Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Published by Corgi Children’s in 2015
My copy: Paperback
Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddy, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. Maddy is certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
I bought this novel quite a while ago as I had heard so many good things about it, and actually put off reading it as I wanted to save it!
Firstly can I just say that the cover of this book is really gorgeous, and I found myself looking at it a lot while reading it. It’s a masterpiece!
Now onto the novel. Madeline is 18 and hasn’t left the house since she was a baby. She has a very rare illness which means she is allergic to all sorts of things, and has to stay inside to avoid coming into contact with anything that might trigger her illness. But then the delightful Olly moves in next door and Madeline’s life as she knows it is thrown on its head…
This is a typical Young Adult novel in some ways. The boy is gorgeous with big lovely eyes and floppy hair – but he’s a bit quirky too, and he has a few issues of his own. And there is the obligatory dead parent and even the token gay character. So in this sense it didn’t feel to me as though it was really breaking any boundaries.
But it is definitely a nice, easy read and I got through it in just a few hours. It’s a really short novel, with some chapters being just a line or two, and it is broken up with little line drawings (actually created by the author’s husband). I loved the little illustrations which were very cute. And I especially enjoyed the IM banter between the two lovestruck characters. It is hard not to root for both of them and I liked that their romance starts to blossom before they even meet properly.
There is a twist at the end that I had thought might be coming, but it worked really well and gave the reader food for thought.
Overall I did enjoy this book a lot. It wasn’t quite as mindblowing as I had expected given all I have heard about it, but it was still a lovely, well-written, easy read that definitely fits comfortably into the young adult genre. It doesn’t really break any new ground for me but it was very sweet and I think the questions posed by the twist at the end make it an interesting one for young adults to debate.
My rating: 8 out of 10