Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: Everything, Everything

People say time and time again that you should never judge a book by its cover. To look at it literally, as someone who worked at a bookstore for 7 years, and somebody who has studied book marketing, I can tell you that this is not everybody's policy. The #1 thing that will work to market a book is how the cover is designed, and speaking as a reader, I know how easy it can be to get turned off from buying a book from a poorly designed, unattractive cover.

When it comes to Everything, Everything, a YA novel by first-time author Nicola Yoon, if this colourful, intricate, gorgeous cover doesn't sell you immediately, then the plot certainly will :)

Madeline Whittier was born with a disease that "is as rare as it is famous," which you learn right from the first words of the synopsis. Maddie is basically allergic to the world, and because of this she has not set foot outdoors since before her sickness was discovered when she was a little baby. The only people that are admitted through the air-lock front door are Maddie's mother and her nurse, Carla. That is, until a family moves in next door, including the black-clad teenage boy named Olly.

It's easy to determine that if Madeline were a real person, she would be an iggle, no question. She's an avid reader, writes super-short book reviews on Tumblr, she plays an ultra difficult but fun-looking game known to her and her mother as Phonetic Scrabble, and even if all of her incoming mail needed to be 100% disinfected before she could touch it, she would still love getting mail and other gifts from geek girls around the world.

Because she has been denied most pleasures from the outside world - her mother can't even accept a bunt cake from the neighbors without risking her daughter's health -  you might think that Maddie would be a wistful, unsatisfied character, but she has learned over the last 18 years not to let herself want, because she'll ultimately be denied and end up disappointed. Your heart will ultimately reach out to Maddie through her window that faces Olly's bedroom and want to give her a hug as you are taken through this story.

Now, some of you might be off-put by the plot of this story for the same reason that people are put off from zombie apocalypse stories - there's only a small amount of ways that the story can end. With a zombie apocalypse, either everybody inevitably died from the zombies or from starvation or just from killing each other, or somebody finally discovers a cure and everything's good again. With a story about a young girl allergic to the world, how far can that kind of story truly go? What sorts of possible endings exist that I'm not going to be able to see coming a mile away? Without spoiling anything for those of you with this title on your TBR list, I can tell you that you are not going to be disappointed with the direction that the story will take you. Not only that, but the conclusion is far from predictable and you will not regret picking up Nicola Yoon's first novel.

A few other great perks to this book that I greatly enjoyed were the many laughs that the story gifted me with, and also the unique and silly illustrations scattered throughout the pages, created by Nicola's husband David.

Avid readers and avid dreamers alike will find something to enjoy in Everything, Everything, available at a book store near you :) Post in the comments to let me know what you think! Happy reading!

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