Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon
Published by Corgi Childrens, 3rd September 2015
Genres: Young adult, romance, contemporary fiction
Source: Purchased (second-hand)
Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, bereavement
Live life in a bubble? Or risk everything for love?
Maddy is allergic to everything. For as long as she can remember, she has lived in the safe bubble of her house. Her only contacts with the outside world are her mother, her nurse and her tutor. She is perfectly content with her safe routine until Olly and his family move in next door. Through her connection with Olly, Maddy will start to question what it means to really live, and what she is prepared to risk to have the life she wants.
I loved everything about this book. Everything!
The style of writing was really interesting, as there are emails, text messages, illustrations and more included throughout the text. This served, I think, to illustrate how isolated Maddy is from the rest of the world. Her only communication is through virtual messaging. Coupled with the short chapters, these added pieces made the story flow really well. I was so engrossed that I sped through this in one sitting.
This novel is also heart-breaking. The reader is faced with the terrible grief suffered by Maddy’s mother after the death of her husband and son. Her sole focus after that becomes ensuring that her daughter is safe. Maddy also struggles a lot throughout the story. Her isolation means that a real relationship isn’t possible, but coming to terms with what you can never have is very difficult.
I thought that it might have been interesting to get Olly’s perspective sometimes as well, to see his side of the story. I can understand why the author decided not to go that way though. The sole narrator and single point of view just reinforce once again Maddy’s isolation from the rest of the world.
I read this as part of my Reading Women Challenge 2021, for the prompt “a book with a biracial protagonist” and I really loved it. This was Nicola Yoon’s first novel and I will definitely be looking out for anything else of hers in the future.
My rating: 5/5