Everything Everything

Yoon, N. (2015). Everything, Everything. New York: Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

  • School Library Journal, Best Book of 2015
  • American Library Association, 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults selection
  • American Library Association,  2016 Top 10 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers selection

Nicola Yoon busts out this young adult novel with hand-drawn sketches and short chapters that unravel the story of Madeline Whittier, an eighteen year old who watches the world from vintique_imageher bedroom window. Even when a new boy moves in next door, she can only spy because she hasn’t left her house for as long as she can remember. Madeline’s rare condition is that she is allergic to everything. Everything everything. Before entering the house, people need to go through a decontamination chamber that viciously blows air for almost an hour to rid them of outside allergens. It’s really only her mother and her nurse, Carla, though; Madeline’s father and brother were killed in a tragic car accident when she was an infant. This has made her mom wildly protective.

But what good is it to be alive if you’re not really living? This becomes Madeline’s mentality after somewhat predictably falling in love with Olly, the boy next door. They email and have secret visits organized by Carla. In spite of their unusual circumstances, these are believable characters who are faced with unexpected adversity and end up surprising themselves by what the are willing to do for love. However, what feels like a straightforward love story arc, takes an abrupt turn near the end.

Madeline is Japanese and African-American (the same as Yoon’s only daughter in real life). I liked how this was mentioned mid-way through the book and was secondary to the story.

Everything Everything is being made into a movie, and some of the filming was done in Vancouver. I’ll be looking out for the scene at Modern Burger. 🙂

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