Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 313
Everything, Everything (2015) by Nicola Yoon is a story about love and risk. The story follows one Maddy Whittier, who has spent all of her life living inside her Los Angeles home with her mother, Pauline, and her caregiver, Carla. She suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), and is not able to leave the house owing to a weakened immune system. She catches the gaze of a young man moving into the house next door. He then delivers her a bundt cake, and the two begin communicating. The caregiver arranges a meeting between Maddy and Olly, allowing Olly into the house. When Maddy's mother finds out, she dismisses Carla, and forbids Olly and Maddy from seeing one another again.
Nevertheless, Olly and Maddy continue to