One of the reasons I decided to read Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon, was because of the book’s beautiful, whimsical cover art. I follow a lot of avid readers on Instagram and Twitter, and I saw post after post about this book. Not only did it earn each poster’s praise, it looked like a fun book to read. I typically like reading printed books over electronic ones, and I knew I would love having this little piece of art sitting on my nightstand for however long it would take me to read it. Even if the book was less than stellar, I would enjoy its cover.
Am I the only one guilty of this?!?
But this YA book didn’t sit on my nightstand for very long. The story’s vibrancy and depth somehow managed to surpass the beauty of its cover, and so the book earned a spot far more prominent than on my nightstand: In my hands, twelve inches from my eyes. I could not pull myself away from this book.
Everything, Everything tells the story of Madeline, who has been confined to her home since she was a baby because she is allergic to nearly everything. Because of her illness (SCID), she is unable to do many things most teenagers take for granted, like go to high school, ride in a car, and travel. But she has built an amazing life within the confines of her sterile home. She reads (a lot), posts book reviews, works hard in her online classes, and has an enviable relationship with her mom. She is content and she is grateful for everything she has.
Until blue-eyed, black-clad Olly moves in next door.
They get to know each other by miming at their windows and sending numerous adorably written instant messages. And just like that, Madeline wants more. Her world is no longer big enough or good enough, and she takes huge risks so she can become closer to Olly.
Whether or not I agreed with Madeline’s choices throughout the book is beside the point, since they were her choices, her life. That’s why we read—to gain new perspectives, and learn what motivates people to feel, think and act how they do, even if we wouldn’t behave the same way—right? I appreciated Madeline’s optimism and bravery, and I understood what motivated her rebellious risk-taking.
Yes, this book shares similar themes with other popular YA novels (insta-love, quirky love interest), but still, it felt different to me: the diversity, the fun, very alliterative writing style, the ILLUSTRATIONS. (Who says YA novels can’t have illustrations?) The story was beautifully written… so much so that you can almost sing some of the lyrical passages.
And a word of caution: Don’t judge this book by its movie. (I could probably say that for nearly every book-turned-movie.) This book has it all: Strong plot, vibrant characters, and an unforgettable ending. The movie… well, it wasn’t awful.
Here’s the movie trailer, in case you’re interested:
Top 5 Reasons Why I Enjoyed the book Everything, Everything:
- Madeline’s optimism and bravery
- The fun, quirky instant message conversations
- The handstand scene (made me laugh out loud!)
- The complexity of Olly’s character. It’s easy to see why Madeline would fall for him.
- The twist (I know there are SO many people who disagree with me on this!)
Have you read Everything, Everything? Were you offended by the twist? How important do you think Madeline’s illness is to the story line? Leave a comment below to share your opinion!
Thanks for stopping by!