Monday, 31 August 2015

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

review by Maryom

Madeline Whittier is allergic to everything, so much so that she's lived all of her seventeen years in virtual isolation seeing only her mother, her nurse and a few carefully screened and decontaminated tutors. Not having known any other sort of life, she doesn't really feel cut off - but that's about to change when a new family moves in next door. Maddie finds her eye caught by the teenage son Olly, and he is insistent about wanting to get to know her. At first they chat through internet messages but soon this isn't enough, and Maddie realises she's ready to risk everything for just a few days freedom.
Everything, Everything is a convincing and compelling story about a teenage girl, locked up like some fairy-tale princess, not by a wicked witch but by her over-protective mother. To grow up never leaving the house, never having the chance to make friends, to go to school, the movies, the beach - all the things we take for granted - may seem weird to us, but not to Maddie; it's just how her life is. She's never really queried it till now when Olly's arrival next door makes her realise how much she is missing out on.
The tale is told in a variety of ways - mainly first person narrative from Maddie's point of view, but also 'transcripts' of conversations held through messenger, med charts and pictures - that help the story move along quickly, and let the reader in on how Maddie feels,sharing her hopes, dreams and frustrations.
It's a story about love; about how it can give us the ability to take on the impossible, but also how it can cripple and stifle everything.

Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Corgi/Transworld
Genre - teen

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