YA review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Series: N/A
Acquired: Review (NetGalley)
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Corgi Children”s
Release date: 27th August 2015

Madeline has a very rare disease that prevents her from leaving her own home; not from fear but because she is allergic to everything. When the new family move in next door though her whole life changes. 

Everything about Olly fascinates Madeline. She’s desperate to know more about him but of all the things she’s never experienced before, love may just be the most exciting. 

After reading all of my physical review books I headed to NetGalley to have a bit of a browse and came across this one. I took a bit of a chance with it but I really wanted to read something different. 

Everything, Everything follows Madeline who has a very rare disease which basically means she’s allergic to everything and is unable to leave her very protected house in case of infection. She still does pretty normal teenage things though. She has online classes, shops and goes online. Although Madeline has a very different life she’s pretty content with it. She loves her nurse Carla and really enjoys spending time with her mum. That’s one of the things I loved the most about Madeline. Never is she down about her condition but instead she just gets on with things and makes the most of what she has. 

When a new family move in next door though she’s instantly drawn to the mysterious looking teenage boy who stares up directly at her. Olly’s arrival makes Madeline question everything about life and what she thought she wanted. She becomes brave, secretive and most importantly, really begins being herself when they get to know each other online. With instant messenger type websites being such a big deal now I liked seeing how it was used in this book. I began talking to my now husband online so I could really relate with how Madeline and Olly got to know one another. 

One of the main themes in Everything, Everything is friendships. Madeline has a very close relationship with her nurse Carla and it was such a sweet thing to read about. Obviously not being able to leave the house means not having any friends her own age so Carla was the next best thing. Then there is also Madeline and her mother who are extremely close. It was nice to see a teenage character really enjoy spending time with her mum even if it was forced due to circumstances. 

The friendship between Madeline and Olly was fantastic. As I said before the getting to know each other online first was really good but it was when they were finally able to meet that things really got exciting for me. Nicola Yoon really captures what it’s like to feel something for someone else and how exciting a new relationship can be. There was the butterflies, there was the nervous should I hold their hand or not and there was the extremely cute, shy looks between one another. The writing really was superb. 

Something I have to mention that was one of my favourite things about this book is Madeline herself. Most young adult novels focus on Caucasian characters and there is very little diversity. Madeline is mixed race and to her, it’s a bit of a big deal that Olly is white. Not in a racist way but because the two people she actually knows are not white. It was so refreshing to read about a mixed race character even though it wasn’t made a big deal of in the novel. It was a nice change and I wish there were more in young adult and new adult novels. 

Everything, Everything is such a wonderful novel that made me remember what it was like to be a teenager. Nicola Yoon is an author I’ll be keeping an eye out for from now on. 

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