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.
I was very surprised when I was approved for this book on Netgalley, that I started reading it the night I got it. The premise was very interesting so I did not hesitate to start reading it. First chapter then bam! I was hooked. I really loved the way Nicola Yoon wrote the book, and the illustrations by her husband gave me an exciting and more memorable experience while reading this.
Everything, Everything tells the story of Maddy, who has SCID, a rare disease which makes her allergic to everything and because of that, it requires her to stay inside of their house, under certain protocols. Things started to change when a new family moves in as their new neighbors, and she met Olly, a boy her age and from there friendship and romance bloomed.
“Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.”
I enjoyed the characters so much. Maddy was a bit naive, but she’s can be pretty firm and yes, stubborn about things. She’s has a strong willpower too, albeit being pretty emotional most of the time. I think it’s due to the way she was brought up by her mother. Even though, we couldn’t agree on some things, I was rooting for Maddy all the way. Olly’s character surprised me. I thought he was going to be this bad boy/player type of guy because of they way he dresses up (all black… so yeah) but NOPE. There’s not even a single thing in his personality that seemed shady or gave off a bad boy vibe. He’s absolutely and utterly adorable! He’s kind, understanding and gentle. He’s also strong and I love that he loves his family so much. Not being biased because his name is Oliver. I’m not, trust me. He’s definitely one to swoon for!
“Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.”
The book was fast-paced. I could’ve finished it in 24 hours but I chose not to because I want to take it all in slowly. The narration was superb! I loved all the illustrations because they added a new dynamic to the story. It also helped visualize things! The plot was definitely enjoyable and I did not expect a twist. It turned out so much better than I was expecting!
Some really minor reservations though. Maddy’s condition could’ve been explained further. I was totally looking forward to knowing more about it. Also for her mother, It could’ve been nice to have her background story to be cleared up.
“I decide then that love is a terrible, terrible thing. Loving someone as fiercely as my mom loves me must be like wearing your heart outside of your body with no skin, no bones, no nothing to protect it.”
Overall, I was practically speechless after reading this book because it was written so beautifully. It was a mix of poignancy, hope, and fun. It opened me and my mind up to new things, which gave me absolutely great experience. The romance wasn’t too cheesy, but it was that good to make me swoon. Watch out for this debut novel by Nicola Yoon!