Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything” – Chapter 14

“If my life were a book and you read it backward, nothing would change” – Chapter 48

Maddy Whittier is allergic to everything. She lives in a white room with well-filtered air and never sees anyone except her mom and her nurse. Her dad and brother passed away in a car accident when she was a baby and soon after she was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency or SCID. She has not left the house in seventeen years. When a boy, Olly, moves in next door and is determined to reach her she gains a new perspective on life and love.

Everything and Anything for Love

This young adult book is full of different examples of love. The love between two teenagers, the love between a mother and daughter, the love between a full-time carer and her patient, the love of something that has never been known.

The author has chosen to show the cliché versions of love in this book. She has written a cute book that is enjoyable and feel good. She has portrayed love as we wish to see it, which is unfortunately, a love that contains lust, lies, deception and general ungodliness. It does not portray love in the way we know as Christians to be true. It is a selfish love that is more about what the character can get for herself than about the people she is loving.

(Please note, when you are deciding whether or not to read this book, that it does contain a scene in which the reader understands that two of the characters have sex, if you wish to read the book but skip the scene you can read all except the chapter “All The Words”)

I do believe that when we read books we need to understand that we live in this world but are not of this world. This book shines a light on much of what the world would say is good and right, we know that this is not true, however that does not mean that we cannot read the book. We simply need to be discerning in our reading and how it affects us.

A Light Read

I enjoyed this book, I loved the characters and I appreciated how the story developed. I read it in one three-hour sitting and would probably read it again. It is a light read that is fairly typical of the Young Adult genre. It made me think of the world and how much I take for granted.

This book is not one that should be taken too seriously. The writing is good, the characters are likable and the story is enjoyable, but it is still a YA book and those have an element of cheesiness most of the time. I used the opportunity to think about the appropriate responses to make if I were in a similar situation and I found it to be an interesting exercise. It’s a fun easy read that is good for a beach day, or just a day when you feel like taking a bit of a mental break.

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