I wasn’t on the hype train when Everything, Everything first came out. I only recently discovered Nicola Yoon when I was at Wal-Mart and saw The Sun Is Also a Star on the YA shelf. So, I read the summary, bought it, and LOVED it! Of course, when I saw the movie trailer for Everything, Everything, I looked it up. When I saw that it was by Nicola Yoon I put it on hold at my library. Seeing as how it’s a crazy popular book, I’ve been on hold for months. So my sweet hubby picked it up for me for our anniversary! Now, Everything Everything is very controversial due to the twist ending. This review contains spoilers!! Please be aware!! It’s one of those books you can’t review in depth without spoilering so if you want a review without spoilers, check out my goodreads.
Olly and Maddy-
Well, I never thought I could fall for a hero with a name like Olly. But dang, he was so cute! He’s attractive, as noted by Maddy frequently. He is comfortable in his own skin, which I liked in relation to Maddy, who’s not comfortable at all. Olly is extremely caring. He tries hard to take care of his mom and sister, and protect them from his abusive father. I also liked how concerned he was when Maddy left her house. Even though he’s in a horrible situation, his biggest concern is her! He loves her and that’s apparent in how he reacts. Maddy is so cute! I love her heritage and how it was brought up without it being pounded into your head. Nicola Yoon is so good at that! Anyway, Maddy was almost one dimensional at first. She lives a very boring life. But things like what she writes in the front of her books are so sweet. I just love them though! They both develop so much! And by the end I was just like…
I was worried that all the adults in this book were going to be stupid, because of Olly’s parents and the twist ending. However, Olly’s Mom grows and you see that from a distance which I love! You also get some great adults like Carla, and Dr. Chase. Just because Olly’s Dad and Maddy’s Mom are messed up, there are still some great adult characters.
There are not many characters in this novel, period. Maddy is very sheltered, so it made sense. It was refreshing to not have to keep track of dozens of characters at once which happens in YA all too much.
I haven’t enjoyed writing this much since Sabaa Tahir. It kind of threw me into a slump after I finished it. I finally recovered, but it was excellent writing. I feel like she developed more in The Sun Is Also a Star. This one wasn’t quite as good, but still much better than the average YA novel.
And now the part that everyone loves or hates with a fiery passion. Spoilers ahead!!
Okay, so! It turns out that Maddy doesn’t actually have SCID’s, her mom was just unstable. After Maddy’s dad and brother both died, and Maddy was so sick, her mom became paranoid. So Maddy doesn’t have to live in a bubble, she just needs to slowly be exposed to the outside world so her baby immune system doesn’t die. Now, the big argument against this, is that people say the book is saying that people with disabilities can’t really live their life fully. That’s a fight for another blog to address. I do not have any disabilities and I don’t feel comfortable addressing issues that I haven’t researched in depth. However, I can definitely see their point. People had a similar issue in Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
I have two comments though
- I’ve read blog posts by people who do have SCID’s and the book doesn’t seem to be 100% accurate. People have said that they have jobs and do a lot more than Maddy does. I am sure that Nicola Yoon did her research. I’m sure she knows this. I think this is her trying to show you how over-the-top the mom is. How protective she is of Maddy.
- As a person who does not have disabilities, I completely agree with the disability community in saying there are not enough books about people with disabilities. That is 100% true right now. LGBTQ+ is another community who’s just breaking out of that. It will happen. Authors need to start writing those books. However, this does not mean, that Everything Everything is bad, or hurting that community. I feel like Nicola Yoon wrote the book she felt she needed to. I felt controlled as a teen. Many people can relate to that feeling. Coming at it from that perspective gives way to many questions about the power parents have over children. It brings up a whole lot of concerns about that…
Anyway, I think we need to stop fighting about this. If you believe there should be more disabled teens represented in YA lit, I agree. But do something about it! Tweet your favorite authors, ask them about it at book signings. Write your own novel! Just please stop bashing authors for writing books that aren’t intended to hurt.
Everything, Everything was a fantastic read. If you haven’t read it yet, buy it! It’s worth the read, even to just have the conversation.
What did you think of Everything, Everything? Comment below!
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