Everything, Everything [Café Libro]

Carson TerBush

I have to admit, I definitely judged Everything, Everything by its cover: the colorful explosion of art that composes the title left me optimistic about the book’s contents. And I wasn’t wrong. (P.S. I’m not going to say I told you so, but I told you so, judging books by their covers often works!)

Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything (also a movie as of May 2017) follows Maddy, an 18-year-old with an immune disease that prevents her from ever leaving her house. Having never been able to go to school or interact with people other than her mother and nurse, Carla, Maddy’s main companions consist of the characters from her many books—until the mysterious Olly moves in across the street. As she begins to talk more and more with Olly, Maddy realizes she may be missing more than she realized in her protective bubble, and decides to take a chance that may kill her—but may completely change her world for the better.

First and foremost, this book is a love story. Maddy and Olly’s relationship tests the limits humans will go to in the name of love, and I would say they went pretty far. Their determination to make their relationship work was inspiring, and made up a good portion of the plot; the book definitely included elements of romance congruent with chick lit. However, it also provided more depth (and a humongous plot twist I definitely didn’t see coming).

Since she had never even been outside her house, everything (everything) Maddy encountered outside was a source of wonder—even the air smelled different to her. As Maddy encountered the world from the first time, her appreciation for life on earth also transferred to me. Everything, Everything left me with a lot to consider and appreciate more in my life; the beauty Maddy found in every subtlety that I take for granted inspired me to be more aware of my surroundings. Her sickness also put my life into perspective. Even though life can be difficult, at least I can go outside. Overall, this book left me more than a little emotionally ruined, but I think the message is worthwhile, and I would definitely recommend it.

The next challenge:

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout is definitely one of my top ten favorite books. Following the story of a teen who experiences total amnesia and has to relearn everything about her life, this book models what would happen if a “popular” mean girl was given a second chance at life. Prepare yourself for mystery, confusion and plot twists, Emily!

On this blog, Emily Dexter and Carson TerBush will put their book recommendations to the test. Each week, one will challenge each other to read a book she has read before and enjoyed. The following week, they will judge the recommended book and then propose the next challenge. They hope to inspire new readers to read some new books. To read more, check out the Café Libro blog at https://hilite.org/category/cafe-libro/.