Release Date: 3rd September 2015
Edition: UK e-proof, NetGalley review copy
Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?
Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.
I was really excited about Everything, Everything. It has a wonderful premise promising bittersweet romance and a hefty dollop of torment, but I was quite disappointed.
Nicola Yoon’s debut is incredibly easy to read and even though I didn’t really feel anything for it, I still read it in around three hours. The prose is often beautiful and I highlighted many a line and passage on my Kindle, but I couldn’t connect with it. I don’t know what it was about Maddie and Olly, but there was nothing about them that stood out for me. I didn’t fall in love with them or their love, though there were some undoubtedly sweet and romantic moments. I just couldn’t feel it and it was incredibly frustrating.
The thing I liked most about Yoon’s debut is the little extra bits in Maddie’s narration. The one-liner book reviews she calls spoiler reviews where she sums up the feeling/message/impression it gave her and the words she defines as part of her own dictionary based on what she feels and experiences. These were the moments that I felt I most got to know Maddie and connected with her. I felt that she had a lot of potential in her character as she’s incredibly intelligent but also really quite naïve and it wasn’t made the most of in enough in my opinion.
I honestly thought that by the end of the novel, Maddie’s mum was by far the most interesting character in Everything, Everything. Her single most goal in life is to protect the world from harming her daughter. She’s a desperate and terrified of losing Maddie as she's already lost so much.
Sadly, Everything, Everything didn’t quite do it for me, but Nicola Yoon’s writing is so beautiful that I’ll very likely be checking out more of her books in the future.
Thanks to NetGalley and Corgi for the review copy.