Life Inside A Bubble

Everything, Everything

I’ve read many more books than you.

Everyone has a little bubble. We live our lives within our homes, at work, in friendship circles, relationships, family dynamics – interacting with the outside world at our own pace. But imagine actually living inside an air-regulated, disinfected, clinical bubble…

Maddy suffers from SCIDs, a disease that makes her allergic to the outside world. She lives inside, looking out, and has only her mother and nurse Carla for company but life isn’t as bad as you’d think. She reads, studies and spends her evenings trying to beat her mother at phonetic Scrabble. But when a moving van pulls up next door, the lives of her neighbours become a soap opera to watch and the new boy next door, Olly, in particular, becomes something she can’t quite tear herself away from…

I’d been toying with reading this book for a while because post-A Fault In Our Stars and the vast amounts of dubbed “sick-lit” that followed, I took a complete step back from any book that appeared to take on the genre. And yet the reviews and whisperings of Everything, Everything kept creeping their way towards me so I succumbed. I went into this debut YA novel with caution and yet, refreshingly, Everything, Everything is less about the morbid more about finding the colour in a life of black and white rules.

I am the first to admit that the concept of being allergic to the outside world sounds a little far fetched and I opened the book not knowing if Yoon was at all able to pull it off… she can*! Her protagonist, Maddie, is the main reason why this book works – she’s immediately relatable, despite her circumstance, and has come to terms with her lot in life, accepting the limits of her condition. She’s sweet, positive and caring and you become her champion rather than her sympathiser.

As you can see by this tweet, Everything, Everything became a bit addictive towards the end…

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 12.41.47

I won’t give away any spoilers but the ending seems to have caused some controversy amongst the readers. Some have vehemently disliked it, others have absolutely loved it. I was utterly caught up in the moment and completely swept away by it and now I’ve finished the book I’m trying not to overthink it for over analysing it and hindsight might just kill the enjoyment I think. I’ve made the executive decision to go with the flow and my gut reaction!

Everything, Everything is a really great summer read, with characters to route for and unusual obstacles to overcome. The attention to detail and multiple narrative stylings (doctor’s notes, IM trails, written notes, etc.) keep this book moving and fresh. Also how fantastic is the cover on this book – isn’t it gorgeous? Talent must bounce off the walls in the Yoon household, as Nicola’s husband, David, was the illustrator!

4 star

*Although I could not get the drug dealers cage from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels out of my head every time the protective airlock at Maddie’s house was mentioned – once thought, I couldn’t unthink!


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