Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Main themes: Love, Coming of Age
Rating: 5 stars
Maddy’s spent all her life inside the same four walls because she’s allergic to everything outside of them- all because of a rare illness that leaves her immune system majorly defective. And so 18 year old Maddy’s world is about as big as her air filtered home with only her mum, her nurse, and beloved books for company. But all that changes when new neighbour Olly bursts into Maddy’s life, and it’s not long before she falls for him… and that’s when everything changes.
Within the first 10 pages or so, I was pretty certain that I was going to love Everything, Everything. Maddy’s unique situation was enough to intrigue me but the way her world kept on changing was what really kept me turning page after page. I really did love watching Maddy and Olly’s relationship develop, even with all the bumps and obstacles they had to face. Apart from them being extremely adorable, it was just so nice to see Maddy getting to experience something she’s missed out on her whole life- interaction with someone who’s not her mum or nurse. In the beginning of the book Maddy turns 18 and it’s touching that she’s able to reflect on being happy and feeling so loved but at the same time, it really hits both her and her mum that she’s been deprived of so many things like growing up and having friends of her own. So for her to have met Olly and for things to have developed so beautifully between them was so sweet to see.
One of my favourite characters was Carla, Maddy’s nurse. She was so funny, so full of life and had such a big heart. She wasn’t just someone who looked after Maddy whilst her mum was at work, but a friend who truly loved her. Carla just wanted Maddy to remember that life was a gift, and even though she knew how restrictive Maddy’s illness was, she still wanted her to just live. I thought it was just nice, as well as important for Maddy to hear that.
I thought the pacing was perfect, and really enjoyed Yoon’s style of writing. I also loved the layout of the novel, it made the story so quirky and fun to read. I also loved the illustrations within the book as well, I’m such a fan of art being used in books to help tell the story in a visual way. It’s such a unique novel that has diversity, touches on a range of serious issues, and is so insightful. It’s taught me that there’s more to life than being alive, and that being alive isn’t the same as living. This novel was just a bundle of greatness so I would definitely recommend that anyone try it out.