Pages | 320pages
Genre | YA, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher | Corgi Children’s
Publication | September 2015
Format | Paperback
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.
More often than not, I find myself buying into the current books which book bloggers/bookstagrammers/booktubers are raving on about – and this is one such book. I know that it has been a year since this book has been released, but I have finally conceded and decided to buy the book and read it!
I really thought that this book was going to be amazing and that by reading it I will have my mind blown by its sheer brilliance!
But, instead – I found myself reading just another YA novel about a girl and a boy from two completely different world fall in-love with each other that they are willing to risk everything for their love! That is not to say that I did not enjoy reading the book, because I did. I was just disappointed by the clichés – even though it looks like the author tried very hard in avoiding them.
Madeline Whittier lived her whole life inside her house, never once leaving. This is due to a unique and rare medical condition known as Severe Combine Immunodeficiency – which means she is basically allergic to the world. Then there’s Olly, the boy next door who is everything she is not. He is free and he is able to go on adventures Maddy can only dream and read about. Soon, they befriend each other through IM, and this leads to short in-person visits, supervised by Carla (Maddy’s nurse), and then to full on touching and running away on an adventure!
I’ll go into the things that I really liked about this novel first:
One of the main things that I enjoyed reading in this book is about the relationships of the different characters to each other. I especially enjoyed Carla and Madeline’s relationship. It is clear that Carla is like a second mother to Maddy, and that they have great love and respect for each other. Everything about their relationship just felt so real and genuine, and I’ve always thought that character relationships are important – and by this I mean friendship and familial relationships, not just the romantic kind.
Olly’s relationship with his family is clearly not great, well with his father anyway. We don’t directly see anything about his relationship with his family, any interactions from his point of view and the likes. But, it does show that Olly cares greatly for his mother and sister.
Same goes with Maddy with her mother, the relationship between them at the beginning was great – and I really enjoyed the way they interacted with each other. Although I did find some flaws here and there, and I will talk about this later on!
One thing that I adored about this novel were the illustrations. I wouldn’t say that they contributed much to the story, but they were enjoyable to look at. David Yoon is a great illustrator!
Now this has something to do with the writing style. The majority of the interaction between Olly and Maddy is through IMs and I found that really nice, and I enjoyed reading them! It’s easy to read and simple sentences they may be – the emotions of the characters are still being emulated.
So those are the things that I enjoyed about the book. And I am now going onto the things that I disliked about Everything, Everything.
This is where I was greatly disappointed. The plot twist was weak, and wasn’t all that surprising, as most people had led me to believe. I saw this plot twist miles away – from the moment Olly and Maddy kissed… because, me being a cynic thought that surely the decontamination couldn’t have decontaminated Olly’s mouth from things that could trigger Maddy’s SCID. I may be overthinking this, but that’s definitely one of the things I would have thought everyone would be worrying about.
In addition to that, I understand that Maddy wants to live her life in that moment! She wants to be free from the confines of her home, and be able to be part of the world. Initial thought was, you go girl! Go and be free! But, when she really did do it – I was sceptical and I kept thinking, oh my goodness, do not do it! You’re going to die! It’s not worth it!!! Think of your mother! Think of OLLY!!!
It was quite frustrating, how she wasn’t as cautious as I thought people would be if they have SCID. Because it is a really serious medical condition, especially what with being in a completely different country and the different foods and all these possible triggers.
Another thing is – credit cards!
How was Madeline able to get a freaking credit card, without a guarantor? I mean, don’t you have to have a verifiable income of some sort before you can be considered to even get one? What about parental consent, and the likes? I sat there for ages thinking – how did she get a credit card so easily? Surely, it cannot be that easy to acquire a credit card?!
I did enjoy reading the Everything, Everything. I think it may have tried a little bit too hard to be a memorable novel. It’s a good novel, as it’s considering diversity – and another, it tackles what it must be like to have Sever Combined Immunodeficiency which I have not encountered in YA books before.
One of the best things from this book that I’ve forgot to mention was the portrayal of friendship between the characters. Although Madeline is restricted within the confines of her home, she was still able to make friends with Oliver – and that in itself is amazing. She doesn’t let her ‘condition’ get the better of her, and she does try to be a part of society. Carla is an amazing mother figure, and friend. She definitely reminds me of my mother, and both of my grandmothers. Dr Whittier, too – I think she’s the perfect depiction of how our parents truly worry for us, that all they want to do is protect us from the bad things out of this world. However, I am not saying that what she has done is acceptable because, it is technically child abuse (in my honest opinion).
Aside from that, I did really enjoy the book and the adventures that Madeline will eventually have! It did make me appreciate what I have taken for granted though. It made me want to become more adventurous and try to go out more.