By Nicola Yoon
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Source: PublisherMy disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my 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.
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.
Going in, I knew that this book was going to be unlike anything that I've ever read. I mean, how often do you come across a girl who is literally allergic to everything, so she's forced to stay in her purified home? Then, throw in the fact that a gorgeous boy moves in next door and you've got yourself one intriguing YA novel.
Madeline is allergic to the world, which means she hasn't left her house in 17 years. She spends her time learning online from tutors, reading, working on construction projects, and spending time with her mom and nurse. When she spies a moving truck moving in the new family next door, she's struck by the dark, yet lively boy name Oliver. While watching from her room, Olly catches Madeline staring and strikes up a friendship that helps Madeline feel more than she's ever experienced before.
Wow, I had no idea that this book would be as engaging and emotional as it was. Maddy started to get to know Olly through email and IM and it's so adorable watching them get to know each other. What's more incredible, though, is watching Maddy learn what it's like to live and want that feeling more and more. She's literally closed off from the world in a vacuum-sealed white room. I don't know why, but I found myself hating her mom for keeping her from the world so much. Maddy had to keep Olly a secret because he mom doesn't want Maddy to ever have her heart broken by a guy who wouldn't be able to handle her illness. How does her mom know how her relationship with Olly will turn out? Maddy deserves so much to just live and that's what she ends up fighting for in this novel.
As Maddy and Olly's relationship progressed, I loved seeing Maddy slowly fall for Olly and discover feelings she'd never felt before. She feels butterflies, she feels giddy, and she feels heartbreak all for the first time. Ugh, seriously. And the end of this book was not at all what I was expecting and it made me feel so many emotions. Oh, and I almost forgot! There are a lot of unique, whimsical pieces added to this book, like emails, IMs, notes, poems, etc. that make this that much more fun to read. Since Maddy is a reader, she also talked a lot about books and how they correlated with what she was going through when she read them, which I loved. This was definitely a fast read, but it still had some serious emotions.
In the end, Everything, Everything exceeded my expectations and I loved every minute of it. This is a story of a girl who's never lived learning how life should really be.
In three words, how would you describe Everything, Everything?
Love is daring.
Where did you get the idea to write a romance revolving around a girl allergic to the outside world falling for the new boy next door?
I started writing the book when my daughter was just 4 months old. Like any new mom, I worried about protecting her from everything – the common cold, falling down, eating dirt. She was so tiny and fragile. My protective instinct was going haywire! Anyway, all that worry made me wonder what life would be like for a girl who needed constant protection all her life, not just when she was a little baby. I wondered what kind of relationship she would have with her mom and how that relationship would change if/when other people came into her life.
How much research went into writing a novel about a girl allergic to the outside world?
I did quite a bit of research, but it’s important to note that this isn’t a medical book. It isn’t about being sick so much as it is about what it really means to be alive.
If you could be any character from Everything, Everything, who would you be and why?
I’d like to be Madeline when she’s experiencing everything for the first time. A lot of the fun of being the mom of a 3-year-old is that I get to see the world through her eyes. I get to experience some of her wonder and joy when she has her firsts. I’ll always remember how wide her eyes got when she first saw the ocean and how she tried to run right into it like it was made just for her.
What does it look like when you write? Do you need music? Silence? Write at home? Somewhere else? What helps make the writing magic happen?
I write longhand into notebooks from 4 – 6 AM from my home office. I wear headphones and listen to ambient sounds, usually a rainstorm. The other thing I need is my electric kettle so I can drink all the tea in the world!
What can we expect next from you?
I’m on deadline for book two right now but I can’t say much about it!! Let’s just say there’s love involved. :)
I want to give a huge thank you to Nicola Yoon for her interview here on Peace Love Books! If you haven't yet, check out Everything, Everything for an unforgettable story!