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:
- Patting your pocket to find your phone and realising that you don’t have it.
- Thinking: “I so need to tweet this” and then realising that you can’t.
- Wondering if Faith and Sarah have posted anything new and realising that you can’t check.
- 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.
- HAVING NO INTERNET DO I NEED TO EXPLAIN ANY MORE.
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.