Tag Archives: Nicola Yoon

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything
Nicola Yoon
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Published September 1, 2015

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Everything, Everything

My disease is as rare as it is famous. It’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, but basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in fifteen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives. New next door neighbors. I look out the window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. I want to learn everything about him, and I do. I learn that he is funny and fierce. And I learn that his eyes are Atlantic Ocean-blue and that his vice is stealing silverware. I learn that when I talk to him, my whole world opens up, and I feel myself starting to change—starting to want things. To want out of my bubble. To want everything, everything the world has to offer.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Review

Maddy’s narrative is accompanied by random snippets: super short movie synopses, clever charts and definitions that speak to Maddy’s state of mind, and transcripts of instant messages exchanged between Maddy and Olly.

The story is witty and cute and definitely packed with romantic tension. I was as enamored with Olly as Maddy was upon his entrance to her life. He’s fun and smart, yet has that sort of dark, angsty mystery to him, as well.

Confession: I snooped and read a spoiler (which I immediately regretted) before reading the book for myself. I was worried that knowing a major twist (which the reviewer felt was too perfect or too simplistic) would affect my ability to enjoy the story and really stay in the moment while reading it.

I found the characters so engaging that I wasn’t bothered by knowing what would happen. The outcome felt organic to me, and much more plausible within the context of the story than the review had made it seem.

The one thing that rang a little false to me was Maddy’s confidence about the outside world. I would have expected her to have more anxiety, even if she felt like the risks would be worthwhile. She seemed a little too in control at some moments.

All in all, though, I felt like Yoon does an amazing job with the character development and with the reference to poetry, philosophy and math. Those parts along with the situation concerning Maddy’s health elevate the story from a common contemporary teen romance to something much more substantive. Readers who enjoy books by John Green and movies like The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or The Truman Show should give this novel a read.

Content Notes

Profanity or Crude Language
A handful of instances of brief strong profanity, usually in reference to a drunk man berating his family.

Sexual Content
One sex scene – includes a short description of what happens. Their bodies “moving together” and that sort of thing. It is supposed to be Maddy’s first sexual experience.

Spiritual Content
Madeleine and Olly briefly discuss ideas about hope and faith – more general, less specific to any one religion really. He is pretty convinced there’s nothing more out there in the universe whereas Maddy finds the idea of faith appealing.

Maddy spies on neighbors and witnesses a confrontation that turns violent.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

Upcoming Reviews for September 2015

September is my favorite month. It’s the peak of the season for afternoon thunderstorms in Central Florida, and reading is the perfect thing to do during a thunderstorm. It’s also the month when two important things happen – my wedding anniversary and my birthday. This September also happens to be a busy month for book reviews! Here are a few you can expect to see in the coming weeks at The Story Sanctuary.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Madeline is allergic to the outside world. Then she meets Olly, a neighbor boy, and the romantic tension ensues. I’m excited but nervous about reading this book. After being blown away by Because You’ll Never Meet Me earlier this year, I’m afraid I’ll compare the two, and I don’t know how that will go. I am definitely open to love it.


The Firebug of Balrog County by David Oppegaard

A small town hits hard times, and Mack only knows one way to relieve the tension building inside him: find something to burn. How can a pyromaniac be a hero? I’m curious about this, too. So far everything I’ve read about this book has been positive. I love angsty YA, and I’m a huge fan of Flux books, so I’m definitely eager to crack the cover of this novel.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Grief is such an important issue, and it’s one that our culture doesn’t really handle so well. (But that’s another topic.) This novel focuses on a girl who lost her best friend, she believes, because of a rare jellyfish sting. She sets out on a journey to prove her theory.

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

This looks like a dystopian novel in which the children of world leaders are raised in seclusion, trained for the day in which they may be used in a hostage exchange to keep peace between nations. It looks dark but like it has real potential to explore some human rights issues. I’m excited to check it out.

I Crawl Through It by A. S. King

I’ve been on a bit of a streak reading YA novels that deal with some heavy mental health issues. This one follows four teens as they battle their way through dealing with trauma. The copy on Goodreads and NetGalley reference possibly some multiple personality or delusions.


Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Naturals #2)

A team of teens possess special abilities (not like X-men, more like, super-geniuses at certain things like lie-spotting or profiling) which make them indispensable to the FBI. It’ll take all their gifts to stop a serial killer before he snatches his next victim. Suspense isn’t my usual go-to, but this novel definitely appealed to me. I like that it focuses on the relationships between characters as well as this pressing mystery.

Lullaby by Amanda Hocking (Watersong #2)

I’ve actually read this before and for some reason never managed to write up a review. I’m listening to the audiobook version and will write my review from that. It’s about a girl who was tricked into becoming a Siren. Only after she’s transformed does she realize a few of the downsides: she can’t leave her Siren sisters; she must eat the heart of a boy to survive; and she must spend time in the ocean water or she’ll die. (The heart-eating sounds super gross, but it’s not described in the story.)

Battle of Beings by Nita Tarr (War Child #1)

This sounds a little bit like a cross between This Present Darkness and Eragon? The description intrigues me, so I’m giving it a go this month.