The Inkwell: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

The Inkwell is a series of book reviews, or just rambling thoughts on specific books. For more, amble here


Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Official Synopsis:

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.


 

“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”
Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything

Snuggled on a couch with a fuzzy cozy blanket, I devoured Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything in one sitting. There were other people in the room beckoning me to join in the social gathering. I tried to put the book down several times and kept failing.

Diagnosed with SCID, the famous “bubble baby disease,” Madeline Whittier is essentially trapped inside her house. Until a burgeoning friendship—and more—with the cute boy next door changes everything.

I wasn’t very drawn by the premise—I’m not usually into contemporary romance-centered YA. Especially when they involve “boys that change everything.” Still, I thought I would like the book because it has elements I root for: diverse characters and a unique format (vignettes, messages, emails, post-its, etc). But I had no idea that I would fall into it and not emerge until I reached the last page, when I dazedly looked up and wondered where the last few hours had gone.

There were heartbreaking parts and heartsoaring parts. All written deftly and lyrically. The author is so talented that the meh-premise (in my opinion) becomes extraordinary and unique. The adorableness was compounded by the extra adorable fact that the author’s husband did the illustrations.

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The author, Nicola Yoon, and her husband David. (via NicolaYoon.com)

When the “twist” at the end happens, I was caught off guard. And at first, I thought it might be a cop-out deux ex machina move. But with the resolution, I revised that thought.

Read this book if you want simple things spun into complex metaphors and emotions. Read this book if you want complex depths written about in a simple, unadorned way. Read this book if you want to feel. It’s been a couple of weeks since I flipped to the last page of Everything, Everything. And I’m still simmering in post-book blues.

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