Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon || Book Rant

10/03/2017

Before we start, let me say that I know I'm way late to this party. This book came out years ago and everyone and their Mum who likes YA has read it. I never planned on writing an individual review for this, but I was typing up my book wrap-up for the last few months, and I realised how much this book bugged me. So, let's call this a book rant rather than a review.



Everything, Everything has practically blown up after the movie came out. You've likely heard of it but if not, this story follows Maddy, a teenage girl who is housebound due to her extremely rare genetic disorder, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a hereditary disease which weakens the immune system and makes her most prone to infections. Because of this, she lives her life to the fullest at home, just her, the nurse that visits each day, and her mum - her father and brother having died in a tragic accident when she was younger. But they make her life worthwhile, with scheduled game nights and movie watching. She's always accepted her fate, but when a hot guy moves in across the road, she wants out. Basically. That wasn't the most literary way of explaining it, but I type the way the book reads. That's my biggest grip, and bear with me. 



So you have this girl who has severe medical issues and a mum who is trying to hold everything together by keeping her daughter safe. You have this duo of a family who's relationship is delicate and yet stronger than most of us hope to have with our own parents. The life they've built is complex and interesting, and yet the author chooses to not concentrate on that, but instead throw a teenage boy into the mix who changes everything in an instant. Literally. If you think the insta-love in Twilight was bad, girl/boy, you have no idea. 

Buffy Summers said it best; "No guy is worth your life, not ever." But hey, apparently with this YA book, if he has swishy hair and makes you feel pretty, go for it. It betters your life, even if it ends it.

Does this sound familiar to you? A girl who always needs saving, likes to read, can only be herself online. Boy who wears a lot of black, broody but charming, misunderstood. We've read it a million times. Their chemistry is next-to-nought and ugh, it's infuriating.  Maddy had the potential to be a really smart, powerful and respectable character, who young girl's could look to for inspiration when reading Everything, Everything. Heck, her backstory, no matter how fictional it may be, is relatable on many levels for teenagers. Feeling like you're locked inside of a bubble that you want to break free of. The loneliness. But Maddy doesn't pity herself, she doesn't let her circumstances stop her from living, and she makes her own happiness. That is until a boy moves in across the road. I mean, reeeeaallly? It's not romantic, it's self destruction.

I'm not going to mention the later part of the book with the outcome of everything, as I think it's both a spoiler and unnecessary for the point I'm making. Or at least, trying to make. Everything, Everything makes it seem as though it's okay to give up everything you have and are for love. And though I'm a huge advocate for big ol' romantic gestures (Hello, flown all the way to California on my own to be with my partner), this book portrays both teenage girls and young love in the worst way possible. 

What books have annoyed you for their portrayal of teenage love? Have you read Everything, Everything? What were your thoughts? Let me know!

- Anne x

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