Everything, Everything

At first glance, Everything, Everything is your typical YA-romance-novel-with-a mysterious-love-interest-that-they-later-decided-to-make-into-a-movie. And yes, while is it exactly that, it’s done in a way that doesn’t make you cringe with every word.  

Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything depicts the life of biracial teen Madeline Whittier, who has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Basically, she’s trapped in her house 24/7 and can’t have any contact to the outside world. According to her mom, who is a doctor herself, Maddy got really sick a lot as a baby and they never knew what was wrong with her. Unfortunately, Maddy’s dad and brother died in a tragic car crash when she was only a few months old. After they died, Maddy was diagnosed by her mother with SCID.  

Fast forward eighteen years, Maddy spends her days doing online school and loves architecture. While her mother is at work, a nurse named Carla cares for Maddy and they have a close relationship. One day, Maddy notices a new family moving in next door and she is instantly intrigued. Among the family is Oliver “Olly” Bright, and he’s equally interested in Maddy. Maddy finds out about his abusive father and Olly finds out about her disease. They quickly develop a relationship thorough emails and text messages and eventually want to hang out. 

After copious amounts of begging, Carla (Maddy’s mom would NEVER even come close to considering it) allows Olly to come over if they abide by this one important rule: no touching. However, they really don’t care and end up making out and a bunch of other couple-y stuff. As Maddy spends more time IM’ing Olly, her mother grows suspicious and discovers that Carla has been letting Olly come over to spend time with Maddy. Carla is fired and then replaced with a very strict nurse who won’t allow Maddy to use her laptop for any reason beside school, leaving her with absolutely no way to talk to Olly.   

To say the least, Maddy was pissed off.  

In an act of defiance and in search of all that makes life worth living, Maddy books two plane tickets to Hawaii. Yes, someone who is basically allergic to the world and hasn’t been anywhere but her house for 18 years is going on an airplane to a pacific island. She left a note for her mother with the explanation that “you’re not living if you’re not regretting.”  

I’m won’t spoil the rest, but I am going to say that I was pretty shocked at the ending, mostly because I take pride in being able to guess the endings of things. Anyways, I give Everything, Everything an 8/10.  

Side note—the movie adaptation was surprisingly one of the better ones; there were probably only one or two minor details that changed. I mean, some of scenes had direct quotes from the book and those scenes played out so similarly as to how they were in the book—and it was amazing. Casting was perfect; Amandla Stenberg portrayed Maddy PERFECTLY. I also have to mention that it was really, really nice to see a main character with natural (curly) hair (like mine).