Why Everything Everything Gives Me Spooky Deja Vu

By the time you read this scheduled post, I will be in the deep dark forest in the middle of nowhere, going to the toilet in a hole in the ground because of this school camp that is supposed to be a “bonding experience” and an “exercise in teamwork” (that’s literally quoted straight from the blurb of the advertising booklet). Please keep me in your thoughts, and pray that I do not get eaten by a bear. I predict that I will suffer from internet withdrawal symptoms, of which include:

  1. Patting your pocket to find your phone and realising that you don’t have it.
  2. Thinking: “I so need to tweet this” and then realising that you can’t.
  3. Wondering if Faith and Sarah have posted anything new and realising that you can’t check.
  4. Having an amazing idea for a blogging post and then realising you can’t make a note of it because you’re currently halfway through a 12 kilometre hike with a ten kilogram pack on your back.

Also, I find this post incredibly ironic because I’m reviewing a book about a girl who can’t go outdoors while I go very much outdoors. Save me.

P.S. Apologies for any delay in the commenting. I will probably be busy fending off an angry mob of mosquitos who all want to suck me dry while I sleep under a ripped tarp and rain drips onto my head. Will comment when I am back to civilisation.

Does the blurb of this book sound familiar to you? Female teenage protagonist who is allergic to the outside world falls in love with hot guy?

Those of you who’ve been on this blog since the very start would know that I’ve reviewed a book very, very similar to this one. And that is Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. Both books follow a creepily similar plot line, with a main female protagonist who is unable to go out of the house due to some kind of illness. She meets a boy, somehow, and they fall in love and everybody lives happily ever after.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Everything Everything is for the readers who like a little more depth to their books. The readers who like to ponder the meaning of life while reading poignant books that challenge their understanding of human behaviour. Finding Audrey is much lighter. There are dashes of humour here and there that work really well to alleviate the mood of the book, and stop it from sinking into a heavier book about depression and illness. Which is exactly what Everything Everything has done.

But that’s not exactly a bad thing. This book is a tale of young love and heartbreak – two things that are not exactly the lightest topics to write about (at one point, I thought it was going to pull a Romeo and Juliet and both the lovers were going to die and I was about to give it a zero – because I hate it when rash teenage characters decide that they can’t live without the person they met two seconds ago and kill themselves – but phew! It didn’t).

Let’s talk about the characters.

Madde and Ollie (the two main characters) were written extremely well. Their personalities popped off the page, and they each had their little character quirks that made them really interesting to read about.

However, the secondary characters really could do with some work. The mother, a really crucial character to the story, was a little underdeveloped and could have done with another minute or two in the oven some more work on. Carla, also a fairly significant character, was probably more complex than the mother, even though she played less of a role.

And now, of course, to the ending. I’ve purposely left this to last, even though most people will talk about it first when mentioning this book. No spoilers ahead.

For me, I didn’t enjoy the ending. It felt a little too happily-ever-after. You know what, I wouldn’t have minded too much if somebody died. Not all books need to be so optimistic.

Also, it felt a little forced. From about page 150 onwards, I found myself thinking about how Yoon would finish the novel, because her plot seemed really watertight. And then BAM she whips out this ending that seems really contrived and unnatural. It’s like when a serial killer is facing court, and it’s obvious that he’s committed the crime, and then suddenly, his lawyer finds him a loophole and he

manages to slip out of jail. It’s annoying and frustrating.

Hence, although I really enjoyed this book (and whoohoo for diversity – Maddie is half Japanese, half African American), I’m only going to rate it 3/5. I really do recommend this book, although I definitely preferred Finding Audrey. Actually, you know what, what the heck, read both of them.

