Book Review: Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything*

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*I was fortunate to receive an eARC of this book via NetGallery and Penguin Random House, thank you!*

I expect most people reading this post who have an involvement with the online book community have heard of Nicola Yoon's highly anticipated debut Everything, Everything because of its interesting subject matter for a young adult novel. Maddy has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) which, in short summary, means she is allergic to such a vast amount of things that she cannot leave the house in case it triggers her illness. She has an incredibly strong relationship with her mother, who is also her doctor, as they play games, watch films, and spend all of their time that she isn't at work together. Maddy is home-schooled, has no friends from the outside world, and lives mainly to read, one of her favourite novels being The Little Prince. One day, a new family moves in next door and, drumroll please, they have a son of a similar age to Maddy. Cue googly eyes and window watching. However, this story completely took me by surprise. Expecting a YA romance with a bit of an edge but generally the same story, I was pleased to find myself reading something with a lot more drama than I anticipated, and a lot more story. 

I found the character of Olly, the boy-next-door, irritating to say the least and your typical 'edgy teenage boy in a YA novel' (beanie hats, dark jeans, lots of black, brooding but secretly soft) but this was balanced out by the character of Maddy. I was happy to see a leading character in a YA novel, if not any kind of novel, who wasn't white, but half-Japanese and half-African American, and there was very little of that 'not like other girls' spiel you get in other books of the genre (I'm looking at you Eleanor and Park). She's intelligent without being obnoxious and, without going into spoilers here, she took risks by thinking them through rather than being completely irrational. Thumbs up from me.

I can see why this book has been getting such rave early reviews, and I would recommend it to anybody who is a fan of young adult novels as this is such a pleasant escape away from what you would normally be expecting. I'm not really a fan of books that focus on a teen girl-boy relationship, but this novel had enough other things going for it to give it substance. Everything, Everything is released late this summer in the UK.

M x 

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