Everything, everything about Everything, Everything (excuse the pun!) could have been tremendous. However, the execution of the plot (in particular that twist towards the end of the book), the use of Olly primarily as a plot device, and the over reliance on the readers to suspend their disbelief ultimately proved fatal. Everything, Everything went from a unique novel with beautiful prose to a far-fetched book with a ridiculous plot. A one sentence review? Everything, Everything is hindered by it’s inability to keep itself from being meh.
Madeline has a disease that is as rare as it is famous– she’s basically allergic to the world. This disease means she cannot leave her house; the only people she has seen are her mom and her nurse, Carla. But one day, a moving truck arrives next door, bringing a tall, lean teen in all black clothing. Thus comes the uber meaningful stare between two teens that signifies the start of a cheesy, doomed relationship. By the way, his name is Olly, and they are going to fall in love. It’s going to be a train wreck that they can’t avoid.
The novel starts off unique: diverse characters, an intriguing disease, brilliant prose. But halfway through the novel, the truth becomes apparent: no matter how the book is packaged, it is still boring at its core. Add in a plot twist that turns Olly and Madeline’s life-or-death-most-likely-death relationship into an average YA romance, and you’ve got the world’s most over-hyped romance. It also doesn’t help the romance to know that the characters are underdeveloped to the point that their somewhat drawn-out relationship still seems like love at first sight. Honestly, this romance could’ve been cute and sparkly and everything, but it just ended up really boring.
Contemporary novels hinge on making the readers connect with the characters. Everything, Everything failed to accomplish that core task. Even the really cool book spoilers couldn’t keep the book from spoiling its effectiveness; I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters. Madeline somehow turned out more underdeveloped than Olly, and Olly wasn’t that developed in the first place. I couldn’t truly sympathize with Carla or Madeline’s mom when their roles in the book were so far-fetched. Unfortunately I connected to the characters in the books mentioned more than I connected to the characters in Everything, Everything.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 1st, 2015)
Length: 320 pages (Hardcover)
ISBN #: 9780553496642