Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Published: September 1st, 2015
Hardcover, 320 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

I opened this book casually one afternoon to test it out, maybe read a chapter or two, but within two pages, I was hooked and didn't put it down until I'd read the last page. I fell in love with Madeline and her rare disease and her solitary life. She is a dreamer, as one would be if they haven't left their house in seventeen years. The first sentence of the book is "I've read many more books than you," and this immediately told me I'd love her. She's a dreamer, a lover, and doesn't really get down about her disease. She is literally allergic to the world. We find out about her life through journal entries, a reprieve she gives herself after long days of studying and reading. She is both incredibly mature, studying at a much higher education level and incredibly naive, as she hasn't left the house. This combination made her wholly relate able and I wanted so badly for her to get a happy ending. Her life changes when Olly moves in next door. She is immediately drawn to him, watching him as he goes day by day, sneaking up on the roof and ignoring his parents. I can see why he's fascinated by her as well, and the first time they make contact, it sent a rush through me. They communicate through the window and then through messenger in the computer. Madeline takes nothing for granted. Her moments with Olly are heartbreaking and wonderful and watching them fall in love from afar was romantic and beautiful. The way Olly speaks to her is something every girl dreams of and I loved that Madeline got the opportunity to feel like a normal girl around him.

The moment Madeline and Olly meet is amazing and tragic. They cannot touch and the visit is short and over too fast. But Madeline lives for them. Heightened by the fact that she is in danger of her life, it makes for a tragic romance the more they see each other, both knowing she can never leave the house. The synopsis tells us just how heartbreaking falling in love with Olly will be and it's a roller coaster ride throughout the book. The book takes a drastic turn and the last third of the book took me on a terrifying journey that I wasn't sure how would end. I won't say more as I think it's the most important part of the book, but it certainly kept me reading.

What I loved most was the format of this book. Journal entries, charts, diagrams and tidbits sprung from the pages and gave this book a life. Madeline's small quirks were well orchestrated and wonderful, making her charming and real. She writes spoiler book reviews which are hilarious and jokes about Bundt cake with Olly. Her dictionary will make you laugh and cry at the same time. Yoon's husband did the illustrations throughout the book and I think they really set this apart from other books of this genre. They made the book fun and kept me turning the pages. I loved the short chapters, the direct writing and the blank space that really put me into Madeline's shoes, living in a bubble but dreaming of everything. This book just blew me away and I loved everything, everything about it (ya, I just did that). I'm so glad I was given an ARC from Penguin Random House and discovered this book early. Sick lit has quickly become a new genre and I've read some great books focusing in sick characters and this one tops the list. Some people did not like the ending, but I'm a sucker for it. If you see this book on the shelf, pick it up, read it in one sitting, all in love with Madeline and Olly like I did, and tell me it doesn't make you want to go outside and start living your life.

"Everything's a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It's up to you."

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