Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.
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.
Publishes in US: September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: ya contemp *sick teens*
Source: Delacorte via Netgalley
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
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I wanted to read Everything, Everything because I am drawn to stories about teenagers who are sick. Maddie certainly fits that description as she has SCID, a form of a disorder that basically causes her to have to live in near isolation. She is the bubble girl.
I really admired her strength and resilience. She basically only sees two people, her mom who is also her doctor (lucky right?) and her nurse Carla. She is homeschooled, and she has to be careful about every germ, every food she comes in contact with. She is a reader but even that isn't simple. Everything that comes in the house has to be decontaminated, and this level of diligence is what has kept her alive. She has a positive outlook and she is grateful for what she does have. The relationship with her and her mom is great, I love how close they are and what each does for the other.
But when new neighbors move in next door after the house being vacant for so long, Maddie starts to notice them. Especially daring, handsome Ollie. But she also watches his sister, and their parents. She realizes just how different her life is, and it makes her long for the things she doesn't have. Which is totally understandable, and I would have been like that for long before she did, I think.
Ollie notices her watching and tries to meet her, but of course, not many people come through the airlock of their home, and Maddie's mom turns them away. But after communicating through a joke about the inedible bundt cake they tried to deliver, Maddie and Ollie start emailing and instant messenging. As she starts falling for him and longing for their next conversation, she wishes more and more to be out of the bubble, or at the very least, get him in.
So, I almost really regretted requesting this one when I reread the summary and saw that it was told in differing formats- diary, graphs and charts, instant messages and such. Normally that sort of thing is not for me, but while this does have those elements it is mostly told from her point of view in the normal narration style.
I took off a star though because while the ending definitely surprised me, I think that it was all too sudden. She got the bomb and then it felt rushed, and I wanted to spend a bit more time on the huge shift and change and what that means for her. The last page almost made up for those feelings those because it was very sweet.
My question to you:
Have you ever been confined to your house?