Everything, Everything started out the way I always thought it was going to be – sweet and light-hearted. And for a while, it was just that. But as I read more of the story, I started to see all the problems this book had, and mind you, there were a lot.
LET’S START WITH THE STORY:
The story follows Madeline Whittier who has never been out of the house. She has this rare disorder where she is allergic to everything. She’s never had friends. Never had crushes. She’s never even had a literal walk in the park. Basically, the four walls of her home is all she knows – it was her entire world for years. She does read a lot, though. Still, for me, that isn’t really called living.
So anyways, cute boy and his family moves to the house next door. Madeline became curious, so she started stalking them. When I meant stalk, I didn’t mean the creepy stalking. Just the one where she would peer out the window whenever cute boy and his family are out. The cute boy’s name is Olly, by the way.
So by some miracle, Olly and Madeline started hanging out, but they were always far from each other. Then, they started to fall for each other. Yep. It went there. Anyways, I don’t want to give too much away, but basically, that’s the story.
When I started this book, I had a good feeling I was going to like it. For the first few pages, I was hooked. I liked the writing. I feel that the author introduced the character of Madeline pretty well. She introduced us to her situation and what was currently happening to her. But when things started happening, that’s where my problem started.
– THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MADELINE AND OLLY WAS VERY PROBLEMATIC for a number of reasons, one of which was how quickly they fell for each other. YA books tend to do that, make it so easy for teenagers to fall in love with each other, which is ridiculous, if you ask me. It isn’t supposed to be that easy. When will YA authors get that? But what is love? How can Madeline even know what love is when she hasn’t even left the confines of her own home for years! How can she even know if her feelings for Olly was real? She has no experience whatsoever about life outside of her home, how can she be so sure of her feelings? I just cannot understand this. Another thing is, Madeline’s relationship with Olly, before they did the unthinkable, was mostly through IMs and talking to each other from the other side of the room. There was never really that much interactions between them to convince me that they feel something for each other. I just cannot!!!
– CRINGE-WORTHY SCENES INVOLVING MADDY AND OLLY
Olly smiles. He will not stop smiling. He gives me every variation of smile that there is and I have to kiss his smiling lips. One kiss leads to ten until our kissing is interrupted by Olly’s stomach growling.
I break our kiss, “I guess we should eat something.”
“Besides you?” He kisses my bottom lip and then bites it gently. “You are delicious, but inedible.” (wtffffff)
HOLY SHIT. This sounds like a dialogue that belongs to a sexy New Adult book, NOT FUCKING YA.
– IT HAS THE “A-GUY-WOULD-MAKE-THE-MC-WANT-TO-CHANGE” KIND OF TROPE THAT I HATE. Really? It always has to be the guy that makes the MC want to do something else with her life? It always has to tie up to a guy? Why can’t it just be because they want to do it for themselves.
– MORE STUPID, CHEESY, LAME LINES
– I’m a mother, and I know the feeling of wanting what’s the best for your kid. But really, Madeline’s mom is just… *shakes head in disbelief* I get she has gone through a lot, but my goodness, I cannot believe she would do that.
– It tackled too many things at once, which was the same problem I had with Eleanor and Park. Just stick with one problem. This one had family issues (on both sides, mind you), then there’s the sickness issue, there’s also the relationship that felt so forced, then there’s the wanting to be free. I would have been fine with the relationship and the sickness, but to add another layer of drama towards the end, was just too much.
– LOTS OF TEENAGE TOUCHING. WAYYYY TOO MUCH KISSING. IT ALMOST GAVE ME DIABETES. YEAH. I GET THAT YOU TWO LIKE EACH OTHER BUT ENOUGH OF THE FUCKING PDAS PEOPLE!
– HORNY TEENAGERS!
– The way Madeline discovered what needs to be discovered was MEH. I was beyond caring for our two MCs at this point. I don’t care if they end up together, nor did I care about whether they get separated.
– It completely disregarded the medical side of Madeline’s sickness… NOT SPOILING YOU GUYS. I wanted to know more about the Severe Combined Immunodeficiency! If a character is sick, I think it is necessary for the readers to know what kind of sickness it is and what it does to the character. The funny thing is, Madeline had this disease for a long time, but she never mentioned any sort of trigger, at all. Not once did she say that she’s had an allergic reaction to anything. Makes you question things. I’m not going to spoil this for you, but THIS IS THE PART THAT REALLY BOTHERED ME.
– The ending was MEH! I hated the ending. I hated that twist. It was revealed, if I’m not mistaken, when there was only about 10% left on the book. I was spoiled for this twist, by the way, but I still wanted to see how the author does it. It was… like I said… meh. I didn’t buy it because it only means everyone around Madeline, even Madeline herself, was stupid enough not to notice whatever it is I’m talking about, which you’d know if you read this book. Want to know what it is? Nope. No spoilers. Sorry.
To be fair, this book wasn’t just all bad. It does have its positives, too.
– I love the Nicola Yoon’s writing style. Madeline’s voice was so innocent (for a time) and naïve of the outside world, which is what is should be – she hasn’t left her house for years!
– Those little book reviews she writes. Although, I have to say, she spoiled Flowers for Algernon for me.
– Madeline and her mother’s relationship (when her mom isn’t being crazy) reminds me of how me and my daughter are.
– The additional illustrations and stuff inserted in the book, like the IMs were really good touches to the story. I love it when books become creative with what they add to a reader’s experience.
– DIVERSITY! Our main character, Madeline, is half Japanese, half African American. It would have been better if she was either full Japanese or full African American. I didn’t get why she had to be half. But whatever, YAY TO DIVERSE BOOKS!
– I enjoyed reading it, for the most part. It really got me hooked.
– THAT COVER. <3
– I liked that this book tried to be different – in some way. It still followed some of the typical YA tropes, but managed to add in a few new things to it.
I wouldn’t say this is one of the worse books I’ve ever read. However, it does have a lot of things that I did not agree with, or find bothering. At the end of the day, I still was able to finish it. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory here, but all I can say is that I am not a fan of how this book treated the condition that Madeline was said to have. Everything surrounding that, I was not comfortable with. I can deal with the cheesiness, the insta-love, all of that, but the way the condition was portrayed was a letdown. I’ve said it on one of my reviews before – if you are going to use an illness or a condition as a part of your story, make sure that you are able to clearly show that to the readers as well. I mean, you can argue that it isn’t the main plot of the story. Still, it isn’t good to just completely brush it off the story.
The biggest strength of this book is Nicola Yoon’s writing – it is so addictive! That’s all I can say. Will I read more from her? Maybe. As long as it doesn’t involve weird conditions, then I’d probably will.