Monday, 15 June 2015

ARC REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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.

Published: September 1st 2015
PublisherDelacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: 2.5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley for the eARC! And to Danielle who gave me a signed copy JUST as I finished. How cool was that?!

I am so conflicted about this book it's UNREAL. There are parts that I love and others that I absolutely loathed. I ended up finishing the book thinking both WTF did I just read AND awwh, that was sweet! Everything, Everything was wrong with this book for me.

Right. Maddy is a girl who is house-bound. She has one of THE rarest illnesses in the world called SCID. Basically, she is allergic to everything and anything. Her brother and father are dead, so it's just her and her mother. And they are VERY close. Like cross your fingers close.

Everything changes for Maddy when Olly moves in next to her. Yes, the boy-next-door-syndrome is back with a vengeance! I for one found Olly extremely cute, even if he did remind me of a guy I once knew back at school. That was weird on level 1000. Olly has his own issues, but none come close to Maddy's, of course.

I love the way the book was set out. There were drawings, diagrams, texts, emails and graphs. And more! I had great fun looking at these and they really added feel to the story. For the first 50% of this book, I had only a few quarrels, but I thought that was the worst of it. Nope, they weren't the only ones.

For me, sadly, the story took a dip into WTF-ville when Maddy decided to do something extremely stupid. Like I-could-die stupid. Annnnd... no one stopped her. Surely if Olly loved her THAT much he would have prevented this THING from happening, damn how much Maddy would have protested and been angry at him. Surely her safety should be a priority, not just her happiness? I never got the I MUST ESCAPE THIS PLACE!!! vibe from her before Olly appeared. Everything, Everything changed because of Olly appearing. (Excuse the puns. This book title is TOO perfect for them!)

Before I started this book I created a mental list of things I was expecting to happen in the novel. REALLY predictable things. In this type of novel, they're bound to happen. And sadly, yes, each and every one happened. The MASSIVE twist in the book was on my list as well. I'm actually still laughing awkwardly that that one WAS REAL! I was hoping for a new The Fault in our Stars, a new favorite book about a life-threatening illness, but it didn't come close to the way that book made me feel. And for that, I'm very disappointed.

I'll write up a few GOOD things about this book now. It's all sounding kinda morbid...

  • Olly was THE most adorable thing. Also in his messages, he typed like every young guy I've ever known: without capitals and punctuation. He felt REAL. (But I did have ONE issue with it. See below) And did I mention that he's ADORBS?!
  • The GORGEOUS AND BREATHTAKING COVER! Isn't that cover so pretteehhh?!
  • Maddy is half Japanese and half African-American. WHOOO, DIVERSITY!
  • The writing itself was captivating. I devoured this book in just a few hours, eager to finish.
  • Maddy is a reader! And she blogs! There's a number of books she's mentioned that I'd like to read now. Such as Flowers For Algernon. 
But yes, there were more bad things than good for me in EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, sadly. I won't list them as most are spoilers, but there are plot inconsistencies and moments that you just want to headbutt a brick wall from frustration. There were many aspects of Maddy's life that grated on me SO MUCH. Like the fact her entire life seems to be clinical white? Even her food is white. Like... is she allergic to color or something? But as she buys clothes in different colors later in the book, she can't be. So what's up with that? 

But I will talk about something spoilery. MEGA spoilery. If you don't want to read these MEGA EPIC WORLD-ENDING SPOILERS, don't highlight below!

Maddy didn't seem, well, THAT mad at her mother for what she'd done?! This woman basically locked her daughter away and stole her life away from her. Stole her childhood, stole everything. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING. SHE STOLE EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING. Maddy was never ill. NEVER. But... why didn't her nurse pick up on her mother? Surely her nurse would have known the symptoms for SCID if she was with Maddy? And her NEW NURSE! Two chances at someone having a clue what the symptoms for SCID was but nope! And how the hell does Maddy's mom PAY FOR EVERYTHING?! I know there was a payout because of her husband and son's death but... not enough to live on for all of those years with a 'sick' child. Also, the police should have gotten involved when the truth about Maddy came out. She should have been arrested for what she did! Or put in the loony-bin for a while. But no... she's still in the same house as Maddy, trying to TALK TO HER AND MAKE UP WITH HER!! Urgh, it made me so mad! Her mother IS going to places for a mentality check but things still don't happen. I don't care how ill you are and how much you 'love' your daughter, you shouldn't be allowed around her now. That's just my opinion but GAH. URGH. ASFDSLG *ANGRY NOISES*  And how the frickity frack could Olly ALLOW Maddy to run away! I get the crap about wanting to live, but running until you quite literally get ill and drop dead? Umm... Olly, the fuq dude? Also with Olly, he seems very well educated but can't spell for crap or anything. What's with that as well? We never did find out what happened to Olly's family, if that nutjob of a father left. (Or did he? I skimmed the last 10 chapters or so?)

So yeah. I loved part of this book and hated the rest. Maybe not Everything, Everything was wrong with this book, but most of it. Most, Most. You'll either love this book utterly and completely or hate it. There's no inbetween.  But if Nicola Yoon publishes another book, I'd definitely read it. I can easily see her writing some super-duper books in the future! This one was just a hit and miss with me.

So sadly:

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