Saturday, January 2, 2016

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

 Title: Everything, Everything

 Author: Nicola Yoon

 Publisher: Delacorte Press

 Date Published: September 1st, 2015

 Genre: Contemporary

 Pages: 320

 Age Range: 13+


     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 really like contemporary books. There's something about being able to lose myself in someone else's struggles without having to actually go through their struggles that is really nice. As a result, I've read a fair number of contemporaries, and I've read pretty much every plot out there with every character combination. That being said, this book had an original-ish plot, and I was pleasantly surprised about that, What I mean is that, yes, characters have some terrible illness and cannot be with whomever they want to be with. But never have I read a book about SCID before. SCID- bubble boy disease- is a fascinating facet to add to a story, but I felt like Nicola Yoon didn't use it to its true potential.
     The disease was very prominent for the first part(s) of the book, and then it became very important near the end(ish), but there in the middle, it was pushed aside for the romance. I love romance. I like living vicariously through characters to achieve the happily ever after, but I don't like romance over the plot or characters, and this book became its romance.
    The characters managed to be utterly cliched even while the book was different, but I actually liked Madeline a lot. She just clicked with me for some reason, and I felt really bad for her. Madeline's nurse was probably my favorite character, though. I loved the nurse and I wanted her to be in the story some more. Olly, oh Olly. I just couldn't love him. I liked him- he was fine- but I didn't love him as much as everyone else does. He was kind of flat, and just seemed stilted to me. Of course, their instant connection grated on my nerves, but since I felt like Madeline deserved some happiness, I was able to overlook this scenario.
     A plot twist is supposed to be super exciting, and come out of the blue with slight hints scattered throughout, but this "plot twist" was very predictable. Even though the twist was predictable, it was kind of enjoyable. It added a new level of depth to Madeline's kind of one dimensional mother, and let's face it, I love plot twists like that- where everything turns out to be a lie.
     Overall, the book was utterly cliched, tried too hard to break out of the mold, and had flat characters. The writing was nice though, and, at the end of the day, the book left a great feeling.


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