“Maybe there’s a version of your life for all the choices you make and all the choices you don’t.”
Maddy is allergic to the world. At eighteen, she’s – quite literally – never left home. Her life revolves around books, making architectural models, the internet, her nurse Carla and her mum. Then, a family moves into the previously-empty house next door and Maddy meets Olly. Olly likes parkour and limericks, he dresses head to toe in black clothes and he doesn’t care for the fact that his dad is a bad drunk. Basically, Olly is complicated. And funny. And he shouldn’t make Maddy want more than what she already has – more than her books and her television shows – but he does. He makes her want everything.
Everything, Everything uses an extraordinary collection of narrative media to inform the reader and Nicola Yoon’s husband, David, did a wonderful job with the illustrations. Expect airline tickets, guidebook pages, online shopping baskets, emails, funny diagrams and homework sheets, IMs, emails and pithy ‘Life Is Short’ bookish blog posts.
The effect of this is to give the novel an immediate and deeply personal tone, which makes Maddy’s plight and her experience of first love seem even more compelling. So this was a very difficult book to put down.
And the ending… Part of me was over the moon with happiness and part of me was very sad for Maddy – because the ending changed everything.
Final Verdict: Tender and charming, intelligent and witty, always heart-wrenching; I can certainly see why this debut had so many people talking about it back in 2015. Thankfully, this is not your standard sick-lit book.
Spoiler alert: NOBODY DIES.