The final book selection for our teen book club this year was Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon. This is a really fast read–I finished it in two days, and I wasn’t under any pressure to read it quickly. It is just really compelling, and it hooks the reader–you must know what happens next.
As Phoebe notes below, she was turned off by the book initially because it is touted as a young adult romance, but that is not all it is. There are elements of mystery, family relationships, and growing up. Maddy has an extreme immune system disorder–she is basically allergic to everything. So, as a result, she never goes outside, and few people come to her. She pretty much lives in a bubble.
All of that starts to change when Olly and his family move in next door. He and Maddy start with texting and chat, but it doesn’t satisfy them for long, and Maddy begins to push against her restrictions. There are consequences to this, and there are some revelations, but, for the most part, the story unfolds in a way that is believable and realistic. I enjoyed the story, even though I am far from the target audience.
There is a sex scene, but it is really subtle, and it is possible to “not see it” if you don’t want to. One of the younger readers in the group talked about the characters “making out,” and the scene could be read that way.
Potential talking points include what parents feel they need to do to protect their kids, teen relationships, and living with chronic illness.
Now for Phoebe’s review!
Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon, is a great book. Normally, I hate romance books, but this was the perfect balance; it was romancy, but not too romancy. Everything, Everything is about a girl named Maddy who is so sick that she can’t leave her house. Then a boy named Olly moves next door. Maddy falls in love with Olly. With the help of her nurse, Carla, she gets to meet Olly, and they develop a relationship. Maddy starts to take more risks, and dangerous situations result.
What I liked about this book the most is that although it is a romance book, romance isn’t all that it is about. It is about Maddy’s quest to meet Olly and her struggle to have a life despite her illness. Another thing I liked about this book is that Maddy is homeschooled, and she likes to read. Throughout my one year of being homeschooled, I have not read a book where any of the characters happen to be homeschooled.
This book has a lot twists, and I think I might give some other romance books a chance now that I read Everything, Everything. I would recommend this book to people who think that they don’t like romance books. If it hadn’t been for my homeschool book club, I would have never read this, but I am glad I did. I look forward to reading Yoon’s next book, The Sun is Also a Star, and seeing the movie version of Everything, Everything when it comes out.