Madeline Whittier has a rare disease where she’s allergic to the world. Being housebound, home-schooled and with only her mother and a nurse for companionship, Madeline becomes intrigued when a new family moves in next door. The son, a tall boy who loves climbing up onto his roof, catches her eye and her thoughts become consumed with Olly. Madeline wants so desperately to spend time with Olly but she knows there’s no way that would happen without it ending badly.
This was such an interesting premise and, with the synopsis right from the back of the book jacket, you just know that something’s going to happen to rock that sterile world. I found the characters fascinating and much more complex than what first meets the eye. While Madeline has her obvious condition, everyone else also has things that they’re dealing with as well. I loved the dynamic between Madeline and her nurse, a wonderful blend of caregiver, confidant and only friend.
The cover is absolutely beautiful, and reminds me of the colouring books that are all the rage right now. Within the pages, there are also illustrations and doodles throughout the book, drawn by the author’s husband and which enhance the story as it unfolds. The chapters are broken out in a way that makes the story fly by even faster. I couldn’t put this book down, finishing it in a 24 hour period.
Everything, Everything is a fantastic contemporary read that has more beneath the surface than just a forbidden romance. It’s an emotional journey of self discovery and family dynamics, covering topics about abuse, grief and hope.