In my quest to stay young, hip, and relevant (H/T Tiger McCluen) I regularly read young adult novels. That, and I just love the YA genre. I know, I know, who am I kidding? I love anything that is in book form. If I was a character on Warehouse 13, I would definitely read the manual. What was I talking about? Oh yes, YA novels. The buzz about Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon convinced me to put it on my “to read” list.
Madeline Whittier knows one thing for sure. She is sick. Like “can’t go outside or she’ll die” sick. She lives in a hermetically sealed home with only her mother, her nurse, and lots of books for company. She celebrates her 18th birthday like so many before it, with white cake, white frosting and white decorations. Then one day, everything changes. Olly moves in next door. Now Madeline wonders, is living half a life really living at all?
Everything, Everything caught me from the very first sentence. I would have read it all in one sitting if I didn’t have to stop and feed my family. (Why do they need lunch anyway?) It captured everything (no pun intended) you hope for in a YA novel. A little rebellion, a little love, the sense of wonder life holds when you are young, lots of grabbing life by the tail, and a fantastic ending. I recommend it to other young adult literature connoisseurs out there, with the caveats listed below.
Christian Cautions: Mild swearing sprinkled throughout. *Spoiler alert* There is a sex scene in the book. It is not super graphic, but it does feature the teenaged, unwed protagonists, so there’s that. There are also references to spousal abuse, and several family arguments which begin because Olly’s father is drunk.