I finally read Everything, Everything! Go me!
First, I need to admit that while I was reading this I got to a little past the halfway point and started reading up on SCID. I found an article about this book written by the mother of someone whose daughter has SCID and the BIG PLOT TWIST was SPOILED FOR ME.
I was so, so disappointed. My review will not be doing this to you because I love you, ok? But my enjoyment of the book definitely suffered because the big twist was now expected.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts:
I appreciated how creative the layout was. There were IMs and emails and journal entries and lots of little illustrations that added that “contemporary” feel to it and helped break up the text. I also really enjoyed all of Maddy’s definitions of words as they were very tongue-in-cheek.
I also adored Maddy’s relationships with her mother and also her nurse, Carla. They treated Maddy’s situation very differently, but I really enjoyed that aspect of it because people react and care and love in different ways.
- Carla in terms of encouraging Maddy to live the way she wants to live: “Love can’t kill you.” I absolutely adored Carla as a character. Her advice (even though a bit dangerous considering the circumstances?) and hugs were just so sweet.
- Maddy’s mother’s protective nature for keeping her daughter healthy and safe no matter what was a real highlight. The house has this state of the art air filtering system all to keep Maddy, who suffers from SCID, healthy. Her mother hired a nurse to always check Maddy’s vitals. But despite being a doctor with constant concern over Maddy’s wellbeing, she always leaves plenty of time to simply be a mom by playing their own version of Scrabble with her daughter. At one point, Maddy reflects of the normal life that her mother has given up for her and that was very endearing.
Big twist would have been extremely unexpected if I hadn’t been spoiled because, like I said, I definitely was not expecting it. In fact, I was thinking the book was being unrealistic, but then that happened and every thing made sense. I bet if I had not been spoiled on that aspect, I would have had my mind blown, which I can always appreciate for the sheer shock factor.
Oh, insta-love. Why do you seem to make an appearance in almost every hyped YA book?
Yes, the dreaded instant teenage attraction was a big factor in this book.
- I can certainly understand it on Maddy’s part as she cannot leave the house and probably hasn’t had a neighbor her age in awhile so she enjoys taking peeks from her window at the boy next door.
- Olly, however, is less believable in this regard to instant affection for a stranger. He comes across as a relatively average teenage male, albeit with some issues at home (I won’t go into too much detail so as not to spoil anything), with nothing holding him back from engaging in relationships so his eagerness to meet and then make goo-goo eyes for the girl in the window comes out of nowhere. Why her? Why is she instantly the center of your world on first laying eyes on her, separated by a pane of glass?
The book did come across as a bit John Green-y in terms of both characters seem to have above average intelligence for their age. Olly being a math wiz and Maddy reading and analyzing classics for fun. And then Olly’s quirk for parkour. So they both came across older and much more mature for their age, which didn’t make too much sense considering they’re high school students.
First person narrative: this is simply a personal preference of mine, but I generally find myself enjoying a book less if it’s told in this POV. I prefer to walk alongside the characters, as if I was a friend, rather than live inside their mind if that makes any sense at all.
Yes, I put the big twist as a positive, but I can also see its effects as negative. It came across a bit of a cop-out for the sheer sake of a happy ending.
Before I even got halfway through the book I was thinking “this is alright.” And I kept that opinion of it throughout. It didn’t get any worse, but it also didn’t get any better. So it was very easy for me to give this a rating, for if you look at my book reviews page, you know that an “alright” for me is a 3 star book.
I’m sure if the ending hadn’t been spoiled for me, it would have bumped up my enjoyment a bit, but unfortunately that didn’t happen for me.
Overall, the book gives you exactly what you ask for: a light and easy summer read, but with an interesting twist. I’m not complaining!
Have you read this book?
What are your thoughts?
Are you a fan of insta-love?
‘Til next time!
NOTE: All gifs shown were created by me, but feel free to use wherever (just don’t claim as your own)!