My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well y’all. I just joined a new book club in Nashville that I’m super excited about it. I’ve been trying out different book clubs in the area and nothing has really “fit” up to this point. But, a fellow Nashvillian told me about this book club and I decided to give it a try. I found out about it on Monday and my first meeting was Wednesday. The book…. Everything, Everything.
I don’t know if you know this…. but I read a lot. And even I was a little worried about getting the book read by Wednesday so I could be part of the discussion. But Everything, Everything is such a quick read that I finished it in a matter of 24 hours.
From the Publisher:
What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.
My absolute favorite thing about the book? The format. Super short chapters + varying format + illustrations. Short chapters are always a winner for me. I find books with short chapters difficult to put down because I’m always convincing myself that I can read just one more…. one more… one more…
The format was so interesting and perfect for this story. Nicola Yoon wrote in standard paragraph format for much of the novel but also used email, instant messaging, Maddy’s short book reviews, Maddy-approved definitions, and written schedules of those she observed to paint an overall picture of Maddy’s life. It somehow made the book feel so authentic and realistic because I could imagine an 18 year old girl who had been cooped up in a house her entire life trying to express herself through the different channels she had available to her.
Finally, the illustrations. What’s funny here is that I usually tend to listen to library books on audio but I decided to read this one in print. I’m so happy that I did because the illustrations were perfectly placed and executed (and drawn by the author’s husband), and I thought they enhanced the content of the book. One of the women I interacted with at book club listened to the audio and had no idea there were illustrations in the book. She didn’t feel like not having illustrations took anything away from the book, but I would still recommend reading versus listening to this one.
Beyond the formatting, the story was just heartwarming and cute. It definitely oozes young adult with the two main characters trying to discover who they really are as individuals as well as together. And there are a few surprises along the way that I didn’t see coming. Definitely a lot of content to unpack in a book club format and made for good discussion.
Overall, this was a really strong and powerful book. I thought it was thoroughly unique and I enjoyed reading it. Now I will have to go watch the movie to compare!