“Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.”
Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Why you should read this book: Because this book will make you smile and you learn that there’s always a way to find your happiness, no matter the situation you’re in.
I don’t think I can write a no-spoilery summary so here is the Goodreads one:
My disease is as rare as it is famous. It’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, but basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in fifteen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives. New next door neighbors. I look out the window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. I want to learn everything about him, and I do. I learn that he is funny and fierce. I learn that his eyes are Atlantic Ocean-blue and that his vice is stealing silverware. I learn that when I talk to him, my whole world opens up, and I feel myself starting to change—starting to want things. To want out of my bubble. To want everything, everything the world has to offer.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”
My sister wanted a little twist to our buddy reads so she decided that we should choose a book that we loved from our private shelves and give them to each other to read at the same time.
I gave her one of my favourites from last year “Just a girl standing in front of a boy” and she gave me this.
I didn’t know what to expect. The summary was a little bit like that movie from years ago with Jake Gyllenhaal, Bubble Boy. Same disease, almost the same story. I won’t tell you the end of the movie nor the end of this book to avoid spoilers but I wondered if they were going to be different.
I really enjoyed Madeline’s character, she took what her little bubble of a world could give her and she made the best of it. She reads tons of books, learns a lot and spends quality time with her mom and nurse. She sees the little she can see of the world from the windows and from the internet, but a picture with no smell it’s really not the same as to be outside experiencing it.
“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”
Eighteen years without being outside is really a very long time. It would have drove me crazy but not Madeleine, she had her dark moments but being alive was enough for her to be happy in the end. That, of course, until she sees new neighbors from her window. A boy named Olly moved in with his parents and sister. He sees her from the window and she starts to dream about being outside so she can make friends and live her teenage years like other girls do.
Olly is crazy, he never stops moving, parkour enthusiast and black clothes lover, he changes her little world. They chat, mime through their windows and, thanks to her nurse Carla, they see each other a few times. With the rule of no touching allowed they can only see each other and talk about everything. Olly doesn’t have the best family situation, his dad is an alcoholic who hits her mother, and the latter refuses to leave him because after hitting her he is sorry. It’s a very bad situation but he is always so positive and smiley that for a moment you forget what living hell must be his life.
Things happen and they grow fond of each other, they fall in love. Love hurts when you can’t see each other, touch and kiss. Other things that unfortunately I can’t write because “spoilers” happen and life starts to unfold in ways none of them thought could be possible. Will they be able to be together at all costs even if the world seems to hate her?
“I read once that, on average, we replace the majority of our cells every seven years. Even more amazing: we change the upper layers of our skin every two weeks. If all the cells in our body did this, we’d be immortal. But some of our cells, like the ones in our brains, don’t renew. They age, and age us. In two weeks my skin will have no memory of Olly’s hand on mine, but my brain will remember. We can have immortality or the memory of touch. But we can’t have both.”
The ending is sweet, there are some questions I ask myself that will remain unanswered. I wanted them to be explained a little better. Maybe it was a little rushed, a lot of things in only a few pages, nonetheless it was a very pleasant book to read, not really light because of the disease topic but also not very hard to digest (is that also an english expression like in italian? I don’t want to know).
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is very well written with funny illustrations, the author knows how to make you part of the ride that it’s this sweet different love story..