[I received a copy of this book from its Canadian publisher Penguin Random House Canada. This does not affect my opinion of the novel.]
“Love is worth everything. Everything.”
I first heard about Everything, Everything at the wonderful #RHC Blogger Preview the ladies at Random House Canada hosted back in February. Everyone was super excited about it, and I couldn’t wait to read it! So, was Everything, Everything like the title suggests?
Everything, Everything is the story of Madeline Whittier, who has been confined to her house her whole life due to a sickness that makes her allergic to the outside world. She lives a sterile life inside her house with only her mom and her carer Carla to interact with. Then, one day, a new family moves in to the house next door. Suddenly, Maddy is tempted to risk everything, everything…
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s a quick read, the story is captivating (in fact, I read the whole book in only a few sittings), and it features illustrations that Yoon’s husband created (so cute!). It was a lot of fun, if you can call it that, getting to know Maddy and learning more about her situation as the book went on. I can hardly imagine not being able to go outside for something as simple as fresh air. Her friendship with the boy next door was exciting and dangerous and it reminded me how falling in like was like as a teenager (rare disease excepted).
That being said, it has been a few months since I read the book, and besides remembering all of the excitement I had for the first half of the book, I also started rethinking how I felt about the second half. It’s really hard to talk about it without revealing any essential information, but it did end up being quite unrealistic and over-dramatic, if I can say that. (Although, one could argue that the premise is unrealistic to begin with.) When I was reading the book I was completely swept away by it, and I guess what I’m trying to say is that after thinking about the book for a few months, I wish that there was more of a resolution at the end. I’m sure this paragraph has been terrible to read as I’m kind of beating around the bush, but I’d love to talk to anyone who’s finished the book already!
Verdict: I’d recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick teen read with a unique plot (and adorable illustrations), but be prepared that the second half (while incredibly fascinating) may not be as strong as the first half.
Read if: You’re looking for a quick read to get you out of a slump, are intrigued by how someone might live without ever going outside, want to read something created by a husband and wife team!