young-adult

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In which Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” sends John down the wrong edge of the river, which then leads to a consideration of the poem, Frost’s inspiration Edward Thomas, making choices, and how/whether literature can actually matter. 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

5 Stars
Reviewed by Naomi

Official Synopsis: 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.

Every now and then a book comes into your life that you just love. There’s no real reason for it beyond pure entertainment. For me, that book is currently Everything, Everything. I’m going to write a review and attempt to breakdown my thoughts toward this book, but mostly I liked it just because…it’s good.

I usually dislike it when people call books “cute.” My reasoning has always been that puppies are cute and babies are cute. Books are… more. Books are someone’s sweat, blood and dreams which can’t be cute. Well, here I am eating crow, because this book is cute. And by cute, I mean that Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon in appealing and delightful, in other words, charming.

I worried that I wouldn’t like this book. I don’t know that much about SCID, but in my minds eye I kept seeing an image of a young John Travolta in a bubble. It seemed clear to me that it would either be ridiculous or sad. The fact that Nicola Yoon manged to take her synopsis and give us a charming book is a testament to her skill as a writer. Lets be honest, this book should be boring. I mean, what kind of book has a heroine who cannot leave the house? Answer, a book filled with character, imagination, self discovery and love.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency or SCID is a primary immune deficiency and Maddy has it. It means she’s basically allergic to the entire world. When you’re allergic to the entire world it means that your personal world is very small. It’s confined to a single space with pre-approved, decontaminated people. For Maddy that means her mother and her nurse. But, Maddy doesn’t mind, because she has her books and more importantly her life. 

Then one day, a mysterious boy in a hat moves next door and makes her realize that while she survives, she doesn’t actually live.

This book could not work if not for the pure charm of the main character. Maddy lives an isolated life which means her imagination is through the roof. She reads and has been able to build a sense of humor and wit that matches any other character of her age or more. She’s likable. She’s had SCID her entire life and is used to the idea. She doesn’t spend the book moaning about how it’s not fair or poor her. 

When Olly comes into her life and she decides to risk a lot to experience a taste of the outside world. It’s important to note that her desire for adventure is not just because of a boy. It’s because of her. It’s because of the imagination inside her head and the desires in her heart. She wants more. And, yes, Olly is apart of that, but he is not everything.

Olly is a book boyfriend to threaten all book boyfriends. Why? It takes a certain kind of person to fall in love with a person that they cannot touch. He’s got a lot of baggage and yet manages to be empathetic and understanding. Nicola Yoon is able to make an instant chat better than most conversations in all of YA. She writes with a rhythm and humor that makes you forget it’s two people just typing on a screen. 

It’s really hard to review this book without giving away all of its secrets and spoiling it for the reader, but this is what I will tell you:

It’s funny. It’s romantic. It’s charming. It’s filled with heart and even adventure. Maddy is a heroine of color, which is really important in a time where we are screaming for diversity from the rooftops. 

With it’s heavy topic, it manages to be light and free and great for a late summer read.

I really enjoyed this one and highly recommend it.

*ARC Provided by Mrs. nicolayoon herself.
Release Date: September. 1, 2015 (meaning you’re already a day behind in picking it up.)

For more info: Goodreads page and Author website

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In honor of Misty Copeland’s new role as principal ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre, here are 3 books featuring female ballerinas.

Books Mentioned

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland http://ow.ly/REib3
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton http://ow.ly/REifU
Pointe by Brandy Colbert http://ow.ly/REip2

Sarah J. Maas breaks 14 years of silence on the inspiration behind the climax of Queen of Shadows

Sarah J. Maas’ (sjmaasQueen of Shadows is the fourth book in her Throne of Glass series and one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the fall. Our editor was lucky enough to spend pub day at Bloomsbury where she talked to Sarah about just how crazy things get when Celaena returns to Rifthold. We’ve got the inside scoop on the moments in this book that had Sarah in tears, the character death she doesn’t regret, and the inspiration for this book that she’s kept secret for 14 years.

READ ON

13 Things Non-Readers Don’t Understand

1. Falling in love with fictional characters

Originally posted by gifbuffet

Why can’t people in real like be as attractive and romantic as the ones in books?

2. Books are surprisingly heavy

Originally posted by padfootandprongs07

3. Getting so absorbed in a book you don’t notice that hours have passed

Originally posted by dancing-at-the-funeralparty

I’m pretty sure it was light out only 100 pages ago…

4. Waiting for your favorite book to be turned into a movie

Originally posted by movies-quotes

5. When your favorite book finally gets made into a movie… and the movie is awful

Originally posted by classicdisney

No big deal, they just left out all my favorite lines, forgot the best scenes and completely butchered the casting. Other than that it was great!

6. Refusing to get a kindle because physical books are just so much better

Originally posted by dftreadbooks

From the smell of the pages to the feel of a heavy book in your hand, e-readers just can’t compete. 

7. That feeling right after you finish a REALLY good book

Originally posted by infiniteflamesandshadows

How does one function as a human being?

8. The struggle of trying to convince your friends to read your favorite books

Originally posted by metaphoricalhero

Okay so it’s about this girl who fights these demons and there’s this boy who’s really hot and he has these really cool magical tattoos and of course they fall in love but there’s this other boy who’s the girl’s best friend but he is in love with her but he also kinda likes this other girl. Oh and then there’s this really cute bisexual warlock and his boyfriend… Wait, where are you going? 

9. Running out of space on your bookshelf

Originally posted by cocacolaexecution44

Can’t. Stop. Buying. Books. 

10. Feeling like you’re drowning in your TBR (to-be-read) pile

Originally posted by foreverlostinliterature

I have 53 unread books sitting on my shelves… 

11. The excitement of finally getting a book you’ve been waiting for

Originally posted by piercetheinvisibilitycloak

12. Being in denial when your favorite characters die

Originally posted by thebookgifs

Nope, didn’t happen. They were obviously just faking it… right?

13. How many amazing people you can meet through your mutual love of books

Originally posted by booktubes

Nowhere will you find more compassionate, loving, accepting people than book lovers. 

She was special. The kind of special that is hard to find in this life. The kind of special most people don’t get to touch. It’s the rare kind that, when you find it, you know it’s worth fighting for.
—  Abbi Glines, Hold On Tight