As I mentioned in my June Wrap-Up post, I’m going to do full review of ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon, one of the books I read last month, as it was one of my favourite books I’ve read recently. Obviously if you haven’t read the book the review is going to contain spoilers, so if you haven’t I recommend you go and read it, it’s worth it!
Live life in a Bubble? Or Risk everything for love?
Maddy is allergic to the world. She hasn’t left the house in seventeen years. Olly is the boy next door. He’s determined to find a way to reach her.
Everything, Everything is about the crazy risks we take for love.
Before getting into the plot of the story, I want to start with talking about the writing and layout of the story. I didn’t realise when I bought the book, however when I started to read it, I realised that this book did not follow the usual set out. Instead of simply pages of writing, Nicola Yoon has broken up chapters with other types of writing such as IM chats, emails, schedules, book reviews and little drawings, which not only makes it a bit different and exciting, but also made it very quick to read. Not only that, these sections she added corresponded with the characters feelings and with the progression of the story, for example her short book reviews and her dictionary definitions were related to her experiences with the books or words, which was extremely clever.
In terms of the story, it was a very character driven. As Madeline is isolated in her house for a large majority of the book, there is an emphasis on the relationships to drive the story forwards, particularly the mother-daughter dynamic, the relationship between Madeline and her nurse (Carla), the relationship between Olly and Madeline and then Madeline’s exploration of the world.
At the start of the book there appears to be a good dynamic between Madeline and her mother, with there Friday night routine and their after dinner games, however that appears to deteriorate throughout the novel with her mum seemingly becoming more paranoid and controlling over her daughter.
The relationship between Carla and Madeline remains very close throughout the novel with Carla helping her see Olly and travel to Hawaii without telling her mother. However, despite how nice the character seems I can’t help but think she was slightly reckless by putting Madeline at risk doing these things, although she had her doubts about her illness, she was by no means certain that Madeline wasn’t ill.
In terms of the love story between Olly and Madeline, although it was possibly an example of insta-love seen in a lot of YA novels, I was still very invested in their story, as for me it wasn’t just about Madeline discovering what it felt like to be in love for the first time, but her mind being opened to the world she was missing. I also didn’t view her risking her life in going to Hawaii simply as her running off because of a boy, but because he’d made her realise there was a whole world outside her home, and she was exploring that for herself not for him.
I’ve heard a fair bit of criticism about the ending of the novel being convenient and unrealistic, and in a way I see where they’re coming from, however I personally really enjoyed the ending. I don’t think it was random or out of nowhere because Yoon had made Madeline’s mother appear to be losing control throughout the book with her frantic behaviour and by referencing the accident with her dad and brother. Because of this, I think that the ultimate reveal of the illness being created by her mother is somewhat realistic as she was grieving and was protective of her daughter and was not being malicious. Madeline’s decision to leave her mother at the end and go to Olly in New York was also very controversial, as, yes, her mother is ill and wasn’t intentionally harming her daughter, however I understand why she would leave as she felt like she’d lost such a large part of her life being locked away.
Overall I really enjoyed Everything, Everything, and it’s got me wanting to read more contemporary’s recently, so I went out and bought another book by Nicola Yoon – The Sun is Also a Star. Therefore my rating of this book is 4.5/5 and think it’s perfect for people who want a quick cute contemporary romance.