Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Release: September 1, 2015
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.
In Everything, Everything, we meet newly-eighteen-year-old Maddy. She never leaves the house because of her disease, SCID. If she goes outside, she might die. So she goes to school over Skype and lives through the books she’s collected and read numerous times. Her best friend is her nurse, Carla, and the only family she has is her mother. But then she notices a new family moving in to the empty house next door and she sees Olly for the first time. When Olly tries to meet Maddy, her mother sends him and his sister away only for him to become more curious. They exchange email addresses and start communicating, through this Olly learns Maddy can’t leave her house and Maddy just wants to meet him in person. She notices his family life and his father and wants to protect him. But slowly, they grow closer and she starts to question everything.
I thought this was a cute love story and quick read but I had my own issues with it. They’re small issues. But I also have the things I loved.
The things I loved:
- Maddy is a person of color. I don’t see many of those in stories these days. Not only is she a person of color, she’s also mixed race. As a person of mixed race, it was easy to identify with the character and made me love the story because this is a world I could easily place myself within.
- How easy the friendship seemed between Maddy and Olly. It was like they needed each other and were able to be themselves when Olly moves to town. He can share his love of math and Maddy can talk to someone who just isn’t in her house.
- The interracial relationship. Again, I don’t see this in many stories. I’m not sure if I’m looking in the right places but most of the stories I want to read are very similar in the characters looks and they don’t branch out from their race. I just realized how odd that sentence was but just go with me for a moment.
- Maddy’s race wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t the focus. She wasn’t Maddy-the-Black-Girl, she was Maddy.
The things I didn’t like so much:
- When Olly moves next door, Maddy notices the abusive relationship between his father and the rest of the family. There wasn’t any resolution to this or any in depth information for this. It seemed important enough to showcase it in the story but then it was just left alone. I feel like there could have been more done with this, it’s an important topic.
- The ending. I won’t say what it is but it seemed unresolved.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way.
Nicola Yoon writes so wonderfully, she built this world so easily, I felt as if I were in the house. There were drawings in the novel, cute pictures that make the experience so much more wonderful.
It was a quick read and I can’t wait for the movie to come out. I originally read it because I saw there was a film coming out. I didn’t want to read it because of the hype surrounding it but it was worth it.