Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Madeline Whittier (Maddy) has SCID, an immunity disorder (think "bubble boy") that confines her to her home. Even stepping outside could kill her. Therefore, she lives alone with her Mom, limited to contact with her and her nurse, Carla. For most of her seventeen years, Maddy has been fine with this, until Olly and his family move next door. Suddenly, Maddy finds herself questioning everything about her life.
For me, this was a lovely and touching book. I fell head over heels for Maddy and Olly and their angsty, teen love. The book is fun, with the writing interspersed with Maddy's drawings and sketches (done by Yoon's husband). A scene with a bundt cake is priceless (trust me). Maddy's voice is fresh and it's interesting to "see" the world through her eyes -- as someone who hasn't been outside since she was a baby. The supporting characters are spare, due to Maddy's limited life, but I loved her nurse, Carla, and Olly. Maddy's mom is a formidable character, as well.
The book takes on a lot - Maddy's illness, domestic violence, teen love, mental illness - I think a lesser author could have easily stumbled. It's not perfect, of course, but I still found myself swept up in Maddy's life and story. It's beautiful, touching, and fun. Definitely a worthy read - one of my favorites that I read this year.
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