Title: Everything Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Published by: Delacorte Press
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
*ARC provided by Random House Children through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Madeline, our heroine of Everything, Everything has SCID—in short, the bubble-boy disease. She’s allergic to everything and can’t leave her house. The only human interaction she has is with her mother (also her best friend and doctor), her nurse, and one or two of her school tutors. She lives in a whitewashed, plastic environment and wears jeans and a white t-shirt every day. The only way she experiences the world is through books and movies. This all changes when Olly moves in next door. Their relationship begins with a suicidal, indestructible Bundt cake and grows through instant messages, emails, and eventually face-to-face meetings. But Maddy’s budding relationship with Olly teaches her to want; nothing frightens Maddy more than becoming unsatisfied with her lot in life. She didn’t mind living in Kansas until she experienced life in Technicolor.
“One thing I’m certain of: wanting just leads to more wanting. There’s no end to desire.”
I loved this book. It’s full of questions about risk, love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. Can you give up on someone you love? Is living in quarantine really living? Maddy and Olly’s relationship is so sweet and fun, and full of heart-pulling angst because of Maddy’s illness. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that the ending is equally tragic and joyful.
Another thing I loved about Everything, Everything is how Yoon utilizes diagrams, illustrations, diary entries, and instant messaging formats to tell this story. It gives the reader a more intimate understanding of Maddy and gives the book an almost whimsical quality.
Would I let my teen read this book?
There are some great themes here, and Madeline and Olly are admirably both smart and witty. However, I do think this book is for mature teens. Olly is dealing with an abusive father. There’s some language, and a sex scene. See my details below.
Age recommendation: 16
Language – Olly regularly uses “jesus” and “goddamn” as curses
Drugs & Alcohol – Olly’s teenage sister is a smoker and his Dad is a drunk
Sex – several kisses; one sex scene – not particularly graphic but mentions some details
Violence – No graphic violence, mention of Olly’s Dad hitting his Mom.
My Goodreads rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Buy: Everything, Everything on Amazon.com
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.