When I attended Book Con the Penguin booth was giving away a few audiobooks. I have never listened to an audiobook before, but when I saw that one of the audiobooks they were giving away was Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, I knew I needed to check it out. I had wanted to read Yoon’s debut novel for a while and thought that this would be a fun way to try it out.
Part of the reason I was always a little wary of listening to audiobooks is that I don’t really have a time to do so and pay enough attention. My commute to work is only about 15 minutes, so it never made sense for me to listen to one on the way to and from work. I figured that the perfect time to try this would be over the summer when I’m at the pool. It would be a great way to not worry about sunglass tan lines from reading a physical book, while also doing nothing and being able to concentrate on the story.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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
\What I thought
I was a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed this audiobook! I found myself looking forward to listening to more of it and eventually got to the point where I was listening to it in the car as well as at the pool because I wanted to know what happened. I know that this is in part due to the story, but I think the format worked well!
The only issue that I had with the audiobook was that it was mostly read by one person. There were a few moments when Olly’s character was read by a young guy and those moments really made me fall in love with his character. However, he was typically voiced by the same female reader who was reading Madeline. I would’ve liked it better if the dialogue of Olly was always voiced by the male reader.
I also found it interesting that I did move through this story at a much slower pace than I would have if I had the physical book. I can’t decide if it impacted my enjoyment of it at all, but it was different. I will say that even though I enjoyed it as an audiobook, I still find myself wanting to go back and read the physical copy.
As for the story, I loved it! Madeline is an 18 year old who has a disease most commonly known as Boy In the Bubble disease. She is allergic to everything and cannot leave her house for fear of her getting so sick that she could die. Madeline is perfectly content with her life as is, until Olly, the 18 year old boy moves in next door. She lives with her mother, has a wonderful nurse, and lives in a world of books. However, once she starts talking to Olly, she realizes that this life may not be enough.
Madeline is such an interesting character, because she is mature as her only daily interactions have come from adults and books. She always wrote these little spoiler book reviews and I loved that when writing those she shared that the meaning that she found in the book changed every time that she read it. This thought resonated with me so much because I feel like it is so true. Whenever I re-read a book, I find something new in it that I loved.
Olly is also adorable beyond belief. He is such a good guy and has a great sense of humor. I could visualize him so well with the descriptions and felt how he was in constant motion every time he talked. The interaction between him and Madeline was so sweet. He really drew out her youth and her fun side.
While parts of this book were predictable (Olly and Madeline falling in love and having to deal with her sickness), there were parts that definitely were not. I was completely in shock with parts of the storyline and I loved that they took me by surprise. I’m not often taken by surprise with stories, so I don’t know if this was because of the writing, or partly because of the format. Either way, Yoon took me by total surprise and I loved it.