Publisher: Corgi Books
Publication Date: September 2015
Format: Paperback, 320 pgs
Living a normal life. Falling in love. Such simple little things in our lives yet Madeline Whittier finds doing them is a huge challenge. You see, Maddy is allergic to the world. She is suffering from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) and anything can trigger a bout of sickness in her. And she hasn't stepped out of her house in seventeen years. Her mother and Carla, her caregiver are the only persons she really sees face-to-face; other than that she studies and surf online, read books and living her life in an enclosed room. Anyone who wants to visit has to go through air decontamination and no touching is allowed. It is no wonder Maddy has no friends until a new family moves next to them.
Olly is an energetic guy who loves parkour and mathematics. He has a younger sister, Kara, and a father who vents his anger onto them when he's drunk or in a foul mood. Olly and Maddy first saw each other through her window the day they moved in, and after that Maddy couldn't get him out of her mind. She is fascinated by his zest, and she wonders what it would be like to be Outside. Olly is intrigued by the mysterious Maddy, too. He made the first move by giving her his email address and a friendship is formed. They talk a lot through IMs and it is Olly who makes Maddy's once isolated life becomes something more alive and meaningful. And the more they corresponded and got to know each other, the more Maddy wants to know the world beyond her confined house and of course, seeing Olly in person. They have fallen in love with each other and finally one day Maddy decides to take the risk and venture outside, despite anything.
Everything, Everything is a different yet unforgettable story about love and finding oneself. The storyline is simple yet it is powerful and it evoked all the emotions in me. There are laughter and tears; and there are also love and forgiveness. Through Maddy's eyes, she shares with us the meaning of life and taking that leap towards risk for the sake of love and embracing it. The author has captured Maddy's voice beautifully and what I felt about her chemistry with Olly is so strong that it made my heart leaps up and ache at the same time. This is a great debut in my opinion and I also have to mention that the interior illustrations are gorgeous, too. David Yoon (who is the author's husband) created the illustrations for Everything, Everything and they certainly put this story into better perspective through Maddy's eyes. The ending will definitely lead readers pondering but not in the way they have expected.