Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Published by Listening Library on September 1, 2015
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, young adult
Format & Length: audiobook, 6:44:23
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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.
Well, hmm. Between all the hype surrounding Everything, Everything and the movie that was recently released, this has been on my radar for some time now. I originally hadn’t planned on actually picking it up, but when a friend wanted to plan to see the movie together, I tried to get the book from my library and read it beforehand. That didn’t exactly work out, and I wound up seeing the movie first. (I know, I know, what kind of book lover am I, seeing the movie first?)
Upon leaving the theater, I didn’t quite know what to make of the movie. I kind of liked the beginning, even though the teenage insta-love was a bit cheesy (but hey, cheese is my middle name, so that’s cool). There were some really poetic lines that I hoped were straight quotes from the book. Then the plot twist came. And I thought, well, hmm. And then the movie ended! Just like that, with no real resolution or sense of completion. There were plot holes and I still had questions. I felt so unfulfilled.
So naturally, now it was definitely time to read the book. I was happy to see several points that were not in the movie that helped pave the way to the twist at the end. The insta-love felt even stronger than the movie due to the fact that there was more space to develop it in. Yoon’s writing was actually quite lovely, and I noticed the lines I had picked out from the movie in the book as well (yay!). And then the plot twist came. Here, though, there was still some story development afterwards. Book Maddy seemed slightly more mature and less impetuous than movie Maddy. Some of my questions were answered, but I still had more! Frankly, I still felt unfulfilled.
Here’s the thing. You go into Everything, Everything knowing Maddy has a disease that has kept her inside her house her entire life. Then a boy, Olly, moves in next door and they are going to fall in love. That is naturally going to cause some tension as Maddy begins to want more. And therein lies the start of your story. Unfortunately, I don’t know that chosen path of this story worked for me. In an effort to not have any spoilers, that’s all I will say here. (Want to know more? Send me a message through my contact page and we can chat!)
As far as the book vs. movie question goes: the book is decidedly more thorough and consistent than the movie. I would definitely recommend the book first.