May 21

Everything Everything – Book Review (Spoiler Free)

Everything-Everything-Nicola-YoonEverything, Everything is the story of an 18 year old girl named Madeline, who is pretty much allergic to everything in the world, and I mean this quite literally.  She has this rare disease called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID for short), more commonly known as the ‘bubble baby disease’.

Her sickness basically requires her to be isolated from everyone and everything in the world, which is why she has never left the house all her life. Only her mother, who is also her primary doctor, and Carla, her nurse, who comes in everyday to watch her for 8 hours in her mother’s absence, are allowed to be in the house with her, and even they have to get properly ‘decontaminated’ every single time they enter the house.

Enter, Oliver – the boy next door, who instantly captures Madeline’s attention, and for the first time, makes her curious to get to know more of the world outside the four walls of her house, to get to know more about the people who inhabit it, to truly get to know Olly.

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: 

The main reason I picked this book up was because it sounded very different from anything that I had read. And the hype, of-course the hype! So many people were falling over themselves praising this book, that I couldn’t stay away. Moreover, the movie was coming out (it released two days back) so it was just perfect timing, all around.

Then when I finally read the book, my very first impression was that it’s a super fast read. And I am by no means a fast reader; in fact I am a really slow one. But a dialogue intensive format, along with the many illustrations & charts, propels the story forward without needing a lot of words, and makes it an easy breezy read.

Things I liked

Firstly, this was quite the page turner, the narration and the pace kept me hooked. Also, given their unique situation, where she was allergic to everything, and couldn’t step out of the house, I was curious to know how things will work out (or if they will), for this set of star crossed lovers, so that kept me racing through the book as well.

Just because you can’t experience everything, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything. Besides, doomed love is a part of life.

And speaking of the lead pair, I liked them both. Maddy was sweet, thoughtful, and bright; Olly was fun, quick witted, and a pretty smart guy himself. Though neither of them were wise beyond their years like some other YA protagonists. *cough* John Green *cough* They acted their age, and felt like real people, real teens.

Also, they were pretty great together; they complimented each other well. They are the kind of couple of you want to root for.

But I have to also mention something here, since I have ranted about this endlessly in other book reviews. Depending on how you look at it, their initial attraction can come across as very  insta-love-y, which if you have been following my reviews for some time, is something I absolutely hate. But in this case, in their particular situation, it kinda made sense. You’ll see why when you read the book.

Things I didn’t like

Okay, so this is quite complicated, because most of the issues I have with this book, fall in the spoiler territory, which is why I don’t really want to list them out here (though if you have read the book, let’s chat about it in the comments).

For now I will speak more broadly (and vaguely). In this book, as the story progresses, we get to know that a particular character is suffering from pretty significant behavioral issues (this isn’t most accurate way to phrase it, but definitely the spoiler free way), but the author did not really do justice to its portrayal.

Then there are some events in the book that promote the idea of able-ism, which I clearly do not agree with. And I found this especially disappointing in a book which has good diversity representation. It’s sad that the author did not feel the necessity to treat disability representation with the same sensitivity that she displayed while handling diversity representation.

Now I know that any book (or anything at all for that matter) cannot be all things to all people, but I believe that there were ways to handle this story with more responsibility, without having to introduce a cop-out twist during the climax.

Moreover, speaking of the concluding sequence, while for the most part, I was okay with it, I could’ve done with a bit more resolution at the end. It felt rushed, and I kept turning pages several times back and forth to ensure that it had indeed ended, and I had not missed some part of grand finale.

My Recommendation

All in all, I did like Everything Everything. In-spite of the issues I had with this book, it was still a pretty entertaining read, so I would recommend it to people who are looking for some easy breezy contemporary romance with a relatively unique plot.

I wouldn’t recommend it to folks who have strong opinions on disability representation, because they would possibly find this pretty aggravating.

Note: If you are someone who likes to read the book before the movie (and this particular movie is out in theaters now), this is one book you can get through pretty quickly, so it’s not too late to read the book before you see the movie. Though until then, stay away from the trailer, as it is kinda spoiler-y.

You can get the book here – Everything Everything.

