Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything EverythingThis is one of those rare instances when I’d heard of a movie before I’d heard of the book it was based on. My hubby and I made a trip to the movies recently, and one of the trailers we saw was for a new movie about a young girl with a rare illness that prevents her from going outside. Basically, she lives as a girl in a bubble. But what happens when she falls in love with the boy next door? Will she risk everything to be able to go outside, to be a part of his world, of the world? The trailer looked great and reminded me of Me Before You, a great read about a relationship dealing with circumstances beyond their control. So imagine my joy when I heard the line, “based on the best-selling book.” I knew I had to read Everything, Everything!

Madeline is not a normal teenager. She has SCID, or Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, which basically means that anything could cause a reaction in her body which could kill her – the air outside, someone’s perfume, the pages of a used book, anything. To protect her, Madeline’s mother has built a house that is essentially a bubble for Madeline to exist within. She knows nothing other than her house with its clean, filtered air and the airlock room separating the front door, and gateway to certain death, from the rest of the house. She has her own “outside” room with glass ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows, fake plants, and even a stream to give the illusion that she’s outside. But she’s not. And Madeline feels this the most once she observes Olly and his family moving in next door.

Madeline and Olly start to IM each other and quickly become online friends. They become so close that Carla, Madeline’s nurse and friend, allows Olly to visit Madeline, once he’s gone through decontamination of course. From there, their relationship blooms until Madeline finds herself faced with the ultimate choice – risking her life for the chance to live.

I enjoyed this book. I found it to be a quick, yet emotionally heavy, read. It makes you stop and reflect on all that we take for granted, especially our health. It makes you think about really living life instead of just existing from one day to the next. I also was impressed with a twist that I didn’t see coming at the end. The writing style was intriguing. The book is written in first person and reads as though we are reading Madeline’s own journal. I would recommend Everything, Everything to ages thirteen and up. I’m excited to see the movie now (though I know the book is always better!) 😉

One of my favorite quotes from the book:

“It’s not your fault. Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.” – Everything, Everything


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