Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her.
Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone? “Everything, Everything” is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.
I was a bit skeptical about this book at first. I love these kind of books, but there is only so much teen illness and love you can read in a month. So I started it late one night when I could just put it down easily if I couldn’t read….and then I didn’t want to put it down. (I did. I mean, I finished it midday the next day)
Lets talk about why; this may be another in a long line of teen illness, but at the same time, its not. Most are the whole ‘cancer i’m gunna die’ where you know one, or other, will, at some point, disappear and leave the other grieving. But in this book, you have a character who is a ‘bubble baby’. The outside world is dangerous to her, so she is stuck within four walls for her whole life (I all ready have respect for her, I would go mad being stuck inside all the time). She talks of all the tests she has done every day, to make sure she is alright, and the excitement she has of just getting a new book. She talks of her school, how everything is done over the internet and even if a professor goes to see her, they are not aloud near each other.
But then a new family move in next door, and Olly is thrown into her life. Olly is a likeable character. He’s caring, funny and always moving. No matter what Maddie’s mother does to make him stay away, he is determined to talk to Maddie, and so an online friendship starts.
But they both want more than just online, and that’s where the secrets start.
I love how this book was set out as well- it wasn’t just normal long chapters about the weather and what the four walls looked like. They were cut up, shaped. There were ‘spoiler book reviews’ (which were wonderful, I might add, perfect for my type of pessimism). There were her observations on peoples schedules (really shows how much she does each day).
Oh, and twists that you never expect from ill teen books.
All in all, this book has made me realise I need to stop stereotyping books. Because they can be better and more different to what you expect. Because this isn’t just a book about illness. It’s a book about friendship and family and love and finding out who you are and learning about who you want to be.