Review: Everything, Everything.
Sometimes I reread my favorite books from back to front. I start with the last chapter and read backward until I get to the beginning. When you read this way, characters go from hope to despair, from self-knowledge to doubt. In love stories, couples start out as lovers and end as strangers. Coming-of-age books become stories of losing your way. Your favorite characters come back to life
At some point I think I’m going to do a post about why I (aged 32 and a half years) still love a good YA novel so hard. At some point. Not now though, because now I still have a backlog of reviews to post and I haven’t done a book haul or a post about what’s coming up in ages and I need to get back in the game. The point is, though, is that I do love a good YA novel so hard and it’s relevant now because I want to talk about Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. Which, FYI, I liked.
It’s about, in a nutshell, a girl who is allergic to the world and as such hasn’t left her house for seventeen years (and seriously how terrible and awful would that be.) The only people she ever sees are her Mum, and her nurse. And then some people move in next door. A family with a son who’s a bit of a hottie and there it is: teen love story with a twist. & yeah ok it is a little bit instalove, but go with it: it gets better, I promise and the slow build of this first love after that is delicious.
It's a hard concept to hold on to--the idea that there was a time before us. A time before time.
In the beginning there was nothing. And then there was everything.
And it’s kind of excellent. It’s light-hearted and funny and some of the writing is just out of this world gorgeous. I made so many notes when I was reading this, so many ‘I NEED TO QUOTE THAT’s’ you have no idea, because I love those sentences that make you want to roll around in delight and kick your feet and do a bit of squealing, and I find I get that more in young adult books actually than anyplace else: the richness of description, the relatability (blogger tells me that's not a word. I DON'T CARE), the use of words that’s powerful enough to make me goosebumpy. I love it. So, the writing is good. Italics good. & the characters (Madeleine’s Mum aside) are excellent and well rounded and diverse (it bugs me that I still feel like I have to give kudos for an African-American main character because really that so should not be a thing. But it is. & so hats off to you Nicola Yoon.) and flawed: Madeleine is selfish and she wants, she wants so badly all of the time and I love that we got to see that, that she’s painted as this very real teenage girl who is quite rightly pissed off at the hand she’s been dealt rather than the kind of Pollyanna character that you sometimes want to slap in the face.
Wanting just leads to more wanting. There’s no end to desire.
It went a bit fast at the end, which bugged me because that’s a thing that bugs me. Sorry. It’s so annoying though isn’t it, when you’re loving a book and you’re totally engrossed and you can’t turn the pages fast enough and you want to know every. little. thing. And then BAM! The end. I had so many feelings about the way this ended. I mean, we’re not talking One Day levels of rage here, but more a big old sigh because why? Why give me this story that sucked me in and these kids that I fell in love with and then Do The Thing and then after that fast-forward to an unsatisfying end so quickly I felt dizzy. S’just not fair. I also figured out what was going to happen pretty early on, so it maybe loses marks for predictability too.
I feel though, that if a copy of this book crosses your path you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t give it a read. Go forth.