My 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.everythingeverything-264x400

Goodreads / Book Depository

Rating: 3/5


30 thoughts on “Why Everything Everything Gives Me Spooky Deja Vu

  1. Just discovering your blog as you gave me a like on Education Pathways, and although I am probably a gazillion years older than you (as in, I am retired and living in Mexico), I identified so much with lots of the comments on this post. To start, I was right there with you and “sublimereads” cringing at the thought of yet another team building exercise. They are so artificial and the “wonderful” results don’t carry over. Hey, if I want to work with someone and they want to work with me, we’ll make it happen. Otherwise, I do just fine all by myself.

    Next, there is the whole issue of “no Internet.” We have lived in two towns in Mexico and have visited a lot more. We are really attracted to the very remote villages, but the attraction ends where the lack of connectivity begins. Fortunately there is a compromise in that the larger towns usually have Internet so we don’t have to live in a metropolitan area.

    Finally camping. I have done my share with backpacking, a solar shower (aka a water bottle sunning on a rock), descending a snow covered mountain slope straight down with a preschooler in the lead. Been there, done that, and am now very comfortable with Holiday Inn kind of camping. Regardless of which kind of camping, I ALWAYS have a book with me (you know, in case of an emergency)! Again, I refer here to “sublimereads” and her good sense: ignore those friends.

    To get back, almost, to your review: I am a Sophie Kinsella fan reading all of her books available in the Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico (English Language) library. Having done that, I moved on literally to another town and I plan on downloading Finding Audrey. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by my blog! Camp was an absolute NIGHTMARE but oh well. Glad it’s over. I certainly found it a great BONDING EXPERIENCE and TEAMWORK BUILDING EXERCISE. (Did you pick up on a subtle sarcasm?)

      I did actually bring some books, but I didn’t get round to reading much since the instructors rarely gave us any downtime at all. Too busy bonding and frolicking in the woods, I guess.

      Glad you’re a Sophie Kinsella fan! Definitely do read Finding Audrey, I really REALLY enjoyed it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I honestly have no idea why people camp for fun. I MEAN WHY. Nature. Ugh. It kills people all. the. time. My parents have trundled off to go camping and I remain with my wifi and electricity and comfortable bed. Cupcake for who is the wise one here. AHEM.

    Anyway! I’m glad you sort of enjoyed this one. 😂 I HAVE TO ADMIT I LOATHED IT. omg. I felt like the plot had soooo many holes…like how come she could only eat white food? How come she never EVER got sick during the story? I felt it was so unbelievable, and then…the twist. I agree it was contrived. 😦 And I kind of hate the nurse for being all like “oh just go live your life in Hawaii and probably die! Bye darling!” I mean, WUT EVEN?!?!?? I was just so angry by the end. -_-

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was laughing my head off until I realised you weren’t being ironic and you’re actually going to be toileting in a hole in the ground. Why would anyone do that to you? Why? I think the giant mosquitoes will be the least of your problems out there. I’m not cut out for camping either.

    I loved Finding Audrey. I thought it was a lovely take on mental illness, especially anxiety. Too often when a teen character is diagnosed with a mental illness in YA, the world stops for them to ‘recover’, which isn’t at all realistic. Parents still need to work. Families still have drama and life moves forward even if not for that particular character.

    I bought this on Kindle not long after it was released, but never had the need to read it as yet. I think with such similar storylines, I’ll probably be comparing the two as I read as well. Seeing you still enjoyed it and to be honest, to honor the memory of Paul now that you’ll be a some park rangers new wife, I’ll move this up my TBR and give it a read.

    Fabulous review poppet ❤ ❤ see you IF you get back.

