Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?
Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love. [Goodreads]
I’ve been in the mood for a simple and feel good novel and this did the trick for me.
Madeline has always stayed inside her house. She has game dates with her mum and when she’s not around she has the house nurse and her tutors on Skype to help her get through the weekdays. Until they get new neighbours… and there’s someone who wants to meet the girl locked away in her house. Through IM-ing and their perfectly placed bedroom windows (that happen to be directly opposite one another, Taylor Swift’s You Belong To Me music video style) Madeline finds a new friend. But she wants more. She wants to step outside, she wants to do the impossible even if it could risk her life.
I love the concept of this novel but I’m unsure if it was handled well. Madeline’s curiosity for to take a step into the outside world was refreshing to read. We have the world, we walk around, come inside and hide. But for her it means so much more. It’s almost like a modern day Rapunzel except this time she is truly trapped and contained. It is her curiosity (and Olly) that pushed the novel onwards but the depth explored in characters that made everything less powerful.
I read Everything Everything like I was on the outskirts. At times it worked, especially when Madeline was the watcher ie creeping on Olly because she is crazily but adorably obsessed (like any teen with a crush). But there was nothing that I seemed to connect with and because of this I couldn’t full immerse myself. And then maybe this fell as a disadvantage when reading the whole novel to the end. There lacked in character exploration and minus their circumstances, they were… mundane…
Another part that didn’t sit well for me was that it created this image that parents are bad. They seemed to be the scapegoats. It was a little uncomfortable and felt too intentional – the misunderstood parent taking care of their child and therefore treating them horribly. This was the case for both Olly and Madeline. They felt perfectly placed. Moreover, Carla, Madeline’s nurse, was also ever so conveniently placed too…
A coming-of-age story about being fearless because if you really want something you’ll go to the end of the world to get it done.