(I received an early copy of Everything, Everything from Random House in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Also hot dang look at that cover.)
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is about a girl named Madeline who’s essentially allergic to the outside world: she stays in her house all the time, attends school online, hangs out with her mom a lot, and reads countless books (that have been decontaminated and vacuum-sealed, of course). All that changes, though, when a new family moves in next door and she sees Olly: all-black wearing, parkour-performing, totally mysterious and intriguing Olly. You can guess what happens next. As their relationship grows, Madeline learns more about the outside world she so desperately wants to be a part of and has to make a choice: stay alive or start living. I give Everything, Everything 9.5/10 stars for #relatable characters, such cuteness that I can’t even, all the deepness, and an ending that I truly did not see coming.
(Warning: this post contains minor spoilers!)
Things I Liked:
- I absolutely adored the characters in this book. They’re super relatable and real. Madeline has this incredible balance of wanting a different life and trying to be content with the life she has; she isn’t some sort of “poster kid” trying to “live her best life today” and cheesily remaining positive in the face of every obstacle life throws her way, but she also doesn’t spend the entire book moping. At first, Olly seems like your stereotypical punk teenager, but you find out that he has a lot of depth, feelings, and hardships. He definitely reads like a real person rather than a stereotype. Nurse Carla and Zach are just fantastic. I love everyone.
- The main character is a person of color! Diversity for the win! #WeNeedDiverseBooks
- Two things stood out to me regarding the writing: great quotes and the super interesting way the book is put together. Rather than simple prose, going from paragraph to paragraph, Everything, Everything contains medical records, diagrams, Gmail-chatting, definitions from “Madeline’s dictionary,” and “Life is Short TM” book reviews. These pieces are incredibly creative and add a whole new dimension to the story. They also bring a lot of humor to a book whose subject matter could have been crazy angsty; this creativity is a great way to balance out the heaviness of Madeline’s struggles.
- Madeline’s character development is phenomenal. I was so proud of the way she grows, and I loved how her growth is influenced both by her relationship with Olly and her increasing desire to be a part of the outside world. She goes through a lot and the odds are against her, but she keeps going, and I was very inspired by the way her character learns the difference between surviving and living.
- I honestly did not see the ending coming, which grows rarer and rarer the more I read. Kudos to Nicola Yoon for surprising me.
- Certain parts of this book are just so cute that I can’t even. The Gmail-chatting! Their first kiss! Their reunion! Gah.
Things I Didn’t Like:
- There was one scene in Hawaii that I wasn’t too big a fan of.
- That’s really it.
- As I said above, I loved every character in this book, but the favorite character award has got to go to Zach. He’s only in about five pages, but I could not stop laughing for those five pages. He’s such a funny third wheel and he’s got dreadlocks and he’s just great. I love Zach. A lot.
That’s it for Everything, Everything! I recommend this book to anyone looking for something cute like Stephanie Perkins mixed with the character development of John Green. I’ve got a lot of reviews coming this week, so be on the lookout for those. Hope you guys enjoyed this review!