Fall… the season of changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and new book releases. One of the biggest releases of the season is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. When I heard about this book in May, I pre-ordered straight away so I could read it the day it came out! And so I did…
Have you ever heard of severe combined immunodeficiency? SCID? Bubble boy disease? Well, if you didn’t know, this disease, most commonly known as SCID, is a primary immune deficiency. In normal people terms, this means if you have SCID, you’re basically allergic to everything and the slightest contact with the outside world could result in death. Our main character in Everything, Everything, 18-year-old Maddie, has SCID. She hasn’t left her house since she was a baby and is being treated full-time by her nurse Carla and her mother who is a doctor. Her days are exactly the same: wake-up, take vitals, eat breakfast, take vitals, read, take vitals, read more, take vitals, eat dinner, take vitals… you get the point. Maddie’s life is changeless, until a new family moves in next door. A new family containing a boy who just happens to be swoon worthy. With super ninja-like techniques (looking through the window), Maddie learns cute boy’s name is Olly, he only wears black, and he’s obsessed with all things climbing and tumbling. Since Maddie doesn’t have any contact with the outside world and is sick of being lonely, she decides she’s going to find a way to get to know this boy… without leaving her house. After watching (stalking?) Olly for days, Maddie finally gets a message from Olly: his e-mail address written on his window. After lots of messaging two things are clear: Olly likes Maddie and Maddie likes Olly. But with Maddie homebound for the rest of her life, can they ever really be together?
Everything, Everything is Nicola Yoon’s debut novel and with the pre-release hype surrounding it, I went into this book with pretty high expectations. This book was not perfect, but it was pretty close in my opinion. Everything, Everything has SUPER short chapters, which us book readers adore because it feels like you are flying through the book. Add on to the short chapters cute little drawings, graphs, notes, and emails and you have Emily’s ideal book.
The storyline of Everything, Everything is fascinating. The disease by itself is captivating and the complexity of the lifestyle is something I’m definitely intrigued by. When I’m home doing nothing for a day, I go stir crazy, so imagining never being able to leave my house was definitely an experience.
As for the characters, I loved every single one of them. Maddie’s character is exceptionally inspiring. She has a positive outlook on a life the majority of people would despise. Maddie is uplifting, super intelligent, and HILARIOUS (I could not stop smiling during this book)! Imagine having to take vital tests every two hours of every single day AND never being able to leave your house, it wouldn’t be fun, but Maddie finds a way to make every situation positive. Even though you might think it would be impossible to connect with someone living this lifestyle, I guarantee you will relate to Maddie in multiple ways.
If you are an avid reader of the young adult genre like myself, you know how every protagonist in YA hates their parents or their parents are terrible. Why must all teenagers have bad parents in books? I do not understand. Thankfully, in Everything, Everything we get a much-needed break from the bad family relationship and we get the cutest mother/daughter relationship EVER. They play honorary pictionary, phonetic (fonetik) scrabble, and have movie nights all the time! Maddie loves her mom and her mom loves Maddie, this simple concept created such an impact. I absolutely adored this aspect of the book and it definitely added to my love of Everything, Everything.
Olly. OLLY. *sighs* Nicole Yoon made me have all the feels when it comes to Olly. He was super comical, creative and genuinely caring. His enthusiasm for life and adventure lifted the already positive tone of the book. If you couldn’t tell, I adore Olly.
I’m super fond of Olly and Maddie separately, but put Maddie and Olly together, and you get the PERFECT couple! The romance was slow burning (thank God for no insta-love) and developed at a realistic pace, something that is very lacking in YA. I commend Nicole Yoon on writing a relationship that must have been quite difficult because of Maddie’s very real and very complex situation. I truly believed the romance and I adored Maddie and Olly’s interactions.
This book is obviously a romance, but I want to stress that Everything, Everything is SO much more than that. It’s educational, inspiring, and uplifting. I encourage you to go out and read this book, it was a super fun (and informational!) read. I gave Everything, Everything 4.5/5 stars, I deducted a half point because I wanted a teeny bit more, but 4.5 is pretty close to perfect.
Quote of the book: “Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you”