Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”

Madeline is allergic to the outside world. As a result, at eighteen years old she has never left the protective bubble of her house.  After a family moves in next door she begins to communicate with a boy named Olly, which leads to a romance that makes her long for more than she ever thought possible.

Everything, Everything is a touching debut novel about romance and the desire to experience life.  Not just to be alive, but to truly live. Madeline is a smart and strong main character whose voice I found to be very engaging. She is not a sad or mopey teenager, but a girl who has accepted the circumstances of her life.  Until Olly, that is.  The author does a great job of relaying Madeline’s struggle between the need to accept her situation and the yearning for more.  Madeline and Olly’s romance is really sweet and their interactions made me smile many times.

The book is composed of short, quick chapters along with illustrations, diagrams, charts, and instant message conversations.  This format works well overall, making it a fast and page-turning read.  I was very conflicted about the direction the story ultimately took and wish it would have developed in a different way.  However, I did very much enjoy the book and it’s two main characters.  There is a sweetness and charm that makes Everything, Everything a special read.

Favourite quote: “But it’s never just one moment. It’s a series of them. And your life can branch out from each one in a thousand different ways. Maybe there’s a version of your life for all the choices you make and all the choices you don’t.”

*ARC provided by NetGalley.  Publication date: September 1, 2015.