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.
I’m luck enough to host Ms Yoon on Gone Pecan today. Please welcome her and see what she has to say about her book.
Describe your book in a sentence or two.
EE is the story of Maddy, a seventeen year old girl who is so allergic to the world that she can’t leave her house. One day a new family with a super cute boy moves in next door and Maddy discovers that there’s more to life than simply being alive.
What was your inspiration for writing EVERYTHING EVERYTHING?
I started writing Everything, Everything when I was a new mom. My daughter was just four months old. Like any new mom, I worried about everything. I worried about her eating dirt, getting a cold, bumping her head. You name it, I worried about it. My new-mom protective instincts were going haywire! It got me thinking: what if there was a girl who needed constant protection — not just as a little baby but throughout her whole life? What would that do the relationship between the mother and daughter? How would their relationship change as the daughter got older and started to form other relationships? The book is about love in all its different forms and what risks you would take to have and protect it.
What kind of research did you have to do to make sure your characters were authentic?
I based the characters on my own experiences of people in my life. For the medical aspect, I did a lot of research.
How does the diversity in your book relate to your life?
I have a three-year old daughter who is mixed race (My husband is of Korean descent and I am from Jamaica). So, on a very personal level, it was important to me that my daughter be able to see someone that looks like her in a book. And not just as the sidekick or best friend but as the main character, as the reason the book was written in the first place.
What are some of your favorite YA books about diverse characters or by diverse authors?
Pointe by Brandy Colbert. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
What areas of diversity do you want to draw attention to or do you feel are underrepresented in young-adult books?
I’d like there to be more non-issue books with diverse main characters. To be clear, I think issue books a hugely important. I think that they save lives both emotionally and physically. However, I also think that non-issue books are just as important. I’d like to see more adventure stories and love stories, stories about magic and friendship, be helmed by diverse characters without their diversity being an issue. It’s important that everyone gets to see themselves as a hero.
Thank you Nicola for stopping by and Delacorte for sending along this lovely read!
Check out the other #YADiversityBookClub posts: