*image via Goodreads
Maddy has spent her entire life in a literal bubble. Allergic to the outside world, she's housebound due to Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and subject to the most clinical of conditions, with only her mother and Nurse, Rosa, for company. She doesn't know anything else outside of this life and she doesn't really mind - that's what books, TV and Skype are for right? Plus it's the only one she's lived for the past seventeen years, surely she's not missing out on much?
One day, a moving van rumbles into her street, depositing a new family across the road and a boy named Olly into Maddy's life. What happens over the course of the next few weeks will challenge and change everything she's ever known about herself, the world and love itself.
What’s my verdict?
How do you revamp the girl falling for the boy next door YA trope? Everything, Everything manages to do that and more. The whole premise of the book is super interesting and it's fascinating seeing the world through Maddy's eyes - she's a bit like Rapunzel, but is completely content in her 'tower' until Olly comes along. Personally I though the plot itself was very cliche - and very Insta-love-y, which may put some readers off - but juxtaposed next to the characters the story feels fresh.
The romantic tension between Maddy and Olly within the first few chapters of the book is so damn palpable. There's almost an innocence about their relationship at first, because of Maddy's condition, that you don't often see in YA - don't worry though you do get the full flush of young hormonal love too, and honestly it's pretty electric when it happens.
In terms of other characters, I adore Rosa - she feels more like a mother than Maddy's own mum and she's utterly endearing. Others are less memorable, but the dynamic between Maddy and her actual mother is definitely worth a mention and I love reading the change in the power play between the two as the book goes on. I also just need to give a shout out for diverse representation - Maddy is half Japanese, and half African-american - but the plot is nowhere near centered around her race. In fact the only mention is when Maddy is describing herself and all the times Olly tells her she's beautiful - Awwww!
Overall, call me a romantic but Everything, Everything made my heartache in the best way possible. But as much as I got the warm and fuzzies reading about this unique against-all-odds young love story, there slightly more serious tones were also really great to see as they added a bit of depth to the story.
Other Side Of The World: KT Tunstall; Just Keep Breathing: We The Kings; Ordinary Day: Vanessa Carlton; First Day Of My Life: Bright Eyes; Gravity Happens: Kate Voegele; Time Bomb: All Time Low
Disclaimer: Review copy c/o Netgalley