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.
I read New York Times Best Selling Author Nicola Yoon’s, Everything Everything, in two days, partly because it was a page turner but also because I’ve been stuck in bed with a particularly nasty vomiting virus! I shall spare you the details…. I’m fine now!
It’s a hard one to review. On the one hand there are so many engaging aspects to this novel – and so many feels, particularly the romance between Maddy and Olly, the emails, etc. The desperate sense of what it must be like to be stuck inside every single day of your life, with no friends, no school to go to, no boyfriends to date, to kiss.. no possibility of a real life. OMG can you imagine? Just staring out of your window watching the world go by while you’re imprisoned forever in your own body. That is the worst scenario.
Then on top of all this potential for misery there is a plot twist in the latter part of the story which encourages the reader to contemplate other issues: the impact of bereavement on mental health. I don’t want to give too much detail about that particular section of the novel as I don’t want to spoil it for you. This was a great idea … a nice progression …
But…….and here’s the but, I just felt that the revelation at the end could have had much more impact if we’d seen Maddy acting a bit more furiously than she did. If perhaps there had been more immediate dialogue between her and her mother, rather than so much focus on her chit chat with her nurse. Also there seemed to be a fair amount of telling. OK, she locked her mum out- actually locked the door, to suggest shutting her out, alienating her, which was clever, (reversal of the situation, her mother is now shut out from her world – her daughter,) but the timing was wrong. We needed some reaction to happen before this, otherwise in my opinion, it distanced the reader from the emotion of the moment. Wouldn’t Maddy be more likely to shout and scream to begin with? Given the enormity of what she finds out? And then lock her mother out, and then realise that she has to forgive? Her reactions all seem to be heavily focused towards her nurse. Which is strange given that she is meant to be close to her mother, having spent so much time with her for so many, many, years.
Also there were a few inconsistencies in the story – like how did she manage to get a credit card without her mother’s consent? And when she was liberated from the confines of the house wouldn’t she long for freedom, but be petrified, frightened of the very air she breathed? To me this didn’t come across as strongly as it should. I think Everything Everything had the potential to be a very strong read, perhaps even a 5 star read given the subject matter, and the potential revelation of the ending, but for me it fell a bit short of that expectation.
I’d say the appeal of this novel lies in its underlying sense of optimism. Given the dire circumstances that Maddy finds herself in, she seems a pretty chilled kind of girl, rather than a whinger. The cheerful and buoyant voice of the author shines through in so many tiny touches, and in the novel’s illustrations. So if this is the type of book that appeals to you, dive in and buy a copy! It would make a very good holiday read.
This debut novel is undoubtedly engaging. I shall be keeping an eye out for this new author.
I’d rate this a fast paced, easy read, just under 4 stars, say 3.75 stars.
Authors website: Nicola Yoon
Her next book The Sun is Also A Star is due out in November 2016. More about that here: Nicola Yoon The Sun Is Also A Star
Plans are afoot for a movie! I can see this concept doing very well visually in a movie. Here’s the link if you’d like to find out more: Everything Everything movie
Have you read Everything Everything? Did you enjoy it? Read it quickly like me?
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyromagica xx
My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.
Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys. It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love, stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...