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'm finding it difficult to sum up my feelings for this book. At first I was bored, then mid-way it was okay, but then it just got silly and I sat there contemplating what my rating would actually be. I settled on a good 2 stars.
I got this book with RavenPost with the theme 'Isolation', and it's a book I've definitely seen around but never really considered picking it up. Still, it was an interesting read. I've not read a story of someone who has to stay inside and never leave their house due to terrible allergies, so it was quite new to me. I just the story lacking in some areas.
Firstly, it was a bit slow. Maddy was inside and basically just reading and spending time with her mum or nurse, all the while pining for the normality of a regular teenage girl. Of course that's to be expected, she's isolated. But then her neighbours move in. And one of them a handsome young man called Olly who takes her fancy. From there, this book is mostly just Maddy wanting to be with Olly and cursing her illness for trapping her in her home. Which leads to my other issue with the book overall - romance.
Maddy and Olly speak a few times online, meet face to face twice and then THEY'RE IN LOVE. It's instalove, and it's too unrealistic for my liking. Not only that, but Maddy makes some terrible decisions and does pretty questionable things just to be with him, right up to risking her life. It's pretty careless of her. Literally risking everything just for a boy she's just met. Instalove isn't a seller, I don't know many people who like it, so I wish authors would stop writing that in. I, for sure, am not a fan of it.
Also, there is a plot twist in this book. Sadly, I kind of suspected that there would be one. The book was a little too slow for there to not be. When it happened, I wasn't that surprised. I did have a reaction along the lines of 'WHAT' because I wasn't sure that would even be an option. If you know what it is, you'd think 'surely this can't be after everything that's happened.' Yet it did. It's not easy trying to explain without spoiling, so go read the book and let us know what you thought about the twist!
There was also a part of the story which I really didn't like (can't say due to it being a spoiler), but I felt that Maddy was really stupid and acted on impulse without thinking. It ended up being extremely bad for her and others around her. I was reading it thinking 'Why do this, and what made you think this was a good idea?' She learnt the hard way.
With the characters, I wasn't a fan of Maddy. Her bad decisions, dramatic nature (mostly near the end of the book, crying over such a small issue), and her slight lack of consideration for others. As soon as she saw Olly outside from her window, she was obsessed. I got bored of that very quickly.
Speaking of Olly... he was alright actually. He was quite patient with her, and he wasn't pressuring in any way. His penchant for climbing on everything and stuff was a little strange, but it's not really a bad trait. He was quite a nice guy. I do think he should have knocked some sense into Maddy, though. Sometimes it felt like he should say 'Alright, stop now. You need to be careful', if he really cares about her. He was just as reckless as Maddy in the end, and should have been a bit more decisive in some cases.
The other characters were interesting, but didn't really stick out much. I quite liked Carla - she was a warm and caring character, a bit more lenient and sometimes funny. There aren't many characters in this book, but considering the type of story it is, you don't need too many. The number itself was enough. I just wished that some were fleshed out a bit more. There was time, for sure.
Olly's family was quite interesting to read about. His overall story and what was going on in his life was sad and I wish we learnt more about that. Of course, the male lead as well as the female lead needs a sob story. We had quite a bit of pagetime with Olly, so again, more fleshing out of his life would have been good. Ultimately, it was all about Maddy.
I did like that the main character was half-Japanese and half-African American. It certainly makes a change. I'm all for diversity, especially in YA. I just wish I enjoyed the story more, considering it was a kind I'd never read before. I haven't read many books revolving around isolation and it's one of those rare ones that I read that's about sickness. As a hypochondriac, I tend to avoid them.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I forced myself to read it, I did get into it but then I was left feeling like it was lacking something. Hence my 2 star rating.
Goodreads: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
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BOOK REVIEW: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING BY NICOLA YOON
4/ 5Oleh The Honest Bookclub