[ARC Review] Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Series: None
Publication: September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 320
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Netgalley
Rating: ★★★

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

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.


Review

I received a copy of an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced in any way.

Has this book had a lot of hype?

Yes.

Do I think it really lives up to it?

Sort of?

Let me elaborate.

Everything, Everything is an extremely unique type of diverse. It falls under the disability/sick people section of contemporary with a disease that people have rarely explored. Additionally, Maddy is half-Japanese and half-African-American.

The book initially flew under my radar. I had seen it but I got this gut feeling that it wasn’t really going to be the type of book that I’d love. And of course, I was right.

Now, Everything, Everything isn’t inherently bad. It’s not a bad book. The characters are well done, the idea is unique, the emotions and romance are pretty well done. So I honestly don’t really know why I don’t love it like the scores of people that do.

I didn’t really connect with Maddy. I thought she was kind of boring (Her wardrobe god. She only wears white t-shirts, jeans (She scoffs at boyfriend jeans. PLEASE THOSE ARE MY FAVORITE.), and white Keds.). I didn’t get that connection with her. Though the good thing is that her decisions and changes over the course of the book are well done. She’s a loyal character that has never once taken a chance and gone outside before this book. She loves her mother and Carla (I love Carla) and takes an interest in books and learning. SHE’S A BOOK-LOVER TOO, GUYS! She’s not a perfect character but the one thing I loved is that by the end of the book (highlight to read spoiler) she had learned to take chances and chase after what she cared for.

I didn’t love Olly like everybody else did. I definitely see his appeal but I also thought that he was kind of unassertive. Like dude, if you really love Maddy, TELL HER THAT HER ACTIONS ARE STUPID. Yoon also was able to talk about domestic abuse (to a less degree) by making Olly’s father abusive.

The romance between Olly and Maddy is definitely a little insta-lovey but the development itself kind of makes it better. Still, I found that it moved a little quickly. Maddy was suddenly willing to change her whole life for him? Somehow, I feel like the rational side of her would have stopped her. But if it didn’t happen… we wouldn’t have this book. MOVING ON.

I really liked the format of the book. Between chapters, we’d get a little snippet of Maddy’s opinion on a book, artwork relating to a scene, little conversations, and other stuff like that. It really helped me put some of the book into perspective.

One of the biggest things that I was disappointed about was that I felt like I learned nothing about SCID! I now know what the disease is, how it’s a problem, and that… Maddy only eats and breathes certain stuff? And that she can’t keep live pets. I wish that we got to see more of the disease rather than it just being the issue keeping Maddy apart from her love interest.

I would also say that the book felt really unrealistic. By glossing over the details of SCID and putting the focus on the emotional and mental development of Maddy and her relationship, I felt as if the thing that initially attracted readers (the SCID plot) was largely ignored in favor of romance. It sucks because I felt no butterflies or emotion when the two interacted, whether it be IM, verbally, or even intimately. I came out of the book having learned pretty much nothing new, especially after reading the ending. There’s a twist that did nothing for me and made the believability (I think that’s a word?) totally decrease.

Overall, Everything, Everything, is an extremely diverse book that has dubious believability, a somewhat insta-lovey romance, and a fabulously developed protagonist. Even if I didn’t totally love it, I did enjoy it to some degree! I feel like it would have been a lot better if the book had been longer.


So essentially what I’ve learned from reading this book is that I should ALWAYS ALWAYS trust my gut feeling about books like this because 99% of the time it’s right. The only exception would be if my closest and most trusted book reading buddies tell me that it’s the next holy grail or something. I didn’t hate this one but I don’t think it’s totally, totally deserving of the hype.

