Book Review: Everything, Everything

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Title: Everything, Everything 

Author: Nicola Yoon
Release Date: September 1st 2015 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Sent by publisher 
Rating: ★★★★★
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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. 


My Review: 

This was a book I discovered at BEA, at the Editors Buzz Panel, that was one of the five books being pushed for Fall 2015. I'm a very picky reader when it comes to Contemporary, and it's rare for me to be so swept up in the Contemporary genre, since it tends to follow the same predictable formula. 

Everything, Everything tells the story of Madeline, who has the rare, incurable disease, SCID, which makes her pretty much allergic to everything in the outside world, and keeps her living indoors, breathing filtered air and eating carefully cooked meals, with only the company of her mother and her nurse, Carla. One day, a new family moves in next door and Maddie catches the eye of Ollie, who is just as interested in her as well. 

The novel is told through doodles, emails, plane tickets, IMs, and various drawings of Maddie's thoughts along with the traditional first person prose of Madeline, the main character. The drawings and various others mementos were clever story-telling devices and never distracted from the story but added to Ollie and Maddie's story. 

We learn a lot about Maddie and Ollie's family life and while there is a certain element of instant attraction, you see why the two of them are such good friends and lovers and click so well. 

I was really surprised at how much I loved this story, especially the twist at the end, and the author brings a much needed fresh and intelligent addition to the YA Contemporary genre. I completely recommend it and it's definitely one of my top picks for the year. 

Everything, Everything is set to release on September 1st and is available for pre-order here

Check out my interview with Nicola Yoon, the author of Everything, Everything here

-Amanda Leon 
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