Monday, August 31, 2015

ARC Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
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//I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review//

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. 

The first thing I noticed about Everything, Everything was the unique cover! The second thing I noticed was that it was a story with a really unique premise. I saw someone else compare this to The Fault in Our Stars... this story is not that. For those of you who are unaware, I generally cannot stand contemporary fiction unless it has some kind of unique catch, which this one did.

Everything, Everything begins with Maddy watching as the new family (and one gorgeous teenager, Olly) moves in next to her. We also learn about her sickness and that she is unable to have any contact whatsoever with the outside world. The only people she can have any contact with are her mom and nurse, Carla, although some of her teachers are occasionally allowed to come into the house after a lengthy decontamination process. Still, Maddy can't help being interested in Olly. This is there story.

The characters of Maddy and Olly were both amazing. I loved getting to know both of them and could sympathize with both of their plights. Maddy is a strong character who has done the best she can with what she has. Best of all, she's a book blogger (Tumblr, but still one of us!) and has an insane supply of books to pass her time alone. Her character had the potential to be really whiney and "woe-is-me" but went in a totally different direction that I loved. Olly was also really great. Although he was not cut off from the world, he did have his own battles, but remained good in spite of it. Their romance was believable and perfect and I loved it! Well, most of it. I didn't love the times when Maddy decided to completely cut Olly off. I hate it when one half of a relationship makes decisions about what's best for both of them alone.

One thing I'm not 100% sold on is the writing. I had to continually remind myself that Maddy was 18 and not 12. While I did enjoy the tone that this gave to the book - kind of care-free, if that makes sense - there were times when it became a little choppy and strange. I did really like the addition of lists and pictures, though!

Overall, I really enjoyed this story a lot! It was an incredibly quick read, perhaps because of the writing and definitely because of some chapters being a sentence or two long or consisting only of a picture. I finished it in about a day and definitely say it was well worth the time! I won't give away too much, but I didn't find it predictable at all and really, really loved each new thing that happened! My biggest let down was the ending. I was sitting on the bus reading the last chapter, turned the page, and said, "WHAT?!" kind of loud, getting me some strange looks. It was an okay ending, I just wasn't expecting it just yet.

This is a book that I might be purchasing even though I've already read it just because I enjoyed it so much and, really, that cover is gorgeous!