Everything, Everything – book review

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Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Realistic Fiction
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

Japanese-African American teen Madeline Whittier has been confined to her house in a controlled, sterile environment for as long as she can remember due to SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency).  “Basically,” she writes, “I’m allergic to the world.”  She’s surprisingly well-adjusted, however, and has good relationships with her nurse, Carla, and her mom, and loves her online/homeschool classes.  When new neighbors move in, however, Madeline’s routine is disrupted by the arrival of Olly whose humor and parkour skills quickly catch her attention.  They exchange email addresses and messages and as they start to become close, Carla allows them to meet – unbeknownst to Madeline’s mom.  Their secret is revealed when Madeline unthinkingly leaves her house, rushing to Olly’s aid, when she observes him fighting off his intoxicated father.  Madeline is forbidden to see Olly again.  Their separation is intolerable, and risking everything for love, Madeline buys tickets to Hawaii, convinces Olly to come with her, and they spend the best two days of her life together.  Until she gets sick and is forced to return home.  Theirs is a real love, but is it possible for them to be together?

Everything, Everything is a sweet romance that fans of the genre will enjoy.  A few plot points are glossed over (Madeline’s ease in obtaining her own credit card – I’m betting she has no credit history – and getting on a plane – does she even have an ID?), but readers are unlikely to grumble.  A final plot-twist allows for a happy ending for most.  This was recently made into a film.

Reviewed by YA Librarian.