Book review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

If you love Eleanor and Park, Hazel and Augustus, and Mia and Adam, you’ll love the story of Maddy, a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. This innovative and heartfelt debut novel unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more. Goodreads.

Oh I so want to like this book so much. It was on my “want to read” list, which I only reserved for books that I would totally wait for. Let’s just say that by the time I’m done with this book, the feelings that I thought were going to be overflowing in me didn’t really came. Here’s the thing, I find it incredibly hard to sympathise with Maddy. I get it that she’s suppose to be sick, but let’s be honest, it seems to me she’s trying so HARD to be witty and nonchalant about her sickness. But, hey, I’ve never been sick to the point that anything I do can trigger death, so maybe I’m just being ignorant. To be fair, I can’t seem to enjoy Olly as well. I get that he’s a character in a book, but he’s just very two dimensional to me. There’s nothing in the portrayal of Olly that can make me feel like when I read Park in Eleanor and Park.

Even with all the diary entries and illustrations, I still can’t find myself getting amuse by this book. Granted I did read the book in just four days, but that’s mostly because I just want to end the book so that I wouldn’t feel entirely bad about not finishing it. Another thing that I couldn’t enjoy is the fact that the book is pretty predictable. Like, very predictable. I don’t know if the author never quite meant it to be a secret, but that plot twist was so predictable. The moment I saw the happening before my eyes, I kept on muttering, “oh man, I totally call dibs on that plot twist. Yep, totally called it.”

I don’t know if I should be happy or pissed that I’m not surprised with that plot twist, but I’m definitely losing my spirit the more I read the book. There’s just so many things that I kept on complaining about throughout the book. First off, how could Maddy just leave her house like that? How could she leave her Mum like that? Did she not think what it would do to her Mum? How selfish could one be? Yeah, I get that you want to see the world and what have you, but running away? Just like that? Oh man, my inner self just screams with agony. Second, what’s up with her not  wanting to forgive her Mum? Sure, what her Mum did was borderline psychotic, but to be fair, her Mum was kinda depressed. It’s not like she’s in her perfect mind. Couldn’t a girl at least stick around and make sure her Mum is well taken care off during her depression? Like, Maddy, come on! She’s your Mother, for God’s sake.

Okay, now that I think about it, I guess it’s the characters that annoys me to the point not liking this book. Maddy is just annoying. Olly is just too two dimensional. Maddy’s Mum was just off, even from the very beginning of the book. Olly’s families are like condiments that are just practically unnecessary to begin with. I guess Carla was the only character that I can actually like, just a bit. Just a teeny tiny bit.

Now, I’m going to explain a bit about this book and what I think about it (sure, the whole previous paragraphs are basically complaints, so you can all scroll through that. A bit late, I guess.); so, I don’t really like the book, but I’m not going to give it a two star. At the end of the day, this book, at least, deserves a three star. The only reason this book can hold its three stars was because of the question posed in the book. It questions about wanting something, about how once one had want something, one can never know how to stop; it’s just going to keep wanting more. To me, this is an interesting question. There was a song by Manchester Orchestra called I can Feel a Hot One, and one of the lyrics were Because enough is never quite enough. What’s enough?

I had this lyrics etched in my brain since my last year of university, and the older I get, the more relatable the question gets. How do you know that enough is enough? What defines as enough? You think you knew, but given the reality on a silver platter before you, then you wouldn’t realise if it is enough or not. Even more so when what’s been given to you is something that you had never taste before and now you enjoyed the taste so much, that you just won’t stop thinking that you felt that it is not enough for you think that you’ve been deprived of that taste for so long.

In the end, the book didn’t really answer the question but it doesn’t really matter, because in the end I think that question is the kind of questions one can never set an answer to it. So, there goes my rambling about this book. Feel free to give this book a read; it’s not a bad read, it’s just not what I thought it would be when I first read the synopsis.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️☆☆

Title: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

Goodreads link


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