Book Review: 'Everything, Everything' by Nicola Yoon

I love books. I mean, I really love books. So much so that I want to spend my life reading them - seriously, I'm pursuing a career in it. But I've noticed that the onslaught of books being thrown at us bibliophiles lately aren't always the best quality. Sure, they're entertaining, they might even make you all hot and bothered by a description of a sexy guy, but if there's no meat there, you're not going to feel the payoff at the end. My teacher describes it like this: When you read a book, you sign a contract with the author. You expect to get some kind of payoff by the time you reach the final page. This doesn't mean a simple resolution to the plot, but feeling something that you didn't when the book began. This has been lacking in the dystopian, teenage romances that fill many bookshelves these days. This is what I was expecting when I downloaded Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything onto my Nook. I was wrong. 

Another thing you should know: I'm a very fast reader. Especially when I like a book. I read Everything, Everything's 300 pages in under 3 hours. That's right. 

When I first saw the trailer for the movie based on Yoon's bestseller, I thought I had it figured out. A teenage girl, Maddy, has a sickness that keeps her constrained to her house. She only has contact with her mom and her nurse, and occasionally some of her homeschool teachers via Skype. While the trailer alludes to the fact that she may not be sick, the sporadic clips of her collapsing say otherwise. So, I'm thinking to myself, she's sick, she falls in love with the guy from Jurassic World, it teaches her something about living versus being alive, and maybe she dies. Simple. 

Wrong again. 

Nicola Yoon plays with you. She toys with her reader in a masterful way that few authors can. She pulls you in one direction only to drop you off in a completely different place. She is a manipulator and I enjoyed every second of being the puppet on the end of her strings. 

Everything, Everything is not a sappy love story filled with cliché life lessons. Sure, there are life lessons, but they are woven between refreshing language and unorthodox structure that only fellow writers can appreciate. The composition of Yoon's book was captivating, and left me thinking, "That's it?" when I read the words, "THE END" on the last page. Yoon's novel made my heart burst. It is works like hers that make me and my fellow book-lovers grateful to have chosen her novel from the shelf. You will fall in love with Maddy and Olly as they fall in love with each other and you'll end up learning a little something about living and loving along the way. If you do anything this summer, read this book. You won't be disappointed.