Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon ISBN 9780553496642 $18.99
Imagine that you have a disease that prevents you from contact with the outside world and all people. That is Maddy’s fate in this book. Her diagnosis is Severe Combined Immunodeficiency and it means she lives in an entirely white environment, wears all white clothing, and never, ever goes outside. Her mother is a doctor and provides all of her care, so although she’s sick she doesn’t need to go out into the world. Her vitals are checked around the clock. There’s an air seal at the front of the house, and a special room for air-blasted decontamination. Special filters extract pollens and poisons from the air every minute, and every four hours completely new air is pumped into the house and old air is removed. The only other human contact Maddy has is with her nurse, Carla. Maddy’s father and brother were killed when Maddy was just a baby.
Despite her circumstances, Maddy is a well-adjusted and intelligent girl. She’s spent her years doing her studies and reading constantly. Until one day. A moving van pulls up next door and out pops a family of four. There is a young man, Olly, just about Molly’s age, and it ends up that their bedroom windows face one another. Molly furtively makes eye contact with him this way, but nothing more. So when a few days later the bell rings, Maddy is alarmed. Her mother goes through to the special air-tight chamber and it is the neighbor and his little sister and they are bearing gifts: their mom has made a bundt cake to deliver. Maddy’s mother declines due to Maddy’s disease. Because she doesn’t tell Olly and his sister why she’s refusing the food, they are offended. What ensues is a bit amusing, though. Olly does make contact through that window, using the bundt cake as a prop. Apparently his mom is not the best cook and Olly makes every attempt to annihilate said bundt, but it is indestructible. Communication via email and IM soon ensues and the relationship is born.
Maddy talks her nurse Carla into letting Olly come over, but the visits prove difficult to hide as Maddy begins to spend less time with her mother and more time IMing Olly. Over time the relationship between Maddy and Olly grows until Maddy begins to question the quality of her own existence. Is it worth it to live in seclusion? Or do you take the chance and live life to its fullest until you can’t live anymore? When Molly answers those questions for herself she learns more than she ever imagined possible. But can she survive it?
This is a quick, easy read and perfect for the summer. With just a touch of romance, a little humor, and a surprise ending you’ll be glad you gave it a try!