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A Book Review: Everything, Everything

Hello, my dearest Cabbages!

The long wait is over, your Potato queen is back! Like I’ve said in my previous post, I was going through some personal struggle and went MIA. I have read a few books during my absence which you will also see in my Goodreads page.

Before I get to the actual part of this post, which is a book review, I’d like to let you in on a deal I recently had with my boyfriend–for the sake of my blog, we’ll call him “Pup” (for no specific reason, just cause I like it and I run this blog so…). A few days ago, Pup said I have too many books in my TBR’s and I still won’t stop buying so officially I was put in a book-buying ban *sobs*. However, we worked out on a deal which is for every 3 books I finish, Pup will buy me 1 book himself.

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Recently, I’ve come across this readathon for June entiled Emojiathon! I know I haven’t uploaded my list for this but I was too preoccupied with the actual reading and didn’t bother anymore to write a post. I’m planning to post a review for each book I’ll be reading during the said readathon and share which category they fall into.

👬 Read a book that is Marginalized.
-Deals with multiple races and color, or sexuality

For this category, I chose EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon.

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*Funny story, I started this book yesterday and down to the last 80 pages by nighttime but because I HATE going to work without a book to read, I was afraid that I’d finish the book even before lunch time (which is bad because I’ll have 5 more hours before going home). What I did was fly through the book at 6 in the morning before getting ready for work! Now I’m done with it, with a brief review at Goodreads.*

GOODREADS PLOT:
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 for 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.

B

Rating: B (3.0)

Enjoyed! Just a few more sparkles here and there.

2-sentence plot summary:
Madeline Whittier have been diagnosed with SCID; a rare disease that makes her allergic to almost everything and prohibits her from going out. Then she met her new neighbor, Olly, who changed her view of the world and gave her courage to risk everything.

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Generally, I enjoyed the book. It was definitely fast-paced, with only 4 significant characters, so you can imagine how short it was, which is 310 pages. It’s actually shorter because there are illustrations on the book which can take up an entire page, while other pages only contained 2-7 sentences. At first I was uncomfortable because I don’t encounter a lot of books in such format, but as I go through it, I barely noticed my discomfort and just grew into it.

Also, I loved how the book highlighted the importance of mother-daughter bond. It touched a soft spot on me because I am close with my mom, and I hated myself when I kept secrets from her–how I use white lies back in college to stay out longer with my friends. I know the disappointments of a mother all too well because I saw my own mother go through it as she witness my failures.

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RAVE REVIEWS:

Plot
I have a few issues at some points in the book, though I like my books to be fast-paced, I don’t want it to be abrupt. There were open-ended matter for me, which is a bit unsettling because it was like they’re not even important to begin with when it fact, it does matter.

The deceit that transpired between Maddy and her mother was not fully addressed. It was like a 1-minute a day kind of disappointment between them. The secret that tore them apart was supposed to be big or monumental and yet it was passed off as if it was a simple thing, like an everyday matter.
There was no closure for their relationship. A lie divided them and in the end, I am still left hanging as to what happened, did they make and up and forgave each other or was there gonna be a grudge for the rest of their lives. If you’re one of the people who’ve read this book, please do let me know if you also felt this way. When trust broken between two people, things will never be the same again, especially a lie as life-changing as this.
Maddy’s life after she found out that she’d been lied to. All her life she’s been sheltered and to discover that your life is about to change, you can’t deal with it easily. I wish this book would have shown the readers a view of Maddy’s life after her discovery, then the whole book would have been more complete because let’s be honest, this book isn’t merely about falling in love, it’s about finding a courage to take risks, to challenge life. Her life afterwards, the new adventures she took, those would have been more important that just jetting off to somewhere for the boy she loves.

Characters:

Olly was the love interest of our sick heroine, Maddy. He was new to town with a dysfunctional family and brooding with teenage angst. However, his character fell flat for me, like he has no substance. I couldn’t relate to him because there’s nothing else that I know about him except that he parkours, he hates the ocean and he loves Math. He felt like a stranger; he could have even passed off as a modern-prince charming, where he’s there to complete the heroine or to drive her to what will change her view of life. He seemed to perfect, too good to be true but in real life, even the most adoring people have flaws–nobody’s perfect unless you’re a fictional character and the author said so.
Maddy was sweet and innocent, much what you’ll expect from someone treated like an infant. I like how she’s smart and loves to read, but her transition from being sheltered to wanting to see the world was unsettling for me. She ventures out to Hawaii with Olly to see a fish, and all the necessary preparations, she was able to get away with. I’m just weirded out how someone who didn’t have any experience with being out in the world, do so well on her first time. Her adventure was too perfect, plus the fact that she registered her own credit card. How is that possible? Wouldn’t her mom have found out immediately if someone registered an emergency credit card under hers. Maddy’s trip to Hawaii and she could’ve meet a lot of people but she wasn’t aloof or uncomfortably shy to interact with them, when during the first meeting with Olly (love interest or not), she was super careful and observant. Lastly, I found it quite unrealistic when a person who’s been sheltered, whose human interaction was limited, found the courage to have sex. She was so researched on how to kiss, and yet having sex came naturally for her character.

It was okay that there was teenage love involved, but I think this book would have been better if it focused on Maddy’s actual coming of age and discovery of the world and her identity. But still, it was a very interesting read for me, it kept me awake and intrigued as to what discovery she’ll have next. All in all, I still recommend this to all those who are starting out at reading, it’s very easy to understand and follow through. It’s a great summer contemporary read that you can finish in one-seating.

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So that’s about it, Cabbages. Review’s quite long because you know me, I tend to talk and say a lot. Can anyone actually teach me how to “hide” a spoiler part in this entry? I will highly appreciate it! It was honestly a struggle trying to review Everything, Everything in here because I was tiptoeing on what I say–I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone and I’m hoping I didn’t fail at that miserably. I still owe you all a post about my thoughts regarding the other book I finished, which is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Stay tuned for that post, it will be up soon (I hope, unless I completely forget about it).

I’m starting on a new book: WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon

I’d love for you to be a part of our growing family garden, so do follow Written Constellations for your daily dose of bookish goodness. Also, leave some comment below on your thoughts and ideas, if you’ve read Everything Everything or planning to, I’d love to chat with you!

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