'Everything, Everything' by Nicola Yoon
"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 Maddie, 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. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?
Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love."
‘Everything Everything’ is a young adult contemporary novel about a teenage girl who is allergic to the world. It is the debut novel from Nicola Yoon. I received a free copy of this book to review via Goodreads Giveaways.
Madeline Whittler, an eighteen-year-old girl from California, suffers from a very rare condition known as SCID. Basically, she is allergic to the world. Anything can trigger a reaction which can make here severely sick. Because of this she is locked away from the world, living in a protective bubble. He house has an air lock, the inside air is filtered and nothing (and no-one) gets through without rigorous inspection. Madeline has never left the house in her eighteen years, her only contact being with her mum and her nurse, Carla.
But then she sees him. Olly and his dysfunctional family move into the house opposite and Madeline is captivated by him. “Tall, lean and wearing all black” Madeline can’t get her mind off him and he’s noticed her too. A week after moving in Olly scribbles his email address on his bedroom window and the two begin communicating, first through email then instant messaging. Maddy quickly beings to fall for him and decides that she needs more; she needs to meet him. Carla arranges for Olly to come over while Maddy’s mum is at work, but there are strict rules. Olly has to go through a decontamination process, stay on the other side of the room to Maddy and above all, no physical contact.
This isn’t enough for them, however, and Maddy soon finds herself wanting more. Like in her favourite book, ‘The Little Prince’, Maddy chooses to take her life into her own hands and go out and explore the world with Olly, even if it’s only for a short time.
Wow. Okay, when I first started reading this book I didn’t realise quite how emotionally attached I would become to these characters. Especially Maddy. She’s such an interesting character; a very strong-willed and stubborn girl who can’t even leave the safety of her home without getting ill. I absolutely fell in love with her. Olly is such a fantastic character too. I found myself wanting them to be together more than anything.
The book is so well written and fast-paced. I read the whole thing in a day, and probably wouldn’t have put it down if I didn’t have important things to do. Like, you know, eat. It’s hard to believe that this is Nicola’s first novel as it’s so fantastic. The style reminded me a little of John Green, but it also has something that makes it so unique. I liked that the chapters were short and I loved the little additions like Maddy’s dictionary, the emails & IMs, the post-it notes etc…
And nothing could have prepared me for the shocking twist at the end. I’m not going to spoil it but WOW! It blew my socks off! I also liked how some mental health issues were covered as well as physical ones.
Although I’m pretty sure this book is meant as a stand-alone, I’d love to read more about Maddy and Olly’s future relationship and how Maddy dealt with the shock she was given. I’m pretty sure that this book would delight both teens and adults alike, so I’d recommend that EVERYONE reads it (that means you too!) I’m super excited to read more of Nicola’s books in the future as with this book she’s made it onto my top-authors list.
I would give this book 5 stars :)
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