Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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I was ill at the weekend, I had a cold. So I spent Sunday in bed reading. I read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. All of it. The entire thing all in one go. I obviously liked it.

Maddy is a teenager who suffers from SCID, an extremely rare disease that means she cannot leave her house. Basically, she is allergic to everything and anything at all could make her ill and possibly kill her. She lives in her air-locked home with her mum who is also her doctor and the only other person she sees is her full-time nurse Carla. She’s happy though. She reads, she studies online, she has mother-daughter nights and she is content with that. Until one day Olly and his dysfunctional family move into the house next door. The two start up a relationship though instant messaging and it soon develops into something more but their romance seems doomed because Maddy can never leave her house. But there’s a twist in the story that gives their relationship hope and makes Maddy question everything she has ever known.

A lot of people are comparing this to The Fault In Our Stars and I can see why – sick teenager falls in love – but I liked this more than I liked The Fault In Our Stars. I found the characters in Everything, Everything more likable, less pretentious than John Green’s. Also, the book doesn’t just deal with Maddy’s illness, it also looks at how bereavement can have a huge impact on a person’s mental health.

I had a suspicion early on about the twist in the story but then Maddy and Olly go to Hawaii (Sidenote: I am constantly amazed at how teenagers in American novels just up sticks and travel across the country and don’t bother to let their parents know and seem to get away with it.) and Maddy gets sick so I thought “okay I was wrong” but the twist at the end revealed that I was right. Yay! (Guessing the ending of books always makes me feel smart.) And although I had guessed the twist a little bit, it didn’t spoil my reading of it.

I would have liked more of an ending, a bit of dialogue between Maddy and Olly, more confrontation between Maddy and her mum. And I really think that if you discovered what Maddy discovered then you’d be out of there like a shot. Even Carla’s reaction is too understanding. Yes the woman is ill and I’m not saying Maddy would never forgive her but I really do think there’d be a lot more anger and hurt and yelling before she could get to a point of forgiveness.

I like to read Young Adult fiction from time to time because I think it often makes you look at things from a different perspective (maybe that’s because I’m reading it as an actual adult as opposed to a young one) and this novel did that for me. It was a nice story. It was cute. And I loved the illustrations, they complimented the story really well and showed the reader how Maddy’s brain worked.

And I know you aren’t meant to judge a book by it’s cover but I loved the cover of this novel. The illustration on the cover of this book is so pretty.

If you enjoy John Green, etc. I would definitely recommend this.

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