Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

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.

This was an ARC I picked up during Book Con at the Random House First In Line booth.

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I really loved the way it was written, like a diary with lists, illustrations, and Maddy’s little definitions and book reviews. It gave the story a real personal feel. Maddy is a girl I would have been friends with in high school. I’d be friends with her now.

Maddy and Olly came alive. They were so cute. Their interactions made me laugh but it was not just cutesy teenage stuff. There was some darkness and growing pains.

The life lessons and philosophies brought up are nothing new, but were presented in a way that makes you stop reading and think about your own life. Particularly Chaos Theory. If you could change one moment would you get the results you want? Not according to Chaos Theory. Which leads me to another favorite moment about “you’re not living if you’re not regretting.”

I want to say this without it being too much of a spoiler. My one critique was that the end, which I predicted, it’s resolution seemed too simple. Given the nature of the – condition – I thought there would be more resistance and bigger consequences for that particular illness.

Besides that, it was a fast, enjoyable and memorable story.

4.5 out of 5 humuhumunukunukuapuaas
Everything, Everything hits shelves September 1, 2015.

Nicola’s husband, David Yoon did the illustrations for the novel. I like them. They are very happy.

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I put post-it notes in my books too. 🙂

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LOL. I loved that part.

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Book Reviews: Another Day and Every Day, by David Levithan

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The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

Picked this ARC up at Book Con which was part of Random House’s First In Line giveaway.

I was relieved to read in the author’s note that this is not a sequel to Every Day, which I had not read, but a companion or “twin”. It’s the same time period but another character’s first person perspective. Another Day can be read on it’s own or first. Although I am sure the author prefers both novels gain readership. 😉

I could not put Another Day down. I felt a lot of nostalgia about my teen years and connected with Rhiannon.
On one particular evening I was very emotional. I decided to read before bed as a way to escape, only it was Chapter 10. I ended up crying the whole night, but I was also relieved by the outcome.

Book jackets always say not to quote from the ARC and to check the final print, but I am going to quote it anyway. This line really got the tears to stream down my face:

Continue reading

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

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Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies. But when Beckan’s clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn’t have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected. This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.

I am back on the Book Con wagon. A friend gave me this book when I told her I only picked up one book that day after being in panels all morning. I should start off by saying that I read the ARC and the novel will be released on August 18, 2015.

This book started out confusing. The story is not linear, the world building was not described in great detail. At one point I wondered if the lore had contradicted itself. The history of the war between the different races (or is it species?) was not as well described as I was expecting.

Then you have this passage at the end of Chapter 1

Shit, what the fuck am I even doing? What kind of history book doesn’t even have a map? Once upon a time there was a writer who couldn’t write a fucking book. I don’t know what comes next. That whole chapter’s going to need to get thrown out anyway. You completely forgot halfway through that you’d said it was raining at the beginning.
Was it raining?
No one’s ever going to know, and it’s all your fault.
Put a fucking map in the next draft.

I had no idea who was speaking there. For a while I thought it was Hannah Moskowitz herself talking to us, the readers. My immediate thought was, “Oh, it’s supposed to sound like a first draft manuscript on purpose.”

Pages 68-84, it all starts to make more sense. I realized the reason why the story sounded like a journal with scrapbook clippings. Also, once I realized the different between the races I knew that an error had not been made with the mythology.

Basically, it starts out strange and disjointed, not everything is as well explained or developed as it should be, but stick with it because it’s an enjoyable story. It’s also written in such a unique way that it stands out from other fantasy novels.

The story is more about the effects the war has on these young fairies, gnomes and a tightroper. It’s about the twisted relationships and trying to survive their circumstances.
There are dark themes: what is murder and what is self-defense during war time, teenage prostitution, and mentions of rape.

I also got the sense that in this world, there are no hangups about sexual orientation. There are prejudices, discriminations and slurs thrown around for other reasons, but not for one’s sexual orientation. I wonder if that was intentional as part of the world building.

I found myself engaged in the characters and their story, and it was not all what I was expecting.

4 out 5 specs of glitter.