Everything, Everything by Nichola Yoon uses a lot of different formats in order to convey the story of the girl trapped in her home. When you first read the book, it can be confusing because the little bits of information Yoon gives you through emails and book spoiler alerts seems like it has nothing to do with the story. But, as you read on, it becomes more and more clear as to why Yoon would choose such a strange way of writing. She still holds a narrative, but the other parts of the novel show more than just a story: it shows the character of Madeline. While narrative formats focus just on telling the plot, the little tidbits of information that Yoon gave us showed just who Madeline is. It’s almost like we get a scrapbook of the little things in Madeline’s life. For example, the small, scrap, diary entry from younger Madeline shows us that she used to have neighbors before Olly, and although she didn’t interact with them like she did with Olly, she still felt very lonely after they moved away.
I’m also kind of confused by the whole Olly coming to see Madeline thing. Like, they touched each other and nothing happened. She didn’t get sick or anything. I thought that the climax of the book was going to be Madeline meeting Olly, getting sick, and having to choose between life and love or something like that. But that didn’t happen. The actual climax, of Madeline’s mom finding out, felt kind of anticlimactic. Even the firing of Carla felt like it was coming and expected. I also think I read somewhere that Madeline isn’t really sick? The movie for the book is coming out and in the trailer they implied something along the lines of that, but I really don’t want it to be true.
I’m having a hard time liking Madeline, though. She knew that the reason Carla and her daughter didn’t get along with each other was because a boy got in the way and that’s when her daughter became distant. Madeline feels too dependent on Olly; she acts like nothing else matters if she’s not with him, not even her mother, who obviously cares about her a lot. It slightly perpetuates the stereotype that a boy is all a girl needs. The way she keeps dismissing and ignoring her mom just makes me so mad at her. Does falling in love with someone make you cruel to everyone else? That’s what the book seems to be saying, but I don’t buy it.
Something I did like about Madeline before she became meaner was the fact that she was just so smart. Like, in the book sense, but in the general sense as well. For someone who has been isolated from the world, she sure is really wise about it. Her wisdom compelled me to read further.
So far, this book was a really fun read, aside from a few glaring things that I didn’t like all that much.