This is one of those books that pretty much everyone has read by now, and for quite a while after it was released it was everywhere – it was talked about on Twitter and Instagram, promoted in bookstores and online, and reviewed on pretty much every blog I follow. Which kind of made me not want to review it for a while. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to review it, considering the wonderful amount of praise it received, but I decided to anyway, because I really loved it.
Madeline is seventeen years old, and she never leaves her house. Everything that she comes in contact with must be cleaned and decontaminated, so that potential germs and bacteria are kept away from her. This means she cannot go to a traditional school, she cannot spend time with friends, and she cannot do typical things girls her age do (go to the mall, etc.). If she needs medical attention, her doctors come to her. She even has a nurse who spends time taking care of her during the day, since her vitals must be monitored on a regular basis to make sure that she’s staying healthy. When Madeline was a baby, she had a strange, life-threatening reaction, which led medical professionals to believe that she has a very rare condition that causes her to be allergic to the outside world, and all of the different particles, germs, dust…pretty much everything you can find outside that hasn’t gone through the tried and true decontamination procedures that she has grown up with. Madeline’s mother tries her best to make her life as normal as possible, from spending all the time with her she could want, playing games with her, watching movies with her, etc., to buying her anything she asks for, such as all the brand new books she could ever want to read. Madeline’s father and older brother had died when Madeline was a baby – right before her diagnosis, so it’s been just the two of them for years.
One day, a new family moves in next door, and Madeline gets curious. She peeks out the curtain and sees a boy her age, and the more she watches him and his family, the more curious she becomes. Eventually the two begin talking on instant messenger and through e-mail, getting to know each other, and falling in love. Madeline will go to any lengths to spend time with him – even talking her nurse into letting him come over for a few minutes here and there so they can spend time together, despite the fact that he hadn’t gone through all the medical precautions required to enter their home. Madeline’s love for him and her curiosity about the world she cannot truly be a part of leads her to begin questioning her diagnosis…and her mother’s judgement…and even causes her to do some reckless things, just so that she can feel normal for a little while.
This is one of those books that truly deserved the hype that it received. It did something completely different than what’s been done before – touching upon a disease that I haven’t encountered in YA until now. The characters are so well written, especially Olly – and their relationship was sweet. It wasn’t insta-love, either…they started off kind of not knowing whether or not they were going to like each other, and that turned into flirting…which led to them being completely in love by the end of the book.
Everything, Everything was completely breathtaking and gripping. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next with Madeline, and between her and Olly. It had some light-hearted moments that were kind of funny, especially some of the interactions between her and Olly, but there were also some really deep parts that were hard to digest – especially the ending, which is something I would have never seen coming. It really surprised me, and I think that made the entire book that much more enjoyable.
Nicola Yoon definitely has a way with words and knows how to craft a beautiful and well thought out story. I haven’t read anything like this, but I know for a fact that she from now on will be on my list of must-read authors!
The only complaint I have about this book is the fact that it was so good, it put me into a reading slump for like two weeks, because I couldn’t imagine anything else at the time being as awesome as this book was! If you haven’t read this one yet, I recommend that you get your hands on a copy and read it…and bring some tissues, because you’ll need them!