Saturday, September 17, 2016
"Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon
Rating: 3/5 stars
"Love is worth everything. Everything."
I finished this book, front to back, in one sitting, so I feel like that has to say something in its favor. It's an easy read, and the writing flows well.
I had a hard time sympathizing with the main character, as I know nothing about the scientific/medical facts of her condition. (It sounded sorta made up.) I think if the author had included more on that, I would have felt more for Madeline or been more sympathetic. It didn't seem believable. As it was, I was annoyed that, if her condition truly was fatal, she kept doing things that would compromise her health. Further, I was frustrated with Carla that she would let Madeline make certain choices (although the major plot twist explains some of that).
And, small spoiler ahead so skip to next paragraph if you don't want to know, why do YA authors insist on their characters having sex? WHY?! It's rather frustrating, because it's the "easy" way to imply character intimacy without all the dialogue and back story. I'll get off my soap box, but I've a major pet peeve about it. Sex should not be portrayed in teen novel's as the pinnacle of a relationship.
The story is fairly predictable: girl meets boy next door, girl falls in love with boy next door, girl keeps relationship a secret from her parents, girl makes unwise decisions that will make mother upset...etc. Up to the major plot twist at the end. I didn't see that coming...but it redeemed the book for me, kinda an "a-ha" moment. It made me feel for the characters, because then I could say "yes, I understand why this happened." "Love. Love makes people crazy. Loss of love makes people crazy."
I liked Olly, and I particularly enjoyed the suicidal Bundt cake (you'll have to read it to understand). I smiled and chuckled over that part.
Perhaps my favorite quote is this: "Everything's a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It's up to you." I love Carla's insight here. Live your life, risk love, life is more than simply living.