Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?
Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.
This is a book that I am unsure how to rate, it has shock value and twists but at the same time I couldn't believe I was actually reading something like this towards the end. I can't say an awful lot as I don't want to spoil it for any of you who want to read it. But when you do read it, you will understand what I mean.
I really enjoyed the way the book was presented, through emails, letters, medical records and pictures. This was quite a quick read, I managed to read it in two sittings. (It could have been one but I had things I needed to do.) It is gripping, however there was a time in the middle that I was unsure exactly where the book was going.
Maddy has a rare condition called SCID, this is where I begin to have a little of a problem with he story. I have never heard of this before and to be honest I still don't no much about the condition after reading the book. We don't learn a lot about it at all through the book and I would have liked to have been educated on the condition a little as it is so rare. Maddy is not allowed to go outside in the world and everything she has is white, I am not quite sure why, but everything in her room is white and what she should eat. Saying that, she eats what she likes most of the time and nothing seems to happen to her. She also goes through a stage of buying orange t-shirts. Again, I am not sure why the white makes up such an important part of her life.
One day she notices a family, who move in next door. She watches them and makes up stories about them, she can comment on their daily routine. She finds it difficult when the children notice her and come round to ask her out. Obviously she is not allowed and her mother (a doctor) turns them away. Olly the boy who moved in becomes curious of Maddy, he sees her but never outside her room. One day he scribes on his window his email address and they begin to email each other.
Carla is Maddy's nurse and has been ever since she was little, she is one of the only people she gets to spend time with, except her mother and the occasional visit from her tutor. Maddy is fond of Carla and talks to her about everything, Carla believes Maddy should live her life as much as she can. She picks up on the change in Maddy since Olly has arrived and allows him to meet her, from a distance but keeps it just between herself and Maddy.
I really enjoyed reading about Maddy and Carla, I also felt I knew them better than Maddy's mother. She is not developed that much in the story and she comes across as a little secretive and unknown.
The pace of the story really picks up towards the end and to be honest I preferred the second half of the book. This is the part I can say very little about as not to spoil it for you. This is a book that encourages you to view the world differently and question everything you know.
If you enjoy YA or are looking for a book that will surprise and shock you, this is a must read.
Due to the fact I did have a few issues with this book, I have rated it as 4*.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.