    Liked by 1 person


      No but seriously I swear I lost 63% of my mind in the forest. MENTAL TRAUMA IS NOTHING TO LAUGH AT *shudder*

      I actually didn’t think about what you said about Finding Audrey, and the whole “recovering” thing, but now that you’ve pointed it out, it just adds to one of the many reasons why I loved the book. I did enjoy Everything Everything and I definitely think you would as well. Tell me how you go!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay wait, does this blurb sound familiar? Male teenage protagonist allergic to the outdoors fell in love with internet? ಠ⌣ಠ [insert * joking * sarcasm]

    AHAHA man just READING the words, “bonding experience” and an “exercise in teamwork” is making me CRINGE. XD Me initially: POOR SOUL you get to go on a trip for a week??? But then again THERE’S NO INTERNET. Like what do you even mean “no internet”?!! #AchievementUnlocked #Pray4Paul2k16 (But honestly, why do you need mosquitoes when you’ve got vampires??? #logic) I’m pretty sure being chased by bears is a bonding experience though. (Though I’d kill to go hiking and stuffs. Last week I went hiking for three hours in the snow with sneakers and I died but idk IT WAS FUN? I’m glad I didn’t fall off the cliff.)

    When we saw the third point for the internet withdrawal symptoms (which btw #5 is 100% truth) we were like WOOOOO THE SENPAI NOTICED US AYYYYYYY!!! * throws confetti outta the windows *
    Okayyy this book. I was like :///////////////// It was alright. I was gonna post a mini thoughts post about it but you’re ahead of me. (KILLIN’ DA GAME THO.) So maybe I’ll try to explain myself somewhat coherently sometime soon in a post.
    (In other news: #Pray4Paul2k16)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH MY GOD SO THE HIKING. I can totally understand why you would like it. But there are a few key differences between my hiking and yours.

      1) You had snow. Snow makes EVERYTHING look all majestic and brilliant af. We had dead trees and grey grass.
      2) You went for three hours and probably knew where you were going. We went for four hours and got lost 600 times, retracing our steps for AGES.

      (But yes our hike was so uphill as well I was so scared I was going to fall off the mountain and go rolling down like a huge human snowball. Except there was no snow so it would have been a dirtball. And also I felt like the backpack was going to tip me over for the whole time.)

      Also have you read Finding Audrey?

      (And thanks for praying for me. I’m miraculously alive.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AW you poor kid. (Don’t worry, I’m an infant.)

        1) You’re absolutely right about the snow. It makes Everything Everything MAJESTICALLY ARTSY. (Did you catch that, because it’s the best fish of a pun you’ll ever get today – wait, did I just do some weird #punception?!) It’s the best when it’s fresh snow and you see white lining the tree branches. Idk. EPIC. Except once over Christmas break, we had a snow storm and then it became goodbye electricity and internet for 7 DAYS. Also, I may have found a typo: did you mean dead trees and grey grass like your soul after the hiking? XD
        2) BRAVO HOW do you get lost that much?? Didn’t you have some sort of guide?
        3) True. Go get some massage therapy! You know, my shoulders hurt from just sitting at the computer too long. 😛 But when I went hiking, I was seriously contemplating bringing a book with me. Just in case I got bored. People were like, JUST LEAVE IT! I’m like, sorry, but what language are you speaking?

        (I soo know what you mean. I literally get tipped over by my regular backpack when it’s too heavy. And I may have a slight fear of heights but the view was too worth all my struggles. On our hike, the whole path was covered in a thick layer of snow so when you stepped onto a non-frozen spot, your foot sank all the way down to practically your knees. ALSO. The ice made it SO SLIPPERY and it was SO STEEP we LITERALLY had to slide down the mountain slope thingy on our backpacks. It was like a slide except you had to avoid the trees. So yeaa, that ALSO happened. We’d make GREAT hiking guides, just sayin’.)

        Nope! Haven’t read it. Should I? I think that means I should. Am I a bit lazy? NAH.

