Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

June 3rd, 2015 Kimberly Review 88 Comments

3rd Jun
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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 asked to do an early review of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. While I usually avoid young adult contemporary romances, the premise for Everything, Everything immediately reminded me of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, a 70’s movie starring John Travolta. Yoon delivered a wonderful tale with heart, a surprising twist and a slow burning romance.

I quickly slipped into Everything, Everything in part because of the protagonist, Madeline. Madeline has a rare disorder and for the past seventeen years, she has not left her sterile environment. She is a reader, and her talks about books and her routine when a new book arrives endeared her to me. Despite her diagnosis, she is surprising happily and positive. She is a complex character who is sheltered and  naive. Often times she surprised me with displays of surprisingly mature characteristics. It is exactly how I imagine someone who has grown up in a controlled environment would behave.

When a moving truck arrives and a young man named Ollie takes up residences next door, she becomes curious about the family and the young man. She watches there coming and goings like her window is a television set.

While the storyline is predictable, Yoon added a few twists to this story that added a touch of darkness to an otherwise light romance. She takes us through the developing friendship of Madeline and Ollie. As the two become friends, Madeline begins to feel the constraints of her illness and the walls of her home become a prison. I found myself worrying about her as she became impulsive.

Throughout the book are illustrations and notes done by Madeline as well as air quality charts and the like. Secondary characters like her nurse Carla and her mother added depth fleshing out Madeline’s reality. Conversations with Ollie are often in the form of  email format and messenger.  I was surprised by a little twist in the plot and Yoon did an excellent job of creating believability.

Everything, Everything was a delightful, easy, heartwarming read that will delight readers.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

88 Responses to “Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon”

  1. Kris

    I love how the secondary characters add depth to this novel, and the illustrations sound like a fun element! I’m not sure how I feel about the plot being mostly predictable, but the plot twist sounds like a needed unexpected element (because I do love being surprised by a novel!). I have a lot of books on my summer TBR pile. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to check this one out!

  2. Lisa

    I’m definitely eager to read this. And I love the idea of illustrations and notes throughout the book!

  3. Benish

    Wow that premise though, that’s really unique – I have this one somewhere in my kindle and your review has me intrigued now. I look forward to reading the plot twists of the novel! Wonderful review Kimba 🙂

  4. Jeann

    Glad you found a YA contemporary you could get into! I’m really intrigued with the character’s illness but I adore her for her positivity.

  5. Lauren

    Glad you were able to enjoy this despite the predictability. I started it and am really enjoying it so far!

  6. Becca

    I don’t usually read contemporary romances either, but I am a sucker for a protagonist with a chronic illness- and this is just way too rare. I have chronic pain myself and so I know I will be able to empathize with her. I’m thinking I might just bump this one up to my next read, in fact.

  7. Megan McDade

    I am reading this one next month so am excited you enjoyed it. I love any books that have different formats in it like email a etc it’s one of my favourite types of formats to read. I am really looking forward to this.

  8. Nicole

    Oh, I so want to read this book now! I’m kind of in love with the concept, and I’m glad it was done well!

  9. Madiha

    This sounds beautiful and cute 🙂 I love the storyline and it looks like an epicly original romance, which is to die for! Lovely review, Kim 🙂

  10. Paij Slater

    this sounds very interesting. My son is allergic to everything outside, so I can understand her isolation. THANK heaven’s it’s not that bad.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is so hard with allergies. My son has them and some are scary and life threatening particularity when it comes to medications.

  11. Rita

    I don’t really read YA contemporaries but I have to agree that the cover and the plot remind me of the kind of books I read as a youngish-teen, though any MG or YA story can be enjoyed by an adult as well. I remember watching John Travolta in The Boy in the Bubble. In real life, he fell in love with the actress who played his mother in it and they dated before she passed away from cancer. Just thought you might appreciate some movie trivia 🙂
    Anyway, sounds well-done and delightful for the right audience. Good luck to the author!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was fun to dabble in this genre, although like you it isn’t one I would normally read. I actually knew that about John. I had a friend who was a tad obsessed with him and I was the recipient of these little tid-bits 🙂

      • Rita

        LOL! I’m not obsessed with Travolta, just movie and book trivia 😉

  12. Christy

    I should read this. I remember a little girl who used to live by me when I was younger who rarely went anywhere because she was allergic to so much stuff. Probably not to this extent though.

