Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

June 3rd, 2015 Kimberly Review 88 Comments

3rd Jun
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Published by: Random House
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
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.

About Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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88 Responses to “Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon”

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  1. 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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  2. 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!

    kindlemom1 recently posted: WoW Pick of the Week!
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  3. 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…

    Braine recently posted: Disliked It: Blush by Cherry Adair
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    Donna C recently posted: Review: The Balance Project
    • 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.

  6. 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.

    Ramona recently posted: Answering Blog Comments
  7. 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.

    Kathy recently posted: Book Bistro: Big Little Lies
  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    Christy recently posted: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
  10. 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!

    Rita recently posted: FC FP Tuesday Intros
    • 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 🙂

    • 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. Lauren

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

  12. 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!