Hello, people of the internet!
This book was recommended to me at the beginning of this year and I have finally got my hands on it. I had asked for romance novels recommendations since it’s a genre I never really read much. I simply thought they would be predictable and, since I was more into unpredictable books, I didn’t think it was a genre for me.
But did Everything, Everything change my mind on romances?
Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publication date: 3rd September 2015
Publisher: Corgi Books
Live life in a bubble?
Or risk everything for love?
Maddy is allergic to the world.
She hasn’t left her house in seventeen years.
Olly is the boy next door.
He’s determined to find a way to reach her.
Everything, Everything is about the crazy risks we take for love.
I will talking about certain aspects about this book is a little bit of detail, so I will insert a slight spoiler alert here.
This book is so pretty! Not only is the cover just wonderful and pleasing to look at, but there are illustrations inside that are so nice to look at and also add the story’s narrative in an adorable way. For example, rather than tell the reader that the characters are flying to Hawaii, there is an illustration showing you a flight confirmation email. But the best illustration of all is the very last one: it was the perfect ending and I, no joke, went “aww” out loud!
Now, I put my hands up (metaphorically, I need my hands to type up this review): I was wrong about romances being predictable. I thought I knew what was going to happen, but boy was I wrong! You see, Maddy has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), a serious condition that means Maddy’s immune system is incredibly weak, and so she has to stay indoors in order to keep safe. She doesn’t speak to anyone other than her overprotective mother, her nurse and her teachers, until a family moves in next door and she sees Olly for the first time. Do they fall in love quickly? Yes, but it makes sense for them to do so. They both live in isolated worlds: Maddy with her sickness and Olly with his dysfunctional family. For them to fall in love so fast made sense since they found someone new to talk to and I love them when they communicate to each other. For Olly to go to such creative lengths involving a surprisingly indestructible Bundt cake to get Maddy’s attention and make her laugh was both hilarious and sweet at the same time.
In fact, I love Maddy and Olly together. I think they work well. They’re incredibly likeable and both have their flaws to make them realistic. They lie, they get jealous, they get moody, but they’re also intelligent, funny and have wants and dreams. Heck, some of the things they say are so beautiful and thought-provoking, I read them over and over again because they were beautifully written! I also adore Carla, Maddy’s nurse. She’s just a sweetheart and allows Olly and Maddy to meet one another in person. As for Maddy’s mother, she really loves her daughter and is very protective. There are parts when I understand her protectiveness, but there are quite a few parts where I felt she is too controlling over Maddy and there I understand Maddy’s growing frustration towards her and her life in a bubble. Nicola Yoon certainly knows how to create tension and conflict as well as romance and humour.
Are a few things a little over-the-top, like when Maddy risks her health to run away with Olly to spend a few days in Hawaii? In a logical sense, definitely yes. But on an emotional level, it worked perfectly. Maddy takes a massive risk for love and explore what she can of the world. I didn’t want her to die, but I didn’t want her to be miserable in her isolation as well. It’s a complex issue that can occur in real life and this issue is somewhat addressed by Maddy in her own way and I connected with her so much emotionally when I read her decision to take this risk. I felt torn up by it as well just as much as Maddy herself.
There is also a plot twist, which I didn’t see coming. There are subtle clues throughout the whole book, so the twist doesn’t come out of nowhere. However, for those who don’t know SCID and hasn’t looked it up could feel the twist did come out of nowhere. But because I did know, I like the twist. I have a feeling some won’t, but for me? It worked.
What else can I say other than I’m getting into more romance books? They are feel-good stories. I can’t wait to read more, especially more of Nicola Yoon’s books!
I will give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. If you love romance books, adorable illustrations and thought-provoking words, I recommend this book to you.
Thank you for reading!