“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?
Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.
Feelings: This book has been on my radar since it came out in 2015. I’d heard what it was about and I wanted to read it, but just never actually picked it up. I saw that the movie was coming out soon and KNEW that I’d want to read it first, so that motivated me to get my own copy of it. I start it at around 10 PM on a Saturday night, and was finishing it not even 24 hours later. That’s partly because I had time to read and partly because of how quickly it moves.
I really enjoyed the formatting of the writing and it’s something I’m starting to see more often. Some authors are moving away from traditional blocks of text (aka chapters) and towards more creative and engaging writing. We get drawings, emails and IMs, paragraph-long “chapters”, and longer chapters. Every few pages is different and it made me understand the main character a little bit better, like I was more part of her world.
Issues: About halfway through the book, I made a predication about how it would all unfold. And I was right…exactly right. I wish the author had anticipated how some of the details could lead the reader to a certain conclusion and added in a curveball or two. It wasn’t so obvious that it affected my overall enjoyment of the story, but it did effect the way I read the last 20 pages or so.
The ending left me somewhat unsatisfied, even outside of me knowing what to expect. Now that I’ve said that, I couldn’t tell you what would have been a satisfying ending. I wanted more closure for the main character and for those around her.
Characters: I found Madeline and Olly’s relationship to be really sweet. It made sense that they’d be drawn to one another and they complimented each other really well. There’s definitely a little bit of instalove between them and the way Maddy was so easily able to interact with Olly, even though she’d literally only been around like 5 people in her life, was a little bit unrealistic. But overall, I enjoyed reading their story and seeing them grow both together and individually.
I enjoyed having Carla there, like a voice of reason and understanding. She was a stable character that was holding the narrative up, at times. However, I was a little thrown off at how she bended to Maddy’s will (no spoilers) and disregarded her mother’s concerns. That seemed like something a younger character might do.
Maddy’s mom is a whole other story. She’s one of the reasons I was unsatisfied with the ending – I thought she deserved more. Her relationship with Maddy is really fun and sweet for the majority of the book, so we grow to sympathize with her. Then the book ends and she’s got some loose ends that could have been tied up a little better.
Final thoughts: While I did have a few small issues with predictability, the ending, and character motivations, I still overall really enjoyed this story. I especially liked the writing style and the narrator’s voice. It was really easy to read and is one I’ll be recommending to a lot of friends, including you!
Pick this up if you liked:
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Goodreads rating: 4.1/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.6/5
My rating: 4/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn