By: Ansley Evans, PCHS ’20
If you knew love could kill you, what would you do just to experience it? The world outside of the thin glass window that belongs to the home of Madeline Whittier is filled with threats, viruses, and bacteria. The book Everything Everything, written by Nicola Yoon, has everything you need… romance, heart, power, and intelligence.
Eighteen year-old Madeline Whittier can’t go outside because of her immune system. She has SCID, severe combined immunodeficiency, which prevents her from going outside because if she did go outside she would probably die. She has not left the house in 17 years and in order for other people besides her mom and her nurse, Carla, they would have to go through a thorough physical and spend at least an hour in a decontamination airlock.
The possibility of love is not an option for her until the sound of a moving truck is heard next door, and suddenly there is a boy who will change her life forever. A boy who wears all black, is weightless, and stares directly into Madeline’s eyes.
Madeline spends her days watching Oliver (or Olly) hanging out on the roof or protecting his family from his drunk and abusive father. After nights of window communication, emails are exchanged and the spark is lit. They spend their nights constantly instant messaging and she catches him every so often staring at her through the window.
Finally the day comes when Olly and Madeline meet. She is scared but also filled with excitement. For someone who has never experienced love, she plays it cool.
“Wanting just leads to more wanting,” she tells her self. “There’s no end to desire.”
Her nurse Carla tells her not to worry, “Love can’t kill you.”
She may not be able to experience everything but she can experience some things. “What would happen if you went outside?” Olly asks.
“My head would explode.” Madeline says. And then it happens. She goes outside. Olly and his drunken father get into a fight and she can’t help but run outside to protect him. Their relationship is exposed to her mother and Carla is fired. Within days Madeline has officially fallen in love with Olly.
I recommend that everyone read this book. It is funny, cute, and full of risk taking. It shows that taking the risk is better than thinking what if. And yes, I did get something in my eye at the end. But it was definitely dust.