'I've read many more books than you,' proclaims Madeline Whittier in the opening chapter of Everything Everything. At first this may seem like an outrageous assertion to any self-proclaimed book-nerd who truly believes, in their heart, that they have read the most books. However, there is one thing that gives Madeline an advantage and might give her statement some credibility: she's had seventeen years to do nothing but read. Housebound by a rare disease that threatens to kill her if contact is made with the outside world, Madeline must stay in doors mainly within the door of a bedroom with white walls, white clothes and white shoes. She is a modern day recluse looked after by her mother and a carer. Madeline seems content with her secluded life because she hasn't known everything else but seclusion. But when Olly and his family move next door, her inner yearning for freedom and to get a glimpse of the real world is sparked. Thus begins a love story that changes her life.
Nicola's Yoon's debut novel is a stunning read, and she writes with such skill and elegance that Madeline's emotions, inner thoughts and wishes seep through the pages because of the weight of its realness. This novel is so gripping that it only took me a couple of hours to read. Some chapters are brief, but they capture Madeline's feelings in that precise moment. I like Madeline as a character because she loves to read; she sees the bright side of things even though she's allergic to the world and she's brave. I feel like young adults who might be trapped in a bubble, whether it's because of disease, fear or anything else, can relate to Madeline.
The supporting characters, Olly, her mum, and Carla were great as well. Yoon's novel is so fast pace and this means that the action in the novel unravels quickly. Some parts of the novel may seem unrealistic. Nonetheless, I'm too pleased with the overall quality of the book to care! My only critique is that it's too short; Yoon could have broadened the story. But...the ending was sweet and hopeful. I can't wait to read another novel by Yoon!
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes novels with love, down to earth characters, risks, hope,maturity and humour.
Published by Chermaine Sowah