ARC REVIEW: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Monday, August 24, 2015

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Random House Children's
Source: Netgalley
Series: Standalone 

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This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

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. 

*Thanks to Random House Children's for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.*


   I hadn't really known much about Everything Everything before I started hearing people gush about how utterly amazing it was. Once I finished it, I could easily see why. It's mind-blowing, a true page-turner, and the hype is well-deserved!

   It centers around a seventeen year old girl named Madeline 'Maddy', who's allergic to literally everything and so she's lived her entire life inside her home. The only company she has are her mother, her nurse, books, and internet. She's accepted her fate for what it is until she catches a family moving into her apartment building. That's when she first sees him.

   One aspect I loved about this novel is getting to see the story unfold not just through Maddy's point of view but through messages between her and Oliver, the boy next door. That's how we got to see them get to know each other at first. There's also a bunch of other illustrations, which is why I think the reading experience is better if the reader reads this in paperback format. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if I'd read this in physical format.

   I found Maddy to be very relatable. She loves escaping reality through the power of a good book. She writes sentence-long reviews on Tumblr. And for a person that has a rare disease, she doesn't really complain about her life. She's very grateful for her mother. And I'm so glad because I don't like whiny characters. But I also feel sorry for all the things she's never experienced in life like first kiss, first date, and first boyfriend.

   Oliver 'Olly' is unlike any other male character I've read about. He's sweet, understanding, and something seemingly innocent about him. I kind of pictured him as having a lean body and I got a little crush! I doubt any other boy would be patient with Maddy like he was. I guess it would make him a bit unrealistic because I think in real life, he would have moved on. But I still love him!

   Before I even began the book, I had predicted this to be really depressing because of the 'being allergic to everything' issue. But surprisingly almost half of the book was like a feel good story filled with hilarious quotes. The tone of the writing did get more serious as we got deeper into the story.

   I did have some problems with this book. It kind of felt like there was some instant love between Oliver and Maddy. They saw each other through a window and started talking through messages and he's all she can suddenly think about. I don't know. I think their 'love' was adorable. I guess you could call it first crush since Maddy's never experienced it. Another dislike I had was the ending. While I thought it was cute, it felt a bit unresolved. It was left open for readers to use their imagination when I like for a story to be wrapped up nicely so that there are no questions left. The ending was happy yet sad at the same time for reasons I can't say because it would spoil the story. I just wanted more.

   Overall, Everything Everything is easily one of my favorite books of the year. It was such a quick read for me when I was having a slow reading month. The plot twist was just mind-blowing and it left me with no words. The unique plot concept and characters were very easy to invest in. I think readers will easily fall in love with them!



4 Sea Stars: A Great Read!

20 comments:

  1. I have read a lot of reviews on this, but most of them just gushed. I am glad to see that there are ~some~ problems with this story.

    I am also glad you mentioned that there are illustrations! I definitely will have to pick this up as a physical copy so thanks for that tidbit of information.

    Great review Karina!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

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    1. Me too, now that I think of it. I mostly saw 5 star reviews. But the book wasn't completely perfect to me. It was enjoyable but there were some pesky problems I had with it. I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

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  2. I finished this book recently and didn't enjoy the ending either. It was an adorable story and I really enjoyed it BUT that ending though :(

    *Dropping by to visit after seeing your blog on the RQWN chat. Have a great day!!*

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    1. I wanted more from the ending. It was cute but felt a bit rushed to me.

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  3. Oh I loved this one. I do see what you are saying on the insta-love but I totally over-looked it here. The ending didn't really bother me. Glad you enjoyed it - Great review!

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    1. I kind of over looked it too because instant love usually bothers me. But it wasn't too bad in this book.

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  4. I've seen some great reviews for this so far, glad you liked it so much!

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    1. Yeah so many people seem to enjoy it. Just don't let the hype overwhelm you. I think this book deserved it :)

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  5. I didn't entirely like this book but it was good. I'm glad you liked it though :)

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    1. Oh I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it that much :/

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  6. Reading your review has me convinced to check it out when it comes out! I wasn't sure about this one because like you, I don't really like depressing books, but I want to give a chance now. Plus that cover is pretty. Awesome review, Karina!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you're giving it a chance. When I realized the character dealt with a disease, I wanted to stay away because it's usually a lot of heartbreak and crying. But I really enjoyed it :)

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  7. Sounds like this book will tug at my heartstrings and I love those types of books. Great review!

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    1. They're usually not my type of book for me but I really loved the story :)

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  8. Glad that this was a four star read for you, Karina! I'm honestly quite on the fence because I'm not really a big fan of premises like this. I tend to stay far from them and stick to the more feel-good ones. Nevertheless, I've seen that a lot of people like this so it'll be in my mental note of books to possibly read! :D

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. I'm exactly the same! I need more feel-good books because crying is not my thing. But it wasn't that extreme with this one :)

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  9. I just read this book too, and I was swooning all over the place! It was a really quick read but oh so heartfelt and profound. I loved the good vibes and great themes this book portrayed along with diversity. I also love how Maddy never really complained about her life. The little touches like the Fast Five Favorites, IMs, Dictionary definitions, and sketches were so unique and adorable/ Lovely review!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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    1. It really was quick! I also loved the diversity with the characters. But I had trouble picturing them. I felt like we needed more of their descriptions. But that's probably just me.

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  10. Oh my gosh I MUST READ THIS BOOK. Yours is the first review about this book that I've read! I absolutely love the idea of the novel, and Oliver sounds like a sweet character <3 I'm so excited for this book, and I swear I'm going to buy this if I see it in the bookstore soon! Thanks for the beautiful review :D

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

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    1. Aww thanks for giving it a chance. You won't regret it :D

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