Teen Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Review by: Jenny, 15, member of Leaside branch Youth Advisory Group.
This story takes place in Madeline Whittier’s house in Los Angeles, California. Her house is filled with pure white furniture and white walls, making her large collection of books the only thing that stands out. Madeline is a typical teenager, at first glance, except she has a life-threatening condition called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) that prevents her from leaving her house. The air she breathes must be thoroughly filtered. Due to her condition, 18-year-old Madeline has not left her house in 17 years. Enclosed by the walls of her house, Madeline lives vicariously through books, the only interaction she has is with her mother and her nurse Carla. This all changes when Madeline first sees Olly.
This book allows you to experience what Madeline is feeling by taking you along an emotional and tumultuous journey as Madeline learns more about herself and begins to rebel. The story intensifies as Madeline’s lies grow in consequences. We also see Olly’s life progress through Madeline’s eyes. We learn that both Madeline and Olly have an interesting relationship with their parents, whether it’s Olly’s dysfunctional family or Madeline’s over-attached mother as well as her secrets about her family’s lost ones.
Throughout the book, the author drops hints about the ending which I found took away from the surprise. Because of the subtle hints, I found the ending to be predictable. Nevertheless, the pros greatly outweigh the cons so I highly recommend this book.
Everything Everything gives you an inside look at Madeline’s peculiar life which greatly contrasts from that of any other person’s. It’s interesting to step out of your shoes and become entranced in Madeline’s unfamiliar lifestyle. One thing I really enjoyed about the book is how you truly feel like you’re right there with Madeline, learning as she learns. I recommend Everything Everything to everyone everyone.