  13. Karen Blue

    I am so glad you liked this book. I am gonna bump it up on my TBR list. Can’t wait to read it now.

  14. Lorna

    Okay you have me interested! And I do remember that movie as well. This sounds really good 🙂

  15. Angela Adams

    I remember that John Travolta movie — long before anyone ever heard the word “disco.” Thanks for the post.

  16. Trish

    “She is a reader, and her talks about books and her routine when a new book arrives endeared her to me” – this alone makes me want to read it! I just love bookish characters.
    And I also like the sound of those extras like the illustrations and notes. I’ll add it to the TBR!

  17. Kathy

    I enjoy a YA book every now and then but somehow missed this one on my apparently failing radar. 😉 Considering I loved The Boy in the Bubble, John Travolta style, I’ll have to keep a mark by this one to add to my list for later. It sounds pretty interesting.

  18. Lindy

    Madeline sounds like a character that I would love and feel empathetic towards. How horrible for her not to be able to leave her sterile environment. Ollie sounds like a sweetheart. I’m curious what the plot twist is at the end… I hope they find a way to be face to face in the same place. Great Review Kim 🙂

  19. Ramona

    Sounds promising, and this wasn’t even on my list. I loved The Boy In The Plastic Bubble! 😀 That’s all the recommendation I need. Great review, Kimba, thank you.

  20. Lanie

    I like the cover but the whole 70s vibe doesn’t really catch my attention. Nice review though:D

  21. Mary

    This was a hot title at BEA, wasn’t it? I didn’t get it, since I’m not a huge YA contemp fan (though I’ve read more this year than in the past) but it sounds intriguing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I didn’t go to BEA, but I have been hearing it is. I usually don’t dabble in this genre at all, but I am glad I agreed to read it.

  22. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Like you, I generally avoid YA contemporary romance, but I love the idea of an MC raised in such isolation, and even though it’s predictable, I love that it pulled you in.
    Wonderful review!

  23. Donna C

    This is one that I stood in a hugely long line for at BEA, so I’m happy to hear positive reviews coming through for it. I like to read a contemporary YA book every once in a while, so I think this will be a good one to delve into.

  24. Kay

    This one is already on my TBR pile and I have an ARC that I plan to read soonish. I’m happy to hear that it was good and you enjoyed it. That cover is beautiful!

  25. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I do love the sound of this one….who wouldn’t empathize with this young woman’s plight and root for her? Thanks for sharing.

  26. MIchelle

    This looks really interesting, and it is totally new to me. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I am going to add it to my TBR. Plus, if you liked it and its a ya contemp, I know it must be good 😉

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  27. Jenny

    I’m really excited about this one Kim! I don’t mind predictable in the least as long as things end well and I’m entertained overall. It sounds like that’s no problem in this case and I can’t wait to see how everything works out for Madeline and Ollie!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was a fun, cute read Jenny and I hope you love it

  28. Braine

    I havent seen that John T. movie but this reminds me of that comedy, Bubble Boy? The plot of that movie is similar to this one too including the conflict part. Blossoming relationships can shake one up, bubble or no bubble. I guess as an adult, I can take the situation from a metaphorical standpoint…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I didn’t see that movie, and I agree with your thoughts. This was a cute story.

  29. kindlemom1

    Crazy, I seriously just saw this book yesterday somewhere and was super curious about it. I’m so glad you read it and reviewed it today Kim and even more happy that you really liked it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That is funny. This was cute and well done. It reminded more of YA books from my childhood.

  30. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I saw this one at BEA! The premise sounds really interesting, though I’ve been kind of underwhelmed with the few YA books I’ve read this year.

  31. Grace

    I just got this one for review and am really excited to get to it – Glad you enjoyed – Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Grace, it was a nice read and I imagine it will be quite popular

  32. Paula M

    This is one of the most anticipated books I’ve been dying to read and I feel so relieved that great reviews like this one are coming. 🙂 I hope to get a paperback too so that I can experience those illustrations. Thanks for the review Kimberly!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The illustrations are a lovely edition, enjoy Paula

  33. Melliane

    Even if the whole is a bit predictable it doesn’t seem to really have an impact. I’m glad you had a good time with this one. And it’s fun to know that we have illustrations along the chapters, it’s a nice idea. thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was but the twist was unexpected and the tale unfolded wonderfully.