Reviewed by Britney Hatfield
Eighteen-year-old Madeline Whittier—born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)—is forced to live her life in the bubble of her home or face possible death. In Nicola Yoon’s novel Everything, Everything, Madeline stays content being confined until a new family moves in next door.
Madeline lives her life through novels, never really missing the real world. “I am not lonely,” she tells her mom. “I am alone. Those are different things.” She has online tutors, plays games with her mother, and her nurse, Carla, regularly checks up on her. That’s as far as her interaction goes until she becomes intrigued by the new neighbor’s son, Oliver. Watching him from her bubble causes her to imagine meeting him. Having visitors come over is rare, considering a long sanitation process is required. Madeline feels she deserves to meet him, but to fall in love is dangerous—a risk she is willing to take.
I fell in love with Everything, Everything and finished it in one sitting. The text is filled with medical charts, Madeline’s notes, and illustrations, which adds to its beauty. The novel is a great read for young adults; I highly recommend this book to anyone ready for a complicated love story.
Britney Hatfield was a graduating senior in the Gifted program at Hahnville High. She enjoys reading, traveling, and helping others. In the fall she will attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she will double major in Finance and Accounting.
Editor’s note: Book reviews are published throughout the summer and fall in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program and Unger’s “Adolescents Advocate Literacy” Brown Service Learning Grant.