Everything, Everything / Nicola Yoon
I got this book when I was out of the country visiting family and friends in March. When I came back, I started reading it right away. Three quarters in, I thought I the bright light was beckoning me home. Suffering from jet lag and unable to cope with the time change, my husband rushed me to the hospital. I was in the emergency from 2 in the morning until lunch the next day. Ever since then, I was not able to go back to this. Until last night.
It’d been close to five months, but it was as if I never set this book aside. Everything came back in a rush of glorious familiarity. I remember all that I’ve come to love about Maddy and Olly. The pretty prose that felt so natural, so attainable and the writing that was pretty close to flawless. I remember why I fell in love with this book so easily, and how it made me want to start over as soon as I closed the book. Books like this are rare. When you connect with the characters on a whole new level, and you can’t find a single thing to complain about (not that I was looking for any).
Despite suffering from a disease that plagued her all her life, Madeline is still thankful for all the love, care and protection her mom and her nurse, Carla bestow upon her. In fact, the only time she hated being confined in a literal bubble, was when Olly’s family moved in next door. We see her long for the kind of normalcy most of us probably take for granted day in and day out: the warmth of the sun, the smell of the air, the whisper of a breeze on her skin. I think most of all, she wishes for another human’s touch and interaction (besides those of her mom’s and her nurse’s). She was thrilled and a little scared that the boy in black who has a penchant for parkour started trying to get her attention.
Maddy is the perfect character for us, booklovers. She lives and breathes the printed word, and it shows. Ms. Yoon made it convincing for us to see a well-spoken, astute person that is attributable to being well read.
Olly and Maddy are also the kind of characters that you can’t help but love. One of the things that made them all that much loveable is that you see the heartbreak looming in the horizon. I mean, how can you not? It’s not as if Maddy can have a normal relationship with anyone. She can’t even leave her house! And Olly’s family life is far from enviable. He lives in a turbulent, violent home.
If only we get to spend a bit more time with Maddy after the plot twist! I think it would’ve been nice to see her come to herself and accept her new reality. My heart broke for a mother who only ever want to protect her child. I wish it had a different ending. I wish it had a longer ending, an epilogue that will tell us of the fate of these characters. But I’m not going to hold that against this book. I can only be thankful for the chance to read it.
GOODREADS SUMMARY | September 1st, 2015 | Double Day Canada | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars