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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