Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon; 2015
Whoa! I really, really, REALLY liked Everything, Everything. I’m withholding the word ‘love’ for one reason and one reason only, which I will explain later. I really cannot get on board with YA these days, although I make attempts here and there. The OG Sarah Dessen of my early teen years really sets the standard for me. However, Nicola Yoon really blew me away.
Madeline has SCID, more popularly known as the “bubble baby disease.” Essentially, she’s allergic to the world and she doesn’t know what her triggers are. She hasn’t left her house in 17 years and her only human contact is with Carla, her nurse, and her mom. But when attractive, parkour-ing Olly moves in next door one day all bets are off. That’s all you need to know about this book before diving in.
What really made this book work for me was Yoon’s writing. It’s graceful and real and not melodramatic or pretentious, which is really what turns me off to today’s YA. Everything, Everything also experiments with form: there are IMs, emails, drawings, etc. It makes it that much more fun to read. Also, my crush to end all crushes was Dexter from This Lullaby; Olly comes pretty close to as runner up. Nicola def knows what makes for a cute boy in looks and behavior. Snaps for that.
The only thing keeping me from love, love, loving this book was a part of the ending. Obviously won’t say more and ruin it, but I felt a piece of the ending would have worked really well for an entirely different kind of book – like a psychological thriller? It also followed in the footsteps of The Fault in Our Stars in some ways – not all, don’t freak out.
ANYWAY hardly a reason not to read this. Actually, I can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t read this. It literally took me a few hours to read. Really excellent!