“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.”
– synopsis taken from Amazon.com
I’m a little late to the party but I finally got around to reading Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I was not really expecting much going into this book because contemporary is not really a genre that I go for. It’s usually way too sappy and/or corny for my taste. But I wanted to read this book as a way to support black authors and because I met Nicola Yoon at Bookcon this year and she was honestly the sweetest thing. After reading this book, Mrs. Yoon could definitely be the one to turn me into a contemporary fan.
For a quick recap in case the above synopsis wasn’t enough, the story is about a girl named Madeline (goes by Maddy) who has a very rare disease which to the public is known as “bubble disease”. She is literally allergic to any and everything and must stay indoors away from any and everybody. The only two people that she comes in contact with are her mother and her in-home nurse of fifteen years, Carla. They are her only friends. Very soon a new family moves into the empty house right next door and through small exchanges of nonverbal communication, she befriends and quickly falls in love with the new boy, named Olly.
In a nutshell, I deeply enjoyed this story. It made me feels things that I wasn’t expecting to feel (and if I’m being honest, since I’m not a romance type person, I didn’t actually want to feel them either) and it created a lasting impression on me. This book is perfect for beach day reading, plane ride reading, or anywhere really. I don’t normally reread books within the same year but I definitely see myself rereading this in the near future.
This book is less than 300 pages and is a very simple and quick read. The chapters are also really short so it makes reading easier. I would literally read for half an hour, look back on how much I read and be surprised by how much I have gotten through. The short chapters mixed with Yoon’s writing style, make time and the whole reading experience fly by. There were also pictures and illustrations in the book that were so cute and added to the charm of the story.
The characters were perfect; they were who you needed them to be when you needed them to be it. Maddy’s nurse Carla was the perfect friend and a great side character. Maddy’s mother was very overprotective but due to Maddy’s condition, it was understandable. Olly had his own demons to fight but he was lively, fun, and romantic. Maddy was basically the curious, innocent child since she never had the opportunity to really experience life. It was cute, sad, and sometimes funny the way she thought about and processed things. Maddy was the picture perfect model of a daughter in the beginning and I almost hated the way she went along with everything. I didn’t like nor did I think it was fair that her mother basically expected her to never want anything that normal teenagers would want. But all that changes when Maddy finally goes on her adventure. Maddy and her mother had the biggest character changes in this book. It was unexpected but still very well done.
One thing that I did not like was how Maddy handled things with Olly towards the end of the book. It wasn’t enough to completely change my feelings for her but I did not like it. Her decisions in this book were rash and she never thought about the consequences of her actions. Being that she has lived her entire life inside the walls of one house, I can understand some of her choices and if I’m being honest, I probably would have made some of the same decisions as well. But when it came to Olly, Maddy made me pretty upset; never gave a reason or explanation for what she did but showed such confidence that she would be forgiven for it. In my opinion, it came off very cocky and it just…wasn’t cool. At all.
Another thing I did not like was how quickly the book wrapped up. Within the last ten percent of the book, we find out something major but almost as soon as we find out, the book is over. It felt too sudden and I was not ready. I still had a few questions and was expecting other certain things to happen. I won’t go as far as saying there should be a sequel because even though the book still leaves some things unanswered, it still felt very final, if that makes any sense. But I would have liked an epilogue or something. Or maybe a special chapter that the author can release? Just, something else. I wasn’t ready for the book to end where it did.
Overall, I really liked this book. I’m not very good at star ratings but if I had to give one, this book would be between 3 and 4 stars. I recommend this book as a great summer time read. If you are a hopeless romantic then this book will definitely make you feel things and I hope you enjoy every second of it! If you are like me, someone who stays away from romance and reads books stone-faced even when you’re enjoying it, you just might like this book too. I did 😉