Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Published on: Published September 1st 2015
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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.
“I’ve read many more books than you. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve read. I’ve read more. Believe me. I’ve had the time.”
This is the opening paragraph and I’ll be damned if I didn’t say that I envied this girl right off the bat. I immediately felt apprehension right after however, because I got this feeling that this book would be one of those YA novels where the author purposely makes her character relatable in the eyes of the reader like giving her hobbies that are akin to the general reader, just to make her relatable and likable. However, the unease I felt didn’t even last long because come the second paragraph, I knew I was gonna like Madeline. And then when I read the whole first chapter, I was already in love.
Madeline has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency disorder which is a severe form of allergy that makes a person basically allergic to the whole word. She has been confined within her house for the most part of her life where everything and everyone have to be decontaminated first before being let in.
Maddie is easily a very likable character. She is effortlessly charming. The playful chapter titles and the illustrations also give insight as to what kind of person she is: a bored, hopeful teenager. And it makes you feel her eagerness to go outside the house and her longing for a real friend to talk with. This is where Olly comes in. Olly and his family have just moved next door and eventually, he and Maddie became friends. At first, they talked using sign boards through her room’s window and his rooftop which later evolved to IMing. You guys, one of the many highlights of this book for me are Olly and Maddie’s IM conversations. I swear they are both so witty even when they’re talking about nonsensical, unimportant stuff, they still always make me either laugh or melt into a puddle of goo. Or both.
With all that said, I felt completely sorry for Maddie for having SCID. She is such a lovable character that I wanted her to be happy (with Olly forever) however, I also understand her mother’s need to protect her because coincidentally, my dad also has this weird allergy thing (I honestly don’t know what it’s called but it’s definitely not SCID although it’s still scary nevertheless) where at random moments, his bronchioles would just start getting swollen and he’d have a hard time breathing. Have you heard a person wheeze? That stuff is seriously scary and my family would always panic whenever dad starts wheezing because who knows, his wheezing could worsen and his respiratory tract would get completely blocked because of the inflammation and he wouldn’t be able to breathe at all. Thankfully, dad’s condition has gotten so much better now after a one-month medication but we still see to it that the house is always clean.
So that said, I completely sympathized with Maddie’s mother. I know how it feels like to know that your loved ones’ lives could end in just a moment’s notice. Though, my sympathy for Maddie’s mother didn’t last long, as you other readers of this book would have surmised. Because after ‘that’ part, all and every sympathy I had went towards Maddie and Maddie alone.
So many times this book broke my heart. For Olly and his family and for Maddie because she was betrayed and her life was basically selfishly stolen from her. But all’s well that ends well and in the end, I was happy for both Olly and Maddie.
There are no exact words to convey my love for Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. It’s that kind of book that keeps on giving. From the moment you start reading, you will be automatically pulled into Maddie’s world with no chances of escape. But you probably wouldn’t want to anyway.
Rating: 5 Fairy wings!