Thursday, July 30, 2015

ARC Review | Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“In the beginning there was nothing.
 And then there was EVERYTHING.”

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Pages: 320

My Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis:  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.

Teisha's Review

A story about first-love, familial love, and learning to love life, Nicola Yoon's debut Young Adult novel Everything, Everything is everything.  EVERYTHING!  (I'm probably not the first book blogger to start my review off like this.  In fact, you've probably heard this said dozens of times.  Well, that's because it's true.)

I'd wanted to read Everything, Everything for months.  That cover!  That synopsis!  I just had to get my hands on it.  And, the moment I got approved for the galley, I squealed.  Literally.  I knew that I was going to love this story, and I was right.

Here are the five reasons why I gave Everything, Everything 5 out of 5 stars:

★ We Need Diverse Books

I have made it a personal goal to start picking up more books with diverse characters and issues.  I am trying to read more books that deal with real people and real issues, books that portray the modern world as we know it.  The world, as we know it, isn't just black and white.  It's not just hetero and homosexual.  It's not just sane and insane.  It is all of those things and so much more; it's what's "in-between".  I love books that focus on that "in-between" area, that area that many authors are afraid to venture into.  Everything, Everything is one of those "in-between" books.  In her book, Yoon focuses on race, mental illness, physical illness, and domestic abuse.  

I found it refreshing to read a book featuring a multiracial main character (Maddy is African-/Japanese- American) and not have race be an issue in the story.  I remember taking a Media & Pop Culture class and learning that normalizing racial difference teaches anti-racism.  And, I think that that is something that Yoon does with her book.  Allow me to explain that a little more by telling you how it is exemplified in the story.  In Everything, Everything, Maddy and Olly love each other for who they are.  Race is never a concern in terms of their love and their relationship.  They never allow racial difference to keep them apart.  And, I hope that one day, the rest of the world will be able to consider racial difference in this way.  Not to ignore it, but to accept it and appreciate it.

Overall, Everything, Everything tells a very real, very human story that has a lot to say about love and life and all the things "in-between".

★ Drawings and Doodles

Everything, Everything is filled with a ton of drawings and charts and graphs.  The images, drawn by Yoon's husband, David Yoon, detail Maddy's inner thoughts.  It's like reading the main character's journal, and I really liked that aspect of the story!

I read Everything, Everything on my Kindle, so my hope is that the images in the actual print version of the book are large and color-able.  (I know I'm 22, but I have a new found appreciation for coloring and coloring books, and I am not ashamed.  Besides, adult coloring books are so in right now.)

★ Olly and Maddy, Maddy and Olly

I've said it once and I'll say it again.  I am such a sucker for first-love stories.  And, Everything, Everything is no exception.  Olly and Maddy are so cute!

I love the sheer innocence of their relationship.  I love the numerous, humorous ways Olly attempts to get Maddy's attention (little does he know that he already has it).  I loved reading their IMs, seeing the way their relationship slowly bloomed from friendship to love.  I love that Maddy's sickness never scares Olly away, and that Olly's backstory never scares Maddy away.  And, I love how Olly's love makes Maddy brave, makes her want more out of life, makes her feel truly alive for the first time.

Say it with me: Olly and Maddy are precious!

That is all.

★ Mothers Be Good To Your Daughters

Family is a large aspect of Everything, Everything, especially concerning relationships with mothers.  There is a focus on Maddy's relationship with her mother, Olly's relationship with his mother, and Carla's (Maddy's nurse) relationship with her daughter. (We never actually meet Carla's daughter, Rosa, so I propose a spin-off novel about Carla and Rosa!)

I really appreciated this aspect of the book, because it exhibits that a mother's love for her child is endless, but every mother displays that love differently.  For example, Maddy's mother protects her, Olly's mother becomes brave for her children, and Carla spoils her daughter.  Even my own mother, who others of my family might jokingly call "mean" but I consider "strong", dishes out tough love.  She's not the emotional, hugging and kissing type, but I know that she loves me nonetheless.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book's exploration of familial love.  My mother is my favorite person, and the strongest person I know.  And, it never hurts to be reminded of that, and to be reminded not to take that love we share for granted.  Everything, Everything gave me those reminders.

★ Miscellaneous

Here are a few other things I love about Everything, Everything: 

Yoon's writing is beautiful, simple, intelligent, thought-provoking and honest.  I want to read this story again and again.

Maddy is a book lover!  Just like me and all of you!  And she writes book reviews!  I can relate:)

Everything, Everything is inspirational.  This is a story about being brave.  About living life to the fullest.  About love.  About family.  About trust.  About friendship.  About the things worth living for.  And, most importantly, this book teaches that "Love is worth everything.  Everything."


As Maddy always returns to her favorite book The Little Prince, I'm sure that it won't be long before I return to Everything, Everything.  

I cannot wait to hold the printed, finished version of this book in my hands.  This has easily become one of my favorites.  

Mark the date on your calendars:  September 1st, Everything, Everything is released.  You won't be disappointed!  

Ask Me Anything and Everything, Everything

  1. Will you be reading Everything, Everything when it releases?  
  2. Have you already read an ARC of this beautiful book?  Tell me your thoughts!  

Hope to talk to you soon!

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