Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
PubDate: September 1, 2015
Page count: 310
“Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.”
This is one of those books that I expected to love just by seeing the title and cover. And true enough, I enjoyed and loved it! It’s an I-love-it-even-though-it-was-predictable story and I don’t care. It’s creative and thoughtful and full of heart and those are what matter, right?
Madeline is sick. Can’t-go-out-of-the-house-she-dies-if-she-does kind of sick. She hasn’t been out of their house for eighteen years, only making contact with her mom and her personal nurse, Carla, and taking online studies. She’s fine with her life like this, spending quality time with her mom, reading books, watching people outside her window until people move in next door. Until that bundt cake. Until Olly gives her his email address. Until Olly invades her personal space. Now she wants to know Olly more, personally-physically-emotionally, breaking her mom’s rule of not letting anyone inside their house unless permitted by her with the help of Carla. Carla agrees because she feels sorry for Maddy for not experiencing the life, and love, she should be feeling at her age. She agrees to let Olly come over to meet Maddy but with one strict rule, to stay as far away as possible to Maddy. But you know what love does to people. It makes you do crazy things. So even though Maddy knows that touching Olly could cause her life, she doesn’t care. And that’s when she realizes that she’s falling in love with him and there’s no stopping it.
“Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”
Her feelings for him grow with each passing day to the point of disobeying her mom by going outside one morning just to make sure Olly is okay from all the fighting that is going on with his family. That action causes her to lose Carla, her mom’s trust and her internet privilege. And one day, remembering what Carla told her about life being a gift, she decided to run away. With Olly. Even though she knows that she could die anytime soon.
The story is not new to me but it’s nice to see how creative it was written. I also had some concerns at first, like how childish Madeline was and how it was an insta-love but then I realized that Madeline hasn’t been out to see the world, let alone her neighborhood, for eighteen freaking years and so she didn’t have any idea about some things except for what she’s read in her books or internet. She instantly fell for Olly that it made me frown and excited at the same time and I didn’t know how possible that was. The frowning and excited part, I mean. But they were cute.
To: Madeline F. Whittier
Subject: haiku #1
Sent: October 31, 9:07 PM
five syllables here
and now here are seven more
i love you maddy
Anyhoo, I understand why her mom did it but if I were Maddy, I would be mad too. Her mom was scared and she just wanted to protect her from the harmful world but she didn’t have the right to take Maddy away from everything. Eighteen years without knowing, feeling, seeing, experiencing the outside world and maybe all the other years ahead of her if she didn’t find out the truth. It’s heartbreaking for her mom, knowing Maddy could leave her now, but fortunate for Maddy because she can now see the world one breath at a time. And maybe now she can love Olly without worrying that she can die anytime.