Friday, September 4, 2015

Book review - Everything, Everything

Warning: This review contains mild spoilers!
Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
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a charming page-turner
Summary: Maddy never leaves the house and she's okay with that. Suffering from SCID, she's essentially allergic to the entire world. She's accepted her life as it stands until a new family moves in next door and she sees Olly for the first time. Olly is an enigma and Maddy is fascinated. For the first time, she finds herself thinking of leaving, accepting almost certain death for a day or two of life in the larger world.

Mild spoilers ahead.

My opinion: This book starts out as a fairly standard doomed love story. In some ways, you can't help but wonder of his inaccessibility is part of what attracts Maddy to Olly. So long as they are separated by her illness, he remains perfect and can't let her down. He can be her ideal. Personally, I found Maddy's actions mystifying. She doesn't seem to take the threats to her life very seriously. It was one thing to ask for Olly to be able to visit as her tutor does. Even their brief touches seemed like a halfway reasonable risk. It was her sudden decision to go outside and then to fly to Hawaii, a near certain death sentence, that bothered me. And then, when nothing seemed to hurt her, even the recycled air and close quarters on the plane, my suspension of disbelief began to fail me. Of course, the twist ending resolves many of those concerns with halfway logical explanations. The characters are mostly likeable and believable (though somewhat idealized at times). What really sells this book for me is the format. While the bulk of the book is standard 3rd person omniscient, there are instant message logs, book spoilers, images, and more that really take us into Maddy's world and make this a memorable read. 

Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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