Sarah Laurence's Reviews > Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
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's review
Sep 23, 2015

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, ya-fiction

Fabulous concept and solid writing for a debut, but this story lacked depth in its execution. The romance was well developed, but the ending (big plot twist) felt contrived and unrealistic. Still, it was a fun, easy read. Given the weighty topic, however, I expected something more substantial than light entertainment. It was #1 on the NYT YA hardcover list in its first week and others have raved about it.

I loved the premise of a girl in a bubble falling in love with a troubled boy outside, and better still, she's half Japanese and half African American (#WeNeedDiverseBooks). However her ethnic diversity didn't go beyond physical description. The biracial MC and her Japanese mom ate French food for special occasions and wore shoes inside sometimes. There was no explanation about how/why her ancestors emigrated from Japan nor any mention of Japanese-American internment during WWII, although her mom is third generation, and therefore the girl's grandparents or great grandparents would have been locked into American concentration camps (a good parallel to the bubble girl's world). There were more ethnic details about the Hispanic nurse, who was my favorite character. The two main characters were too nice and flawless, lacking complexity, and the mom was a flat caricature.

The illustrations were fun and felt fresh, but there was a confusing typo(?) in the notes left by the new nurse, which were signed with the old nurse's first name and the new nurse's last name.

The plot twist/ending was not convincing, hence my 3 star rating. (view spoiler)

This author has potential so I'm curious to see what she'll write next. I hope she draws more from her personal family history (Jamaican immigrant married to a Korean American illustrator with a biracial kid) for ethnic details that add depth to characters and expose readers to diverse life experiences.

I've included this book in my blog post on
New Diverse YA Romances.
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Reading Progress

September 23, 2015 – Started Reading
September 23, 2015 – Shelved
September 23, 2015 –
page 247
September 23, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 25, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
September 25, 2015 – Shelved as: ya-fiction

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