charts, graphs, etc. that were included. They really brought a unique element to the book.
ON TO THE BAD…
Everything about this book was very “surface” for me. We glaze over the topic of SCID, which is supposed to be the center and driving force of the whole story. On top of that, the main characters are written very shallowly, in my opinion. I feel like we don’t get to go very deep with them. As a result, they didn’t compel any sort of real sympathy or emotion from me.
I’m most disappointed that Yoon didn’t take this chance to educate readers about SCID. What is SCID? I don’t really know. This story just tells me that it means she can’t go outside and can’t eat certain foods for some reason. What’s great about reading books containing characters with mental illness or certain diseases/conditions is that you get the chance to learn, dispel any misconceptions, and reach an understanding of what they go through. I felt like I didn’t get that with Everything, Everything.
I was into the story at the beginning…then we hit the middle mark and took a turn into a world where nothing makes sense. YOU GET A PLOT HOLE AND YOU GET A PLOT HOLE! I’m in the camp that wasn’t a fan of the “plot twist”. It felt like taking the easy way out in order to resolve things.
The entire concept of the book had real potential, and we even get a diverse main character in Madeline who is mixed (Japanese/Black). I’m sad because it didn’t live up to what it could have been, but I can see why many seem to love it. I’d still be interested to read something else from Yoon in the future. This one just wasn’t for me.