My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my 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.
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.
(First off, thank you to Random House Children’s for offering this arc on Netgalley. This is the first book I was approved for on Netgalley that I genuinely had all my fingers a toes crossed for. So shouting out my thanks into the void hoping that someone hears them!)
I first heard of this book through Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not) and his gushing review on Goodreads. That put it on my radar and I’m thankful for it because this book is nothing short of beautiful. I happened to have company over yesterday, and they got to experience my full range of books emotions as I sat down and did nothing but read the remaining 70% of the book that I had started the previous day. This book is that good. You don’t want to put it down. Food wasn’t even a thought in my mind, and that rarely happens.
If the description seems predictable, it’s not. If it seems cliche, trust me, it’s not. This book is not what you would expect it to be, and that’s what makes it so good. Nicola Yoon does a lovely job of putting you in Madeline’s shoes (white Keds) and really shows you what a young girl with SCID would have to go through on a day to day basis. I felt so bad for this bubble girl, I just wanted to hug her, but of course that would be dangerous.
Carla, Madeline’s nurse, is such a delight to the story, and then there is Madeline’s mother/doctor who adds that cold but loving aspect to the story. Her mother only wants to keep Madeline safe, but even sick kids need a little wiggle room to grow. It’s a tough situation to be in, and each character in the story really shows you how much pain and longing Madeline has in her life, but also how much love she has as well.
Then there’s Olly; cue the swoon. Olly is your typical YA-boy, but at the same time he’s not. He’s mysterious at times, and witty with his dialogue, but he’s sweet beyond belief and you really feel how much he cares for Maddy in ways that nearly breaks my heart.
I’m not going to lie to you, this was a stressful read; as is any book with a sick kid whose life hangs in the balance at any given moment. But the whole book is so so so worth every gray hair I grew and finger nail I chewed off. I don’t want to say anymore because I don’t want to spoil anything. This book doesn’t come out until September 1st, and it’s important to me that you read it and see what I mean for yourself.
All in all the book is climbing the list of my faves of 2015 and I can’t think of a single reader that wouldn’t adore this book, so I recommend it to everyone. Nicola’s writing is superb for a debut novel, and the illustrations from her husband, David Yoon, make for an overall fun read. Everything Everything gets all the stars! This is not one you’re going to want to miss.