If Illuminae was the greatest Science-Fiction I've read this year, then Everything, Everything is the best YA Romance I've read. It's well known by now that many of this year's novels incorporate disorders into their storylines, but I found the main character, Madeline's disorder unique. SCID. It was interesting reading about a character who couldn't leave her house without dying, and seeing her relationship with her next-door neighbor Olly develop from stalkerish interest to romantic interest was beyond all forms of cute. Clearly, the romance was adorable; the only problem is that despite the SCID, there was nothing super special about the plot. I also found it a bit hard to believe that Madeline could find everlasting love that quickly, but it was hard not to get invested in her and Olly's romance, as difficult as it was to believe realistic.
The most humbling/likeable aspect of this book is most assuredly the main character. Despite the fact that she was stuck in her home all day for almost two decades, Madeline remained such a positive person. She always looked on the bright side of things, and never complained. She tried to make things easier for her mother than for herself, and she was honestly just a really charming character. She was also super unique, as in umm can I have her brain please? Not only was she a big reader, but she wrote the cutest things in her books in case she lost one and someone else found it (like I said, she was an optimist). Not only that, but SHE WROTE REVIEWS. I don't think it gets better than that.
So the character was the best part of the story. Considering the book as a whole, however, I'd have to say that the graphics, spoiler reviews, and anecdotes that build up the novel are the best parts. Again, like Illuminae, this book presents a unique format that adds to the intrigue of the novel. The inimitable setup that the story is written in makes reading this a great experience, and made me that much more excited to start reading it in the first place, if I'm being completely honest.
I loved that the characters were well-developed and had astounding depths. Each of the characters were like none I had ever met before, and that was definitely a positive point. Even though Olly and Madeline's romance was relatively straight-forward, their unexampled personalities made it stand out more than it would have otherwise. None of the issues in this novel were black and white, but shades of grey. Sure, not everything that happened in the novel nor all of the character's impulses and reflexes to certain incidents were what I would consider reasonable and/or likely, but whatever the case, I was onboard every step of the way. There was something about the characters that was magnetic, even the messed up ones. It made for a remarkable story.
Now for the plot twist - yes, there's a plot twist. Yay for all these plot twists being written nowadays, right? I'm actually not completely sure how I feel about this one. I mean, it was brilliant while at the same time being kind of a letdown. I know for a fact that all I felt at the time of the plot twist was shock. Lots and lots of shock. It was incredible how the author put an end to Madeline's lack of living in a way that she had previously led readers to believe she wouldn't. The little plot bumps here and there made for an outstanding tale, and the plot twist at the end just turned it into something else entirely: it changes the reader's entire perspective on Madeline's story. Trust me when I say you want this book.
Book Synopsis: This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.
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.
Source: A copy was received from the publisher for review.