Thursday, 14 September 2017

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING - by Nicola Yoon

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING - Nicola Yoon
Published: 2015 - Delacorte Books.
Genre: Young adult / romance / contemporary fiction
Pages: 307.
Format: Paperback.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Non-explicit sex scene.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. 
Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?


Since I really want to see the movie, I thought it'd be a good idea to read the book first. Too often I've done that the opposite way round, but here I had the chance to do it 'right' ;)
So I did. I read it.
And I really enjoyed this beautiful story.


The writing is pure art. It's simplistic, gentle, poetic, and full of so much heart it's impossible not to be invested in the story. Every word comes straight from Yoon's soul, and you can feel that. It's magnificent. The story, too, is deeply moving and heartbreaking, and although I didn't cry there're some twists near the end that literally made me gasp out loud.
The one tiny thing I don't like about the writing is that it's frequently melodramatic. It's not terrible, but it can just be draining to read in places.  

The story's entertaining. Humour juxtaposes the heartache, and love lightens the darkness. The story flies past (I read it in under two days) but at the same time it's not a light read - there are some profound ideas and morals coming through, and some serious thought-provoking subjects are addressed. Similar to Me Before You - only more hopefulthis book examines the facets of life and living, and suggests that perhaps they're not the same thing. It's brilliant.
The ending is also spectacular. There are some awesome, gut-wrenching dark twists, and I loved every minute of them. It's the perfect ending.

“I decide 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.”

One thing that annoyed me about the story was when Maddy leaves with Olly and doesn't talk to her mother about it. She does leave her a note, but is it just me or is the whole 'I'm leaving home because I need freedom and you can stress about where I am till I'm ready to come home' thing getting old?  I get Maddy's reasons, but in my mind it's still incredibly selfish and frankly inexcusable to just take off and cause your parent/parents that amount of worry and pain. It's cruel and over-used.

And here's another thing I slightly disliked about the story. A large section of the book follows Olly and Madeline's 'adventures', but I did have some issues with that. Without giving spoilers, it's the kind of story you read while thinking 'but if that's true, then why does this happen, and why could they do that if that was the problem?' You want to start raising objections to things because they don't make sense, but then at the end of the book you realise that in retrospect - and knowing what you know now - those things do make sense.
So yeah. It's a bit frustrating to suspend disbelief in certain cases, but I promise you, everything (haha see what I did there?) will make sense in the end. So stick with it and just lose yourself in the story.

“In my head I know I've been in love before, but it doesn't feel like it. Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.”

The characters are off-beat, quirky, and refreshing compared to the typical YA contemporary romance leads you usually get in this kind of book. Personalities spring off the pages, everyone is three-dimensional and vivid, and there are a number of interesting, dynamic relationships. I particularly love Maddy's friendship with Carla. Carla's also my favourite character.

Maddy and Olly's romance is, unfortunately, insta-love. I'm not a fan of insta-love, but as the story progressed, I found it impossible not to love together. The insta aspect is disappointing, but they're still so sweet together and their chemistry is gorgeous. 



Fans of Me Before You and The One Memory of Flora Banks will fall in love with Everything, Everything.  It has its small issues, but it's still a tenderly written story bursting with heart and dancing with vivid, unique characters. 
If you love adorable, consuming romance sprinkled with tragedy, you'll love this book. 


10 comments:

  1. I quite liked this book as well, but I had some major problems with their relationship. It was insta-love, like you said, and Maddy thought way too much with her heart than her head, and that's something that I would never do, so she kinda annoyed me.

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    1. Love the way you put that: "too much with her heart than her head". So true.
      Thanks for the comment, Emily!

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  2. This was definitely big-time insta-love but I still enjoyed the overall story. I listened to this one on audio so I missed out on all the fun and quirky visual additions to the book. At some point I may reread the physical book just so I can enjoy all of those.

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    1. Yeah same. Somehow it worked.
      Oh cool, that must've been neat!

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  3. Nice review, Amy! I haven't read this one yet, but we have the movie on our Netflix queue. I'm not crazy about insta-love, either, but it sounds like it works here.

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    1. Thanks Angela!
      Ah nice, hope you like the movie! It looks so good.

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  4. Yes! I fell in love with the writing of this book but there were a few things that just bother me to no end. I thought I was the only one who was annoyed about the way Maddy just left. It just really bothers me as a person who has a huge amount of respect for her parents. But, I still enjoyed it so I'm glad you did too!

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    1. So happy you feel the same about that! It was messed up, wasn't it?
      Yes me too! :)

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  5. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Amy! I read this back in July, and I really enjoyed it for many of the same reasons as you. While I'm never really a big fan of insta-love either, it didn't bother me too much here. There was just something so lovable about Maddy and Olly's romance - part of what made that ending so incredibly nerve-wracking! Great review! :)

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    1. Thanks Lauren! Ah yes, so true - they were so cute together.
      Thank you :)

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