Remember that old John Travolta movie about the boy who lived in the bubble? Or maybe the Seinfeld episode where George plays Trivial Pursuit with the Bubble Boy, and the boy nearly dies (“It was the Moops!”)? Though these are Hollywood interpretations, both were based on a rare but very real disease called SCID.
Everything, Everything is a contemporary romance about a “bubble girl” who is allergic to so many things that she is unable to leave the purified environment of her house. I have no doubt Everything, Everything will be incredibly popular in my library, probably for quite awhile. I plan to order multiple copies.
AUTHOR: Nicola Yoon
ILLUSTRATOR: David Yoon
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2015
GENRE: realistic fiction, romance
SETTING: California and Hawaii, present day
GIVE IT TO: upper-MS, HS
SUMMARY: Eighteen-year old Madeline hasn’t been outside since she was a baby. Because she is allergic to everything, she must stay inside her house, where purified air and decontamination showers help keep her from getting sick. But when a cute boy named Olly, moves in next door, Madeline longs to meet him. Soon, Madeline and Olly are communicating through written window messages and online. Despite warnings from her mother, her nurse, and herself, Madeline finds herself falling for a boy she knows she can never have.
REVIEW: I have seen massive praise for this debut romance, and every bit of it is well-deserved. There aren’t many characters–mainly just Madeline, her mother, her nurse, and Olly–but each one is well-drawn and real. It’s hard not to feel Maddie’s loneliness and root for her to take her chances with Olly, even if it means her death.
I also love the illustrations drawn by the author’s husband, David Yoon. The illustrations, short chapters, and abundant white space will make this an easy sell for dormant readers (borrowing Donalyn Miller’s term for those who can read but choose not to).
I personally would purchase this for upper-middle school students, but librarians, teachers, and parents should be aware of one sexual intercourse scene later in the book. If you have The Fault in Our Stars or Eleanor & Park in your library, Everything, Everything will be just fine content-wise.
This book is going to be easy to booktalk in my library, and I plan to order several copies. Give it to students who love Rainbow Rowell or John Green or even Lurlene McDaniel. Definitely among 2015’s best!
THE BOTTOM LINE: For me, one of my favorites of 2015. Sweet and impossible to put down. I read it in two sittings.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: Ordering multiples!
- Overall: 5/5
- Creativity: 5/5
- Characters: 5/5
- Engrossing: 5/5
- Writing: 5/5
- Appeal to teens: 5/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
- Language: none
- Sexuality: medium-high; some kissing, touching, intercourse
- Violence: medium; child and spousal abuse
- Drugs/Alcohol: mild; Olly’s father is a drunk