Published by Delacorte Books on September 1, 2015
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
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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.
Every Single Thought
Everything, Everything was EVERYTHING I wanted in a contemporary YA romance and more! This book was unputdownable for me and the pages were just flying by and before I knew it the all-consuming romance between Madeline and Olly was put to an unfortunate end. The book overall just flowed right through me and it was such an easy and beautifully written read overall! The characters of Madeline and Olly were so delightfully youthful and full of that nostalgic first love that was almost too sweet and authentic to handle! Madeline and Olly are quirkiness overload and I indulged in every single second of it!
“I keep picturing myself floating high above the earth. From the edge of space, I can see the whole world all at once. My eyes don’t have to stop at a wall or at a door. I can see the beginning and the end of time. I can see infinity from there. For the first time in a long time, I want more than I have.”
The main character is a girl named Madeline Whittier (AKA Maddy who is nicknamed by Olly) who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) which is known as the “bubble boy disease”. She hasn’t been able to get out of her own house in almost 17 years because she has a weak immune system. Maddy literally lives in a bubble consisting of a decontaminated house in Los Angeles filled with white walls. Madeline’s whole universe consists of her caretaker nurse Carla and her mother. Maddy is described as half Jamaican and half Japanese. In YA novels usually, the diversity is lacking and it is refreshing to read about a girl named Maddy who comes from such a diverse background!
Maddy is one of my favorite YA characters because of her outlook on life. She has an adorably curious nature about her and I love how she is fascinated with the outside world around her which she showcases in her notebook and doodles. When she writes about creating the perfect kissing atmosphere I fell in love with her pure innocence and found her to just be full of awesomeness!
Maddy has made peace with her disease and even though she is immensely inquisitive about the outside world, she feels safe with her world of books, writing down random facts and quippy book reviews in her journal, and playing phonetic book scrabble with her mother.
The story really begins when a new family moves in next door to Maddy and she sees Olly outside her window. When Maddy becomes curious about Olly is the start of Maddy seeing beyond the confines of her pristine white walls. Olly is a boy that is deeply troubled due to some intense family issues and Maddy is just the girl to help him escape the madness of his life. Olly is at first seen as your typical broody teenager who wears all black and Maddy is the one to bring some color into his world.
The dynamic between Maddy and Olly was unique and I absolutely adored reading their conversations and flirtations with one another! Since Maddy has the SKID disease, she cannot interact with anyone outside of her mom and caretaker Carla because she can catch any diseases or sickness new people can bring. In order for Maddy to have new people come into the house, they need to go through a medical and physical background including decontamination (Decontamination entails having a high-speed air bath for an hour.) which Olly endures before meeting Maddy face to face. Although in the beginning they really get to connect with one another online. Maddy and Olly on many nights exchange some hilariously sweet instant messaging chats. Both characters fell in love with one another through learning about one another more than the physical attraction aspect of it which is rare to find in many teen romances.
“And then your eyes. I swear they change color. Sometimes they’re almost black. Sometimes they’re brown. I’m trying to find a correlation between the color and your mood, but I don’t have it yet. I’ll keep you posted.”
“Correlation is not causation,” I say, just to have something to say.
-Olly and Maddy
Olly is one of the most selfless and protective characters that I have ever met and he will do anything to make sure that Maddy is safe. He is the kind of guy that is filled with energy and has a pension for headstands and hanging on things which frighten Maddy in the beginning. Throughout the story, Olly inspires Maddy to push past her comfort zone by living every ounce of life available to her even if it is her last.
“ONCE UPON A time there was a girl whose entire life was a lie.”
Everything, Everything was a book that completely touched me in so many ways and I love how different it is compared to other romances I have read in the past. The chemistry between the characters was genuine and you can feel that they truly loved and cared for one another whether they were together and even deeper when they were apart. You can feel the strong and unbreakable bond between Olly and Madeline. Their connection was so in sync to one another and so unique that no one could truly break it.
This book made me laugh and I loved the idiosyncrasies and banter between the two characters. I will never forget their amazing and spontaneous trip to Hawaii and Maddy’s childlike fascination with the “humuhumunukunukuapuaa fish” (Which is a real fish by the way.), the gross bundt cake recipe, fascination with head stands, and obsession with outer space. Maddy and Olly speak their own language and it was a pleasure to delve into the world of Maddy and Ollie.
Nicole Yoon’s Writing
Nicole Yoon’s writing doesn’t prescribe to the normal conventions of a YA novel and there were so many eccentricities all throughout the book. One of the many things I loved best about Everything, Everything was Maddy’s notebook. Maddy’s notebook is the place where you are introduced to the world of Maddy. The notebook was filled with doodles, her own personal dictionary, medical charts, book reviews, and her own dramatic declarations of love for Olly. The voice of the characters in her writing is strong because you can really understand the struggle that the characters are going through. There were so many sentences in Yoon’s book that I had to reread again and again in order to really experience her perfectly poetic language! The great thing about Nicole Yoon’s writing is that not only is the writing impeccable, it is also an easy read that makes you want more of Maddy and Olly!
Pop Culture References (Shawn and Angela)
The chemistry between Maddy and Olly is as intense as the chemistry between Shawn and Angela in Boy Meets World! The sparks that flew between Shawn and Angela sometimes was more intense to watch than Cory and Topanga!
Even though, this book has to be one of the best YA romances I have read all year I have to say that there was a significant plot twist to the story that changed the whole trajectory of the book. The plot twist in the book took me in for a surprise and I felt it was a bit rushed and underdeveloped. If it wasn’t for the plot twist in the book I would have given this book five stars but instead, I give it a solid four and a half stars.
Honestly, I feel like the plot twist was unnecessary for the book and it kind of devastated me in the end! I was completely and utterly surprised when I learned about this plot twist! I swear I didn’t see it coming! My heart broke for the characters and I just found it hard to accept the truth because I felt it was so rushed. Even though the plot twist was disappointing please don’t let the plot twist deter you from reading the book! This book is a must-read, it is unforgettable, and the chemistry and adventures between Maddy and Olly are everything you can ever imagine.
4.5 CHARLIE CHUCHI STARS
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