Saturday, November 7, 2015

Book Review: "Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon

"Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon
First published in 2015
306 pages
My rating: 3.75 out of 5
Image from Goodreads

The Short Of It:
This is a short, simple novel with only a small handful of characters and a straightforward premise. Madeline is sick, and if she steps outside she could die. So what's she to do when the love of her life moves in next door? This is good, pure storytelling and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

The Long Of It:
I'm pretty sure I was on little kids' chapter books the last time I read a novel cover-to-cover in one sitting. But yesterday was a gloomy Friday and I had a free afternoon, so I snuggled up under a blanket and dove into "Everything, Everything." It only took me a little over three hours to read this entire YA book, which has three things working in its favor in that regard -- it has an interesting premise, it's well- and creatively-written, and it's pretty short. It's 300 pages, but some of those pages only have one sentence or an illustration.

Eighteen-year-old Madeline has no hope of a normal life. She's got a rare immune system disease and has not set foot outside her house since she was a baby. Going outdoors would likely be fatal. An air lock guards the front door, and the few people who are ever invited inside must go through a decontamination process and are strictly forbidden from touching Madeline. She goes to school online. She doesn't have any real-life friends. Her only companions are her devoted mom and her loving nurse -- and her books.

Madeline has resigned herself  to her half-life -- until Olly and his family move in next door. Olly is a handsome, smart, funny parkour athlete with an abusive father, and his bedroom window just so happens to be right across from Madeline's. The two begin communicating online, and as their blossoming friendship shows signs of becoming something more, Madeline starts to question everything she accepted as immutable fact about how she's going to live her life and what she wants from it.

For a young adult book, "Everything, Everything" was a pleasant surprise. Nicola Yoon is a good writer, and I enjoyed the spice she added to the novel in the form of e-mails, drawings, pretend dictionary entries and more. The story was compelling; can you imagine never leaving the confines of your home in nearly the entire 18 years of your life? How about falling in love with someone you're not even allowed to touch?

I was very interested  in the story and I liked and admired Madeline, but I wanted more: more info about Madeline's childhood, more insight into Olly's personality and past, just a little more depth overall. But that's typical of young adult books -- and that's one of the reasons I don't read them all that often. But "Everything, Everything" is definitely worth the short time it takes to read it. The characters are likable, the premise is intriguing and unique, and the resolution is satisfying. (P.S. That cover! Gorgeous!)

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...