Everything, Everything had, on the face of it… well… everything. Cute romance, interesting and engrossing plot, humour, beautiful sketches. I had a good time reading this novel, but while the romance was sweet and I was rooting for the couple to get their happy ending, I sometimes felt the characters lacked a little bit of depth. Or maybe I’m just difficult to please?
Where to begin? I absolutely flew through this book! It was just such a quick read that gave all the warm and fuzzy feels, and I really enjoyed getting that satisfaction from finishing something so quickly. I loved the prose and the author’s style of writing a great deal. I was pleased to see ample levels of diversity interwoven throughout and I really appreciated the positive, safe-sex message the author was able to include within her novel. And can we all please take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous illustrations within the pages of this book. I don’t know about you but I thought that they really brought the story to life.
Given the storyline, it was almost inevitable that Everything, Everything would contain traces of insta-love. I actually didn’t mind it as much as I usually would, however given how quickly I read this novel I felt that a few more chapters of gradual relationship development wouldn’t have gone amiss. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the characterization of Maddy, Olly and the various supporting characters, only that my enjoyment was sort of surface-level, so I never managed to truly connect to them. Slightly more problematic was how this affected my feelings towards Maddy’s mother. I was never able to feel the strength of Maddy’s love for her, so I got annoyed with her mum frequently which meant that once the big reveal happened and we learned the truth I was more betrayed and angry than sympathetic. Yes her grief must have been terrible, but I couldn’t reason or justify what she did, and that made it hard to relate to Maddy’s inner conflict too.
Now it’s going to sound like a strange complaint, but in places the story felt almost too perfect. Take the ending, for example. Everything is wrapped up nice and neatly with a bow and it seems as if the happy couple are about to sail off into the sunset, but part of me wanted Maddy to really get to explore the world a bit more first, before she put down roots in one place with one guy. The ending could have made a cracking epilogue though.
It was tough, but I’m giving Everything, Everything three point five stars. I thought it was still a beautiful novel, if not exactly a thought-provoking one. Plus, having read it I can confirm that I wholeheartedly agree with Maddie (Heart Full Of Books) when she says that the story resembles a Rapunzel retelling, because I certainly got those kinds of vibes.