(background photo via graceslibrary on tumblr)Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
on September 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Death & Dying, Depression & Mental Illness, Fiction, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Amazon // The Book Depository
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.
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING started off as everything i hoped for, but ended up disappointing me.
the more i think about this book, the more it frustrates me. like, REALLY frustrates me. i started off loving everything about EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING. it was exactly what i needed at the time: a cute and short contemporary novel to get me out of my minor reading slump. i LIVE for cute contemporary novels. this had an interesting and somewhat cliché concept, which i adore. so, what was the thing that threw me off?
“I’ve read many more books than you.” (pg. 1, first sentence)
there were so many plot holes. i tried so hard to ignore them because 1/ it’s a fictional story, and 2/ it’s a fictional story, but as the story progressed there were more and more and more. the logical part of my brain continued to think, “that doesn’t make any sense. THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.” i know not all contemporary novels are super realistic, but this had gotten to the point of plot hole and distracted me from the story. i have complaints about the plot specifically…
View Spoiler » + it seemed like maddy didn’t even know her illness. we never reaaally go into it. did she just trust her mom and never question it? seems unlikely to me. SHE HAS THE INTERNET FOR GOODNESS SAKE. i googled about her disease right after i finished the book and she didn’t have any symptoms, just as the doctor mentioned. there was also a cure available, or at least ways to treat it. it almost seemed like she didn’t bother and completely accepted that she was living in that house forever, but with flying to hawaii with olly… it just doesn’t match up.
+ olly never asked her about the disease? he doesn’t ask her, not once, about what kind of sickness she has. maddy says she can’t leave the house, is allergic to everything, and he just accepts it as if that’s a TOTALLY NORMAL THING. as far as i’m concerned, he doesn’t even know what her disease is called. it’s assumed that her nurse tells him, but we never get a confirmation.
+ it’s clear he has NO IDEA what maddy’s sickness is when he agrees to fly to hawaii. and believes her that she’s taking these “pills” so she’s temporarily better. UM, WHAT? if you’re really concerned for her well-being, wouldn’t you research into this?????
+how did maddy register for a credit card ONLINE? if that’s possible, i think every teenager in the country would do that.
+ how did olly know to give maddy an email address? wouldn’t it be more normal, teenager-y to give a phone number? a tiny coincidence like that reminded me that this all a fictional story, more than her disease did.
+ my biggest question of all: HOW DID SHE FIND WHERE OLLY MOVED TO IN NEW YORK? maddy seemed to know which used bookstore was near his house. there’s no sign of them interacting after she decided to ditch his soul. how did she even know he moved back to new york? for all we know, he could’ve gone to another country.
+ also, how did she find his phone number? like i mentioned before, they only interacted through email before that. and now that she got a phone, she flies to new york and texts him? WTF WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
+ if her nurse was a REAL NURSE, wouldn’t she know that maddy isn’t reaaaally sick? wouldn’t her nurse know that her mom is crazy in the head?
+ maddy claims that she’s never lied in her life, and all of a sudden she’s lying ALL THE TIME. her life literally becomes a lie. LITERALLY. oooookay maddy.
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the more i think about it, the more frustrated i get. this story had the potential to be much than it turned out to be. i feel like there could’ve been more revision and a little changing to fill in the plot holes. these were a huge problem for me and continued to distract me from everything else in the story. *sigh*
“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.” (pg. 141)
other than the plot holes, i DID enjoy this novel. i loved the illustrations and the interesting chapter titles that added humor to the story. i really enjoyed nicola yoon’s poetic writing style, and with the illustrations, it all came out beautifully. i love how she added a lot of diversity to our characters and into the book. DIVERSITY FTW! the book flew by really quickly and i could not put it down.
maddy and olly’s interactions were super adorable and cute, although it seemed rushed at some times. however in terms of characters, my favorite was a maddy’s nuse, carla. i feel like she had more depth than our two main characters, which is a little disappointing. maddy’s mom wasn’t a very good mother figure, in my opinion, which is also quite sad since she was maddy’s only person to truly rely on.
“There’s more to life than being alive.” (pg. 300)
to me, this novel was that it was missing that extra UMPH. just when you think you’re about to feel for the characters, you don’t; just when you think you can imagine this happening in real life, a logical question and plot hole pops up. it’s like eating a cake with BEAUTIFUL decoration and design, but having missed just a touch of sugar and flavor. i feel like this novel was SO CLOSE to being ten-stars but missed it by THAT MUCH.
overall, this novel was kinda disappointing. my biggest issue was the insane amount of plot holes i found. i couldn’t properly focus on our characters and setting because i kept furrowing my brows at the plot. if i ignored that, i would’ve loved the book. the more i think about it, the more frustrated i get. UGH. the writing style and everything else was beautiful, but THE PLOT HOLES, MAN.
i’d recommend if you like…
- short, cute, and kinda cliché reads
- interesting concepts
- beautiful prose and illustrations