Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: ARC, 306 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
Everything, Everything is one of those books I was just as nervous about reading as I was excited about doing so. The premise drew me in immediately, but I feared it had the potential to get one of “those books” that I love until it ruins my life. I had high hopes from the glowing reviews left by friends, but I was cautiously optimistic because there are also a fair number of negative reviews out there, too. Turns out I had no cause to actually be worried about any of these things. Everything, Everything was a joy to read, from start to finish. It was a wonderful breath of fresh air and I seriously loved everything about it.
It was impossible to not feel sorry for Maddy in the beginning of the book. She was young and intelligent and vibrant. She had a great personality and was a good kid. It made me sad she was missing out on so much because of her illness. My heart ached for her because I wanted more for her. As the book went on however, I became enamored with her character growth as she began experiencing things “normal” teens do. Olly? I absolutely adored him. I loved his quirks. He was sweet and funny and struggling with his own issues at home. The pairing of these characters was perfect for me. Their home lives might’ve been quite different, but they were able to relate to each other because of them. Plus, they were just cute as hell together. There’s something so satisfying about young love. Maybe it’s the way the innocence and curiosity mesh together. They just left me grinning from ear to ear.
I can’t say I’m really surprised by the mixed reviews for this book though. I can totally understand why it’s so polarizing. Despite my initials fears, as soon as I started reading, I knew I was in for a special experience. There was never a question about which side of the fence I’d fall on. The characters and their stories spoke to me. I loved the voice and the overall tone of the book. The message about life and love and pursuing both to the fullest gave me food for thought and just made me happy. It also made me emotional at times. One of the things I loved about this book was how it was told not only through narrative, but in IM conversations, emails, drawings and “life is short” spoiler book reviews. I couldn’t dream of putting this book down once I picked it up. (And I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it.) It was a quick, easy read that was funny and heartwarming and unique. This book is diverse, romantic and looks at sex in a realistic and positive way. This book definitely left a mark. I won’t forget the story or the characters for a long time and I can see me rereading this story over and over again for years to come.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.