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15 comments

  1. I know this isn’t a main point to your post, but I wanted to suggest an alternate interpretation for something you brought up. I don’t think Maddy was scoffing at boyfriend jeans, I think she was more scoffing at the idea of boyfriend jeans because she’d never had a boyfriend and didn’t anticipate ever having one in the future. Great post though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more with your review! I nearly said the same exact things in mine. It was a good book in general but I didn’t feel attached to anyone and that seems to be a huge problem with some of the books I’ve been reading lately. I couldn’t relate to Maddy – for obvious reasons like I don’t have SCID – but more so, in her decision making. The stuff she did later on in the book was impulsive and rather selfish I thought, not to mention, she has close to zero life experience out in the real world. It just didn’t work well for me as a whole and I agree, the romance was cute but felt insta-lovey!

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  3. I haven’t heard much about this book yet but I appreciate your review! The format of the book with the different types of writing and chapters sounds intriguing. I might check it out just for that.

    Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read this book (https://oreoandbooks.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/arc-review-everything-everything-by-nicola-yoon/) and I totally see what you’re saying, and I found this review interesting because you pointed out some things I hadn’t picked up on.

    As for deserving the hype, I find this a strange term. Hype is caused by people loving it, and then more people loving it, and thus promoting it as much as they can. We all promote the books that we love with an amazing amount of enthusiasm…so I wonder why people criticize whether a book ‘deserves the hype’, because essentially it’s like saying the book doesn’t deserve to be loved, and promoted as much as it is because it isn’t as high quality as many claim. But..that’s an opinion so why do we use this as term when it is, basically, putting down those that love and hype up the book? And a person thinking the book is good is an opinion that they are entitled to have, and a person not liking a book is also an opinion, and so I feel it sort of asserts one opinion over another, and is bound to lead to tension and conflict? As is everything because we as humans tend to be so contradictory; in fact, later on in a post I may contradict my notion by using this term. I’m not trying to police your content, though. I’m not criticizing YOUR use of the term, this is just a tangent of random thought, and you using it just got me thinking. Don’t mean to hate or anything. It’s just a thought, but I am sorry if I offended you, though!!! :(((

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  5. Thanks! I’ll go check out your review.
    On the matters of hype, I personally think that the hype is more of a claim that it’ll appeal to everybody regardless of whether or not a person enjoys that type of book. When I say that a book “deserves hype” I don’t think I’m necessarily claiming that it doesn’t deserve love or that people that enjoy the book are wrong. It’s not that I’m personally attacking them. Rather, in my opinion, I’d say that it’s more of a statement that tells why I don’t think I’d personally be promoting the book in question. To me, when a person says, “It didn’t live up to the hype,” what I understand or get from it is, “It didn’t live up to my expectations for the book.” But in this case, it’s like expectations that other people have sort of pushed on me? Not entirely sure what my thought process was for this entire comment but I hope I kind of communicate my general thoughts?
    And don’t worry about offending me! I’m not that touchy when it comes to people asking me questions on controversial topics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yesssss. Maddy felt really distant throughout the book to me, which is why, like you noted, I couldn’t get attached to anybody. I felt like she would have been more practical had she been less angry at her mom but I couldn’t get why Olly would just let her do it! So that’s where I’d subtract points from both Maddy’s character and the romance between them.

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  7. That’s a great point, actually! As someone who loves fashion, I don’t think it’s weird that they are called boyfriend jeans or anything so I guess I just immediately gravitated towards the idea that people think they’re weird. I live in an area where it’s rare to see anybody trying to make any bold fashion choices so it’s just something I’m always thinking about. But now that you mention that opinion and that I think about Maddy’s character, it makes a ton of sense!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was a bit let down that there wasn’t a lot about living with SCIDs, you know? There was something at the beginning about the books, but then she orders clothing off of the internet, and nothing is said? And I was a bit irritated that they didn’t say anything about the dietary needs or Maddy’s school supplies. If you go and read about David the Bubble Boy, everything, EVERYTHING that was given to him had to be sterilized before he could even touch it. That was a huge let down. I wanted a lot more of the medical talk than the in depth discussion about TUE LURVE and all the such.

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