Check out what I thought about EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, a YA contemporary novel from debut novelist Nicola Yoon!
This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.
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 got an ARC of this book at BookCon earlier this year.
I was so excited to read this because the premise sounds ah-mazing and so different. A girl who can’t leave her house because she has a rare illness? And a cute love story? I was so ready.
This is the kind of book you want to read snuggled up where you can just tear through it. I loved the artwork throughout the story; I feel like it greatly strengthened the book. And now onto the book, itself!
It was freaking adorable. Like, I don’t even know how else to talk about it besides all the warm fuzzies it gave me. Maddie and Olly have the sweetest relationship and it walks a fine line of being insta-love and slow burn all at once. I know, right? I don’t even understand it myself. I was totally rooting for them and also waiting for my Olly to move across the street, bring me a Bundt cake, write messages on his window for me, and IM me at questionable times of night (or early morning). Oh, and he does parkour.
Olly also comes packaged with family angst, which yes, we’ve seen lots of wounded YA boys. But as someone that deals with an alcoholic father, I appreciated how Olly’s family drama was conveyed subtly and affected him deeply without being overly “WOE IS ME.”
I really liked the relationship between Maddie and her mom. I’m ready to play Phonetical Scrabble (and yes, it is what it sounds like)! I also liked her nurse Carla, who was a constant in her life and feels like a friend and second mom. I was happy to see a strong female presence in this book. A+ work!
The only thing I was not happy with was The Plot Twist. I feel like it’s something many, many people are going to be torn over. You’re either going to love it or hate it. But whichever camp you fall into, I believe Everything, Everything is a worthy read for its great characters, different storytelling techniques, and fluffy-ness.