Posted in book reviews

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

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 would like to warn you all, before you begin reading this review, that I do go off into some deep thought and ramble a lot. There’s just too much to say about this book. I liked it, but it didn’t wow me. And I wasn’t really surprised by anything that happened unfortunately. 3 stars (maybe 2 and a half?). That’s my short review, and the longer one will contain spoilers so read at your own risk.

I’m torn on how I feel on this book. I’m at an impasse, not quite sure on what decision to make about this. That, in itself, tells me all I need to know. I’m not raging about this book recommending it to anyone and everyone who will listen, I’m just okay about it. It was good, and now it’s back on my shelf, and it’s another one to add to my reading challenge for this year (I’m sooooo behind).

That doesn’t mean that I hate it. In fact, it was quite good. I really liked the layout/formatting of the book, with the illustrations of calendars, lists, etc. This really cut the book down, making it shorted than it already is. (Especially when some pages had minimal lines on them). So I flew through this book, reading it all in one sitting of a couple hours, maybe less. This book was easy to fall in to as you find yourself wondering about her sickness, and everything going on next door with Olly. But I find that maybe I was reading it too quick, not really taking it in, because I’ve left the book like ?? that was it?? I, from reading tons of other good, raving reviews, expected a lot more. Something deeper, and impactful (apparently that’s not a word, but I’m using it anyway). Sure, there was some pure moments of “wow, okay,” and emotion, but the rest was just disengaged and I was questioning more of the decisions with irritation than curiosity.

I wasn’t really shocked by the plot twist of her not being really ill. While I don’t know much about the sickness, from the stuff that Maddy told us and my own basic knowledge, some things didn’t add up. For example, she talks about how she can’t eat certain foods (her mum makes the lentil soup was it?? very basically for her, which was basically lentils in chicken stock), and yet the minute she runs away she’s eating anything and everything. No allergic reactions at all. No throat closing up. No hives. Or when she runs out the house to go to Olly, and nothing. happens. I was like ?? she’s not sick. She can’t be, and if she really is, then this is just stupid.

Nope. She’s not sick. Her mums just really depressed. I guessed that too, because of losing her husband and son, she wouldn’t want to lose her daughter either. How anyone else in this actual world didn’t put these things together is above me. And how she got away with keeping her daughter in a bubble, despite medical records saying how she doesn’t actually have this sickness, is also above me. And the nurse, if you truly thought something was up, isn’t it your duty to you know, report that??? Help her out? Let’s not talk about how, even though she suspected she wasn’t sick (but didn’t know for sure), just let her run away where she could potentially die. Where is the logic? I get that it’s meant to be all romantic and whatever, and “go live your life” and all the other life inspiring stuff you can find as wall stickers, but NO! Your a caretaker and you’re doing this? While I felt sad that she was fired, since she was Maddy’s only real friend, it made sense.

I’m confused by why everything Maddy owns is white. *Augustus voice* Maybe it’s a metaphor. The white is for when she’s sick. White has many connotations, but in Maddy’s case she see’s it as one for her being sick, and for everything around her being plain and boring, having no life. When she finally get’s her life and starts to live, everything becomes colourful. Her t-shirts, her shoes, her bedroom walls. Colour is everywhere. In Maddy’s situation I’m sure it doesn’t really feel like she’s living, being trapped inside all day everyday, and I’m sure for other people with different sicknesses it can feel the same. But I don’t know, this book shouldn’t feel like it’s saying that just because your sick doesn’t mean you have a life.

Maybe I’m thinking too much into this. I probably am. Shall we just stick to thinking about how Maddy and Olly seemingly got a happy ever after and ran away through New York together? Yeah, let’s think about that.

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3 thoughts on “Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

    1. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t love it. Especially after all the rave reviews, I went into this expecting for my socks to be blown off. But I don’t know, it all seemed a bit to silly to me. I get that it was basically saying to grab life by the balls but ??? and how Maddy was finally finding the will to live, like really live, it all seems tedious. I think that’s the right word. One part of me is like yaaaaaas, and the other more cynical, pessimistic side of me is like no. I don’t know. And the “twist” wasn’t even shocking. Read Sharp Objects. That’s good. Really, really good.

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      1. Sharp Objects has been packed for university. Which is a sign I could get to it in the next few months…

        I get what you mean. I mean at the time I fell in love with this book, but looking back now yeah I see your point.

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