guys...I had high hopes for this book. I mean, it's beautiful. The cover is freaking gorgeous, especially after you read the story (no matter what I have to say about the actual book itself, the cover fits the story perfectly). I was thrilled to read about a teenager who was chronically ill--although SCID is far more threatening than fibromyaglia, I related a lot to Madeline. She had to make choices on whether to let her condition control her or not. She understood the frustration of living life in a continual pattern. She knew the struggle of not being able to eat the neighbours' friendly offerings of food. She got that when you're a sick kid, you don't do a lot more than sleep, eat, do homework, and read. That's just life. And I loved that she understood that.
however, what I didn't love was how flat of a character she was.
Madeline was your typical book-obsessed good girl character, who didn't care if she was pretty or if she wore practically the same outfit every day (seriously. I admit to not always caring about my clothes, but even in my extreme tomboy stage, I liked to switch up my outfits every now and then. there's no way Madeline survived seventeen years without ever wearing fluorescent colors or black. honestly.) She was POC, which was lovely, but it seemed like everyone in this book was POC. There's nothing wrong with that, but what was weird to me was that they were all from different places. Madeline's parents were African American and Chinese, Carla was Spanish (and lived in Koreatown which really really confused me for about ten pages until she started speaking Spanish and then I was even more confused), Olly was of Italian descent--I think...and they go to Hawaii. Wut.
I loved hearing about Madeline's home. I saw it perfectly in my head, and even though the lack of color in Madeline's life gave me some issues, I loved the mental image of her sterile environment. I also loved learning a little more about SCID. I wish there had been more detail about all that.
Then again, not everybody loves reading about symptoms and treatment processes like I do. Yes, I am a self-proclaimed weirdo.
The character of Olly... *sighs* I wanted to like him. He wore all black (and yes, I may have caught that symbolism a little late...or is it even symbolism??) so he was automatically cool in my book. However, he was just a little too confident in everything for me to love him. He was the stereotypical cool kid who secretly liked math and had family issues hidden deep down in his past. He was flirty, bubbly, and seemed like someone who winked a lot, as well as being a parkour artist (self-taught?). I just couldn't appreciate him as a character.
|RIP all your potential|
Also, why would you ever call someone Olly? Oliver is such a perfect name... (don't judge me, but I may or may not have had a crush on Oliver Cutter from that one book about Oliver Cromwell. I like the name Oliver.)
finally...that ending though. *beware spoilers* I had a tough time with the whole running off thing. Yes, I understand the concept of taking risks concerning your health and not letting your illness control you, and I totally get that we do stupid things sometimes...but running away to Hawaii with your boyfriend of less than a year, despite the risk that your heart might explode, seems beyond stupid. I had a tough time believing Madeline was 17, because half the time she was acting 15 or younger.
I had an even tougher time with the whole highlight to see semi-important spoiler "you're not actually sick" thing. I have no problem with people being suddenly cured against all odds (well, actually, I have a small problem with that, but that's just the pessimist in me), but SCID doesn't have a cure and I guess the author wanted to justify Madeline's stupidity as the way she found out she wasn't going to die. I don't understand it. And I really don't like the way they portrayed her mom. I actually really loved Madeline's mom at the beginning of the book, because she seemed like a nice parent, and I am all about supportive fictional parents...I wish things had turned out differently.
Oh! I completely forgot about the little drawings and diagrams and such. I loved those. love love loved them to bits.
Overall, I would give Everything, Everything a shaky 3.5 out of 5. there were many good things about it, but the things that made me shake my head in sadness or confusion by far outweighed the good things. I look forward to reading more from Nicola Yoon, though. This is her first book, and I really enjoyed her writing style.
Have you read Everything, Everything? What did you think about it? Am I being overly nit-picky or did these things bug you too?