Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Published by: Delacorte Press

SCID. The four letters that describe Madeline's life. The four letters that have followed her everywhere. The four letters that dictate what she can and can't do, and who she can and can't see. Four little letters that stand for: Severe Combined Immunodeficiency.

Which is basically a fancy way of saying that Madeline can never leave her house.

Madeline has been sick since she was a baby. When a horrible car accident killed her brother and her father, Madeline was left with only her mother. And Carla - her nurse. Without being able to venture outside, Carla and her mom are the only friends Madeline knows. Madeline goes to school online, buys her clothes online, does everything online. When people want to visit, usually only her architect teacher, they have to get a physical and decontaminated before they can enter her hermetically sealed house. It may all seem like a lot to go through but Madeline has known nothing else. How can you miss what you've never experienced?

Of course everything changes when a family moves in to the house that's been unoccupied next door. From her window Madeline can see a husband, wife, and their two kids: a boy and a girl. She doesn't think much of it. She doesn't need to get involved with their lives. But when the boy and his sister ring the doorbell offering a neighborly bundt cake, Madeline starts to track their movements.

Soon, Madeline gets to know the boy, Olly, through written messages on his window. Eventually, they begin to talk online. The more Madeline gets to know Olly the more she wants to meet him, despite the serious illness she may contract.

Scared to ask her mom, Madeline asks Carla who relents. Seeing Olly in person is different than talking to him online. She starts to realize how much her heart skips and her stomach flops. She realizes just how much she's missed out by not being able to touch anyone.

Madeline wants to get to know Olly outside of her clean, white walls. She wants to live life out there. Books, online friends, and board games with her mother will no longer be enough to keep her happy. She wants to really live but with a disease, rare and terrifying, will Madeline chose her health or love?

Yoon's use of diary entries, Madeline's own meaning of words, nurse schedules, and IM messages make this story instantly more personal. We feel like we are privy to Madeline's life instead of just on the outskirts of it. We are able to see her moods change, her optimism wax and wane. We're able to fall in love with Olly the same way Madeline does. Through these various methods of writing we see her humor and goodnaturedness. It makes what would normally be a boring same-thing-every-day story line interesting and leaves you wanting more. But most importantly, it leaves you questioning your life in a good way. Are you really alive if you're not really living?

I give this book 4 out of 5 cateyes.

You Might Also Like


  1. This book sounds really interesting! Definitely adding it to my TBR list. :)

  2. It was really interesting which I think was because of the way she used so many different methods of telling the story. I really liked it. Let me know what you think when you read it.

  3. I want to read this book now. It sounds so good!