by Nicola Yoon
Published on September 1st 2015
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Also by this author: The Sun Is Also a Star, The Sun is Also a Star
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.
It seems like most of my blog friends have read and loved Everything, Everything, and thus I was eager to read it also. I cannot tell you in any coherent way the magic that resides within the pages of this book. Not only are the marvelous story and the writing enough to keep the reader enthralled, but they are both aided by an amazing array of pictures and handwritten notes created by Yoon’s husband. A truly engrossing experience.
Maddy is allergic to everything and thus she has not left her house for seventeen of her eighteen years of life… That’s right, let that sink in for a second or two. Let me repeat that sentence: Not left her house for seventeen years. Her house is a control environment, clean, white, and sterile. Her only physical contact is with her mother and her nurse Carla.
Maddy loves books and even keeps a blog with snippets of information. She tries to be content with the monotone and unchanging way of her life. But then a boy moves next door and they make contact. First on-line and then in person. This is the event that triggers in Maddy a sense of all that’s missing in her life. She starts questioning everything. Yay for diversity! Maddy is Japanese-African American 🙂
Olly is able to see past the disease and see the real Maddy. He learns to be a friend first, and then something more. Their relationship grew slowly and steadily. However, it felt like the disease had a life of its own and it tried to separated them over and over.
“If my life were a book and you read it backward, nothing would change. Today is the same as yesterday. Tomorrow will be the same as today. In the book of Maddy, all the chapters are the same.
Maddy’s mom is a physician and that comes in really handy when her daughter is so sick. To say that she’s protective is an understatement. Her whole life revolves about Maddy, her wishes, her disease, taking care of her and spending time with her. Carla, Maddy’s nurse, loves her like another daughter and tries to keep her living.
“The only thing I know for sure is that this, being here with Olly, being able to love him and be loved by him, is everything.”
This book is not all that it seems. Yes, it is about a devastating disease, about first love, about the awareness that there is something more to life than just being alive. Not all is as it seems, there are twists and surprises, but I will not spoil the book for you! Amazing, insightful, compelling writing. There is depth to this book.
“Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.”
Overall, Everything, Everything is a thought provoking book that portraits the life of a young adult living with a devastating disease and how she was able to move on to actually live beyond that. Outstanding story. Go read it now 😉