My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is such a powerful story, especially for her debut novel. It tackles the tough topic of living your life with a disease that affects absolutely everything. Maddy has SCID, a disease that essentially makes her allergic to the world. She doesn’t know what all of her triggers are, but she knows that if she is exposed to other people, spicy food or even nature outside – she could become severely ill and even die.
Her life has gone by, day by day, with no change. Her nurse Carla takes care of her, checks her temperature and blood pressure and she eats exactly three meals and two snacks a day. Every Friday, she has a special French food night with her mom but her meals are less than authentic with her allergies. But despite all that, she never gives up. She takes classes, reads books and is happy, despite the huge thing looming over her life and unlikelihood that she would ever be allowed outside in the real world.
But everything changes when a new family moves into the house near hers. Normally, she would just let the sound wash over her, ignore the beeping of the moving truck, but not today. For some reason, she goes to the window and her entire world changes. She makes a new friend, one she won’t allow to pity her, and his name is Olly. He opens up her world and before long, they’re messaging one another long into the night.
Their story together was so precious, that you couldn’t help but fall in love with each of them. The strength that Maddy had to live, cheerfully, day by day and the heart that Olly had to love and want to protect his family no matter what. The tale was heartbreaking and lovely, and to my surprise, it was not predictable.
I would highly recommend this book to young adult/teen readers who enjoy character-driven plots and unique contemporary book. This novel really delves into Maddy’s head and gives you a glimpse into her thoughts through a variety of mediums.