“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.”
Author: Nicola Yoon
Published: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books
I typically do not read a lot of contemporary books but I picked up this one due to the immense hype and stellar reviews. I actually first heard about this book from Naya Reads and Smiles and if you have not seen her Youtube channel, please do so cause she is just so awesome and her personality is so bright! I absolutely love her bookish videos! Since this was one of her recommendations for contemporary, I decided to read it since the premise sounded so interesting. Also, I saw this book on BookOutlet and obviously, I just had to get it! LOL
Everything, Everything follows the story of Madeline who has a rare a disease in which she is completely allergic to the outside world. In other words, she can not step outside since the air is considered to be toxic for her that it may even result in the collapse of her lungs. To cope with her illness, she spends her days behind closed doors of her home which are carefully sealed through an airtight lock. Her days are pretty much run on the same schedule, meeting her nurse, taking online classes and reading a plethora of books. It is not until she hears a moving truck next door when her life completely changes. One of her neighbors, is a boy named Olly and he is mostly the opposite of her: bold, daring and unpredictable. His personality makes her automatically drawn to him and together they go on a beautiful journey which helps us understand that life is precious and you should not waste it.
- Madeline/Maddy – Dreamer, Determined and Curious; Can I just say I loved the bit of diversity added in here with Maddy being half African American and half Japanese? How cool is that? I really loved her as a character since she was trying hard to balance the life with her mother and the rules she had to abide by because of her illness but at the same time, she is also so curious and drawn to the world behind her window. And she loves to read, which was one of the reasons I connected with her so fast!
- Olly – Oh my god, he is just so swoon-worthy I can not!!! He is quite the opposite of Madeline which is one of the reasons why she is so drawn to him. He was more unpredictable as opposed to her strict and ordered lifestyle. I also did love that there was a back story to him as well and we did not just focus on the main character. His experiences were also what drove Maddy to grow and this enabled them to complement each other so well!
- Carla – I absolutely loved Carla! She is was both a nurse and second mother to Maddy and she was one of the characters in the book which offered the most wisdom and insight about the world and life in general. She does have her own flaws but you can not help but love her for it!
- Pauline – A protective mother who at some points did get overbearing but you understood why she did the things she did as the story progressed.
I did appreciate that there was not much insta love in this novel. It started off with curiosity which then grew into a friendship and then later blossomed into something even more. This is one of the reasons I do stay away from the contemporary book since my primary choice is not young adult/romance novels but I did appreciate the way this story kept the contemporary/romance feel but also have a deeper message behind it. There was a good balance and I appreciated that aspect of the book.
The first half of the book did keep my interest which is one of the reasons why I kept reading throughout the night. It was also a very simple read too so you would be able to finish it rather quickly. The second half of the book is when the plot starts to thicken and we see a more rapid shift in the story. It was not too abrupt since it did fit the situation/tribulations the characters were going through in the story.
I honestly ship Madeline and Olly together! Omg they were so cute and sweet! They had their own interests but they never once judged each other on it and did maintain a level of respect and endearment for one another. The theme was quite similar to other novels which were developed around the same concept of illnesses but it is a message worth reiterating since there are times when we do take life for granted. Make sure to Live life to the fullest! 🙂
Until next time, keep reading everyone!