Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (4 out of 5)
Another young adult title that isn’t out yet, this one courtesy of Delacorte Press, also known as Penguin Random House. This book is released on September 1, 2015, so take your time on running down to your normal local bookstore and buying it… by the time you walk there in sandals and socks, you may just make it in time!
I was leery about taking it, but something about that cover kept at me, so I borrowed it from Holly and read it(Holly is our children’s frontlist buyer at the store, in case I haven’t formally introduced her yet). I thought upon reading the back cover that it was a “clichéd” story that you hear about everyday. Then I re-read it when I was not at the zoo known as work, and realized the character wasn’t just allergic to one or two things, more like everything! How the heck would this play out? Had to read it, and had to find out. And I don’t regret it. It was a great little book. I say little because it’s only 240 pages, and a quick read once you get going.
Madeline can’t go outside her home, she’s basically a prisoner, due to being allergic to EVERYTHING. Yes, EVERYTHING. She sees only her mom and her nurse, Carla. This is the 18 year old’s life… until the day she looks outside and sees a moving truck. A tall boy dressed all in black gives her the eye through the window. Our boy in black is Olly, and as usually happens in a young adult novel, this signals the beginning of IT. IT being Madeline falling in love with Olly. How is this going to work when Madeline can’t even leave her house? I’m going to warn you that if you’re someone who has to read a book with a straight-up format, you’re going to have a hard time, because Madeline tells us her story in diary posts, texts, charts, drawings, and lists…so if you can’t read a narrative through those devices, this is going to be a hard read for you. It wasn’t for me, because I like anything out of the ordinary. Madeline’s story is out of the ordinary, so is her and Olly’s friendship and burgeoning romance. But how can this work? Madeline is a smart cookie, although her traitorous heart is doing funny things to her, and everything, everything changes. Quite a pair, these two. I had no idea where this was going to end up, but when it did, well, I really was pleased with the outcome. If you like a young adult book that isn’t the normal story you would expect, take the leap in September. Put on your flip flops and sandals and start walking to that local bookstore to pick up a copy.
What did I get from this? Madeline is a great girl with a lot of things against her, but she never gives up hope. Love at first sight can exist. Love can exist, even in the most trying of circumstances. That’s what I got from this, a lot of hope that love can conquer all. And who doesn’t want to read a story like that?