That’s all from my end folks. I would love to hear from you guys. Have you read Everything Everything? How did you find it? Are you planning on seeing the movie? Do share!


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  1. It sounds interesting and I’d pick it up for the same reasons as you did. I might be able to look beyond the disability portrayal but I dislike unresolved endings. It bugs me when the conclusion is not clear and complete. But you do have me intrigued with this one.
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  2. If you’re taking about the lady who kept Maddy at home because she diagnosed her wrongly with SCID, as the ‘behavioural issues’ character, aye aye to that. That part in the book seemed forced on the reader, just when the reader had started to enjoy the tension of whether Maddy will be allowed to leave the house or not.

    I would have loved the entire book had that twist not come up. In retrospect, I think any ending would have been better than that one. Because Maddy would have a really tough time getting over the betrayal of someone who was close to her for almost sixteen years! And that would be so debilitating!
    Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710 recently posted…Magically musical #BookReviewMy Profile

  3. I will pick this up on your recommendation. It does sound different and I would love to know more. I think I will read first and the movie 🙂
    Parul Thakur recently posted…#ThursdayTreeLove – 9My Profile

  4. added this in Goodreads to read list. Sound very interesting and totally different story. As usual nice review..
    shivi chinnappa recently posted…Top 10 Gifts for New momsMy Profile

  5. Great review, Shantala. I like how thoughtful your reviews are. Although this sounds like a unique read, I don’t think I’ll delve into it. I may be enticed by the movie though.
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  6. Sounds so different.. i would watch the movie 🙂
    Lata Sunil recently posted…Book Blitz : Ponni’s Beloved by Sumeetha ManikandanMy Profile

  7. I am intrigued by the title. Sounds quite different. And the ‘allergic to everything’ part.
    I may just add this to my never-ending TBR pile, but I doubt, it would make it to the top. Maybe I’ll do the opposite – watch the movie and then read.
    [Yes, I know that sound is of you unfriending me!]
    Sid recently posted…On Gender Equality and being trolledMy Profile

  8. Just because you recommend it, I might pick this up.

    Thanks for the review Shantala.
    Soumya recently posted…Corporate Circus #3: Lifted SpiritsMy Profile

  9. I liked the story line of the book, it is novel. The romance is cute, especially the emails they exchanged. But the twist ending… God, I wanted to throw the book, sadly it was my Kindle and I couldnt throw it. The climax was truly disappointing and simply hard to digest! But yes, overall an interesting read!
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  10. I read Yoon’s second book The Sun Is Also a Star last year, which was also about star-crossed teens – they meet on the day one of them was about to be deported, so they have just one day to spend together. Yes, even theirs was insta-love (I’d mentioned the same in my review), which was an issue I had. But it allowed me to escape reality for a bit, and was a quick read.
    I had no idea Everything, Everything was a movie. Don’t think it released here
    Oh, I love your dig at John Green!! LOL!
    Sreesha recently posted…The TributeMy Profile

  11. Very strongly tempted to follow Sid’s suggestion here of going for the movie first. Did you know I still have not read Gone Girl? I loved the movie so much I am a bit worried if the book will spoil it 😛 I know, stupid of me.

    But this book certainly has a very interesting premise. Wonder how the movie will have handled the disability issue.
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  12. Not stupid at all. I did the same with Gone Girl. 😀 I loved the movie, but I don’t know if I would have liked the book as much. I probably would have, though I would have had a hard time dealing with that ending, after investing so many hours of my life reading it as opposed to the 90 minute movie, if you know what I mean.
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  13. I saw the movie without reading the book as I love watching romantic movies but not reading them. I liked the movie until the ending came. Bam and the movie was over. Like you said, I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. The movie was great except for the ending.

  14. Ok, I have not read this book yet. But your spoiler free review is tempting me to read it. Now I have to know which character has a behaviorial issue. Okay, I confess I did think of reading the comments to know *Gasp* BUT I DIDN’T. I swear. *sigh*

    Gayathri @ Musings Over Nothing

  15. Really great review about the movie & I appreciate your efforts, keep it up I read thoroughly I haven’t seen the movie yet, I have to check it out.

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