        Glad you alive and back in civilization. Maybe your TBR mountain is the only one you should attempt climbing for now. 😉

        BTW HAVE YOU NOTICED that I’ve posted on Insta?? And it’s the colouring thing ahahaha. It had me like, KILL ME NOW.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. YAY YOU’RE BACK ON INSTA! And also I feel super sorry for you on the ice. At least I was just on dirt so I could get some traction on the rocks and what not. A few people did fall over and got precariously close to rolling down the mountain like a huge dirt snowball. But not me. I was stable the whole way despite the damn pack on my back. (Doesn’t that sound like a Dr Seuss book?? “The Pack on my Back”) But anyway. I’m VERY glad to be back.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’M TRYING! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
            Haha I know… thanks? I feel especially bad for my parents. It was PRETTY BAD for them. GOOD JOB for staying alive! #muchpride (How about “Despite the pack on your back you didn’t fall into a dirt snowball?” Let’s become poets.)
            Anyway, I think you deserve to throw yourself a “Welcome back” party.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Good luck surviving those pesky mosquitoes! I really hate them, darn it.
    I’ve heard a lot of good reviews for this book and I was quite excited to read this but now I’m a ?
    Ugh, I hate it when books are so happy happy. There’s nothing wrong in being happy but being too happy makes me want to choke myself. 😅 I’m such a killjoy.
    (I got reminded of this: I was reading a manga earlier in the morning and it was so happy happy, lovey-dovey and I stopped reading it)
    Ah yes! Waiting for Faith and Sarah’s posts! So relatable!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I literally bathed myself in insect repellent before I went to sleep and I think it seemed to work because I only have 3 bites on my ankles as opposed to some of the other kids who have like 20 bites on each limb. They truly are vampires.

      I definitely recommend you read Finding Audrey first, because that balances the correct number of hilarious with heartbreaking, and then read Everything Everything if you enjoyed F.A! Glad to see you’re back 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, the country where I’m from is having that problem of mosquitoes EVERYDAY. In the evening and night, we can’t keep our windows open because of this.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh man, the no internet thing is so real. XDD A while ago Twitter was down and I was like: I WANT TO TWEET ABOUT TWITTER BEING DOWN BUT I CAN’T!! Oh gosh, in an apocalypse I’d be so done for. xD

    And I loved Finding Audrey and I’m hearing a lot of amazing buzz for this one, but I’m kind of hesitant because lately I tend to be the black sheep a lot with hyped books and some of my friends thought the same as you so WHAT DO I DO??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wait TWITTER WAS DOWN??? No. That’s impossible *shudder* I hope that never happens in my Twitter life time. And yea, I discovered that I would totally die in an apocalypse this week, when I went out into the jungle.

      Definitely read Everything Everything. If anything, it will make you like Finding Audrey even more XD It really does have its pros though!


  7. Ahhhh yes. The internet thing is relatable XD the times I must check for Sarah and Faith posts is undeniable.

    Great review! I’ve seen Everything Everything around and I don’t know whether to pick it up or not. I’m still a little hesitant, but great characters are a weakness for me 😛 I’ll be cautious of the ending though.

    I haven’t read Finding Audrey either and I’m thinking I should pick it up – the love for the book has been popping at me for so long!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I definitely recommend you read Finding Audrey first, and then if you enjoyed that, then definitely read Everything Everything! (And yes, now to skip over to Sarah and Faith and see what I’ve missed out on because of this DAMN CAMP. Ahem. Excuse me. I’m very bitter).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What! I’d survive beautifully without the internet. I’d die without the outdoors. Lol. And why a hole in the ground. It’s a natural fertiliser so nothing wrong in leaving it at the root of a tree. 😛
    I haven’t read either book so I wasn’t aware of the similarities but isn’t it annoying when the plot lines are similar. Im surprised you managed to get yourself to read it. Hopefully the author works on her secondaries in the next book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woah. You must be one of those outdoor people. I thought they were just unfounded rumours O_O XD XD XD And also, it turns out that it’s not a whole in the ground. It’s a bucket. And we can’t go into the ground or near a tree because of the animals that come and root it up, and the flies too U_U (although I would definitely prefer the bucket over the whole).

      I hope so as well! I definitely recommend you read Finding Audrey, and then Everything Everything if you enjoyed the F.A! Thanks for dropping by. I am only 63% traumatised by camp -.-

      Liked by 1 person

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