Everything, Everything

Happy Sunday, my bookworms! Well, as happy as a Sunday can be with Monday and a new work week just looming around the corner… right?

I have many blog posts to get to you guys, especially after attending Book Expo this past weekend, but I’m going to play a bit of catch up first and bring you an overdo review. This evening, I’ll be talking about Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.

This was an exceedingly fast, but extremely sweet read. Considering how quickly I flew threw these pages, I was still so attached to the characters and their quirky story.

Maddy is stuck in a world of routine, a world of sterilization, and a world of slight fear. Growing up with a rare disease, she is not allowed to venture outside, and remains in the care of her physician mother, and a nurse/family friend, Carla.

To spend her days, Maddy attends school via Skype sessions with a few teachers, plays games and watches movies with her mom, and of course, she devours her books. She makes life as unique and creative as she can, but she always has a wonder about the outside world.

That wonder increases tenfold when new neighbors move in. Maddy seems to gaze in wonderment at their every move.. or rather, his every move. His name is Olly, and she’s intrigued from the moment their eyes meet at her window.

Olly has his own secrets and issues, but the minute he sees Maddy, he can’t help but find a ray of light in his life that wasn’t there before.

From writing with markers on their windows, to e-mails and Its, the pair form a bond. Maddy’s heart (and world) begins to expand, while Olly does what he can to keep her in his life. With the help of Carla, the two arrange their first visit, and from there, everything changes.

Of course, precautions are taken, but now that Maddy has a friend, and she’s exposed to something new, she can’t turn back, no matter how much she tells herself that would be in her best interest. Olly’s stories of school, his family, and growing up make Maddy long for the outside, and as she tells us, the greatest risk is not taking one.

As their feelings develop into something more… something.. new, Maddy has a decision to make. Remain diligent in her medications, routine, and mother’s care, or take a leap of faith and discover what true love can hold for her.

In a spur of the moment, Olly and Maddy make a run for it and head for Hawaii. It’s a short trip, but just enough for them to experience utter bliss, and fall head over heels for one another. Maddy is in heaven seeing the ocean, cliff diving, and snorkeling. Having Olly by her side through it all is just the icing on the cake. They’re too busy enjoying one another to notice the other shoe getting ready to drop.. which is exactly what it does when they return home.

Having to deal with her mother, and a medical scare at the end of her trip, life gets put into perspective for Maddy, and she realizes not everyone always gets what they want. Turns out that everything Maddy grew up thinking she knew wasn’t entirely true. In one second, it seems her life was unfolding almost perfectly for the first time, and the next, it’s all crumbling around her. Does she listen to her heart and follow what (or who) she wants most? Or does she spend the rest of her life playing it safe and wondering “what if”?

I adored this story, even with all of its ups and downs. In all the seriousness of Maddy’s life, I really enjoyed her playful banter with Olly, a relationship that made her feel alive for the first time in her young life. Not only hers, but Olly’s life too. He has his own problems hidden behind the walls of his home, and Maddy changes him for the better.

The drawings and random breaks in the story made this tale vibrant and different. They really added another layer to Maddy’s personality and the vibe of the story as it unfolded (while also giving you just a slight breather among the text).

If you’re looking for a colorful, quick, and tender read, go meet Olly and Maddy. Let their zest for life fill you with happiness, and then check out the adaptation on the big screen!

My Final Rating: five out of five stars


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