Release Day Group Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

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Our Review

Wendy: I love when books fill me with such conflicting emotions.  I felt giddy, excitement, romantic, sad, and pissed the hell off.

Angie: Yes, this book did give my emotions a run for their money. It was a very poignant story in parts. And it never slowed. It seemed to fly right by.

Wendy: The way that the relationship developed between Olly and Maddy was really dang sweet to me.  I don’t know what it is about reading people who fall in love in original ways, but the IM’s and the notes from window to window, they were just adorable.

Angie: I love the IMing and emails also, but I have to be honest. I wasn’t convinced that there were enough interactions between them to illicit the emotions they seemed to be feeling. I thought the feelings developed rather fast, but I guess that’s what happens sometimes with first love.

Wendy: They did, for sure.  I completely bought them from Maddy’s perspective though.  I imagine it would be easy to fall in love if you’d never interacted before.  I was more surprised by Olly.  But, I guess I’m a big softy because I just loved it.

Speaking of Olly, I loved the way he was described.  Artistic, but with energy just pouring through him.  I imagined that if the setting were still NYC he was probably a freerunner.

Angie: Yes! I loved Olly. Finally – a ‘hero’ who is going through something that, while obviously devastating, doesn’t overrule every single aspect of his life. And instead of sitting on it, he is doing everything he can to change his situation. And I have to agree – I think Maddy’s isolation would result in heightened emotions when she finally interacts with someone other than her mother and her nurse.

Wendy: He was my favorite in the story.

I think I had the hardest time throughout the whole book with Maddy’s mom.  I feel like when your child is that sick, life and death sick, the best mothering you can do is find ways to give them a full life despite it.  Like Hazel’s mother in The Fault in our Stars.

Angie: I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison for a few reasons. Hazel’s mother had her husband for support, whereas Maddy’s mother had no one. I think losing her husband and son wasn’t something she could recover from, especially when she found out her daughter’s health was tenuous right on the heels of that. And it was Hazel’s condition that was killing her. There was nothing to prevent it. I think the progress of Maddy’s condition was preventable  – to a degree. And while I definitely don’t agree with her mother’s decisions, I can understand her thought process regarding her daughter’s disease.

Wendy: I’m not trying to say that I don’t understand her fear.  I did.  I can even understand why she was so strict about what came into the house.  I just think that the level with which she kept Maddy isolated was abusive.  I suppose I just struggle with finding a way to understand withdrawing any human interaction as a punishment.  Even her tutor was withheld from her after she found out about Olly.  That was messed up.

Angie: It was so hard to read when Maddy’s nurse was taken away from her. That relationship was the only other one she’d experienced (in the flesh) aside from her mother. And now that you mention it, I did wonder why there weren’t more people coming and going from the house, especially tutors and doctors. I never viewed her isolation it as abusive, because we were reading through Maddy’s eyes, and she didn’t seem to see it that way. (And by the time she did, she took matters into her own hands.) But you’re right. Maddy didn’t know any different; her mother should have.

Wendy: On some level I think I knew where this was going to go the whole time.  In some ways it was where I was hoping it would go.

Angie: You have one up on me there! I didn’t know where it was going, and that was one of the things I enjoyed about the story. This was a special and unique read, that’s for sure.

Thank you to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Our Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  = B-

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Comments 3

  • You’re right, it was a rather fast-paced read, and just flowed so well! I adored the banter between the two characters, although I did raise an eyebrow at some of Maddie’s decisions which pretty much endangered her life!
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    • I thought that her decisions were insane, but then if you’ve lived your whole life locked away from human interactions (except for mom and nurse) you may get to a point where you just say ‘f*ck it. I’d rather live as much as I can for a week, than the rest of my life like this’.

    • I definitely think a lot of Maddy’s decisions weren’t wise, but I think wisdom and common sense come with life experience, which was something she’d been denied. It was devastating all the way around, but I have to give her props for finally deciding she was going to try to experience something. It’s sad to think of her in that bedroom all alone with most of her interactions taking place with just two people.