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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

If I'd known Nicola Yoon's book will get me out of my year long reading slump, I would've done anything to get it in my hands sooner. I owe this book a lot. And it owes me a whole set of neon tabs and a box of tissues for my tears.

Title: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Release Date: September 1st 2015
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher (Thanks Claire!)

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

Maddy is allergic to the outside world, and has since lived in the safety of her home all her life. Now 18, Maddy was supposed to live her life just like every other year, safe, in an environment her mother can control. That is, until a new family moved next door. And then Maddy finds herself helplessly drawn to the boy next door who climbs roofs and wears black and makes her want to set foot outside and explore the world. But what can she do if the very thing she wants just might be the one which will kill her?

Maddy has SCID, a very rare disease where she can be allergic to anything, even the air she breathes. My first reaction was to pity her, because who would want to spend their lives bound to the four walls of her house? Her world was very limited, but you know what? I came to love Maddy because of who she is. Her sense of humor, her love for reading, as she understands that all too familiar feeling of existing in another world just by reading stories and it made me identify with her easily. And maybe because she has been confined all her life, she has this yearning for more, which she tries to reign in most of the time because it's hard to hope and she knew she's incurable. There's this growing thirst in her to explore that just makes me want to watch and see what she will do. Take a risk? Accept her fate and live all her life in a bubble or take the leap? She's intriguing in her own way.

And that kind of personality is what draws her to Olly. Ah, Olly... the boy who can't seem to stand still, always moving and leaping to places and climbing on walls. The boy who prefers limericks over haikus and loves math, chaos theory and how it can be related to our lives. What's not to love there? He's sweet and supportive, though a little jaded with life over the abuse he, his sister and his mom receives from his dad. I love how their chemistry eventually worked out, from being funny to cute to something worthy enough to swoon over, the push and pull, the "we can't" and "we can". The chats they exchanged made me laugh so much and it's just wonderful to see Maddy living her life with all the firsts she has encountered and many of which she shared with and is sometimes because of Olly.

The book is a wonderful mix of everything, from Maddy's illustrations, lists, word definitions, and the diversity is evident in each page which gave the novel an extra special feeling for me. It didn't matter if Maddy's father is African American and her mother is Japanese American. She's just Maddy who's in love with the boy with eyes as blue as the Atlantic Ocean. As much as I was looking forward to where Olly and Maddy's love will take them, it wouldn't be possible without Carla. The oh so lovable Carla, a fountain of wisdom with so much love to give and lessons to impart with to Maddy.

The fluff and the sweetness of firsts were enough to keep me fascinated with Everything, Everything but it turns out Nicola Yoon had more in store for her readers. The last 50 or so pages of the book made me snatch the tissue box and grip the book so hard. There is a twist, dear readers. If you are perceptive and are open to the thought then the twist has always been there, but then it happens. What if it's not just Maddy who has a problem? I loved how Nicola Yoon presented that part to her readers, and I loved how Maddy faced that possibility that turned out to be the truth and how she dealt with it. It felt truthful to me, though some might disagree. Some choices you just have to make though it is hard.

What else is there to say? There was no need for fanciful words to make a story so good and appealing to the readers. Nicola Yoon wove feelings and emotions in each and every word of Everything, Everything and filled it with characters experiencing such life changing moments that they felt so alive. I got hooked before I knew it. I was quietly sitting in front of my study table and in the next moment I was totally immersed in the story and until now I have no idea what happened.

Kai's favorite quote:

“I decided then that love is a terrible, terrible thing. Loving someone as fiercely as my mom loves me must be like wearing your heart outside of your body with no skin, no bones, no nothing to protect it.”

Content (plot, story flow, character):
A heartfelt, very emotional read filled with firsts, about love and family and taking risks and living the life we want to live. This won't be the last Nicola Yoon book that I will read, that's for sure. I want more!

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
I love everything about that cover.


  1. YAYY so glad you loved this so much, Ate Kai! And so happy you're out of your slump. I need to read this ASAP obi. Fabulous review!

    1. Get a copy ASAP, Hazel! :D It is so worth a read!

  2. Awesome review! Really glad you liked it. Need to get it but I'm on a book buying ban. Maybe Christmas! :)


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