Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

No. of pages: 306. Read time: Less that 24 hours.

This book was good. Really good. So good that I finished it within a day and immediately set up a WordPress blog to tell the internet how good it was.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is a romantic novel following the life of Madeline Ferrier, a girl who is allergic to, shockingly, everything. Suffering from a Severe Combined Immunodeficiency with a rather unfortunate acronym, Maddy has not left her home and her mother in seventeen years. Eighteen years in the style of a palindrome (madam, I’m Adam) later and a parkour aficionado named Olly moves in next door and the letters are rearranged.

Nicola Yoon’s writing style is poetic and easy to read which, after reading a book about spotting a particular mode of transport, was exactly what I needed. The story was fast paced and moving as Yoon explores how family dynamics change as Maddy grows up and her world expands. The romance between the two characters is a joy to read, their conversations full of sarcasm and the innocence of a girl discovering the whole world, as well as a new relationship, for the first time.

The book is filled with illustrations and new ways of telling the story, for example a page showing an email or calendar moves the story on without a long narrative. Short chapters, including Madeline’s Dictionary and Spoiler Reviews (which I may or may not have stolen. Spoiler alert: I have. See below) make the book fast-paced and I feel really gives an insight into Maddy’s thought process in a new way. I would and definitely will be recommending this book to everyone I meet, I think the characters are interesting and well written and its written in such a way that would appeal to those who don’t overly enjoy reading. Like I said, a good book.

Additionally, some exchanges between the characters take place over IM and I had forgotten the joy of MSN. If you were born after 2002 you’ve truly missed out.

– Helen Worrall

Spoiler review –
Love can kill you.

6 quotes that may or may not change your life –

  • ‘”Flowers for Algernon again?” she asks. “Doesn’t that book always make you cry?”“One day it won’t,” I say. “I want to be sure to be reading it on that day.”‘
  • ‘”You have enough things to be afraid of. Love can’t kill you.”‘
  • ‘My mother believes in punctuality the way other people believe in God. Time is precious, she says, and it’s rude to waste someone else’s.’
  • ‘I tell her that he thinks I’m funny and smart and beautiful in that order, and that the order matters.’
  • ‘I was happy before I met him. But I’m alive now, and those are not the same thing.’
  • Madeline’s Dictionary‘prom-ise (‘präm∂s) n. pl. -es.1. The lie you want to keep.’

PSA: I originally started out with ten here as it’s so beautifully written and a particular line about a fairytale ghost spy princess was hard to leave out. So I haven’t. P. 47 if you were wondering.

3 word review –
Sometimes everything’s wrong.


Yoon, Nicola, Everything, Everything, (London: Corgi, 2015).
Image: https://resenhadeontem.wordpress.com/tag/everything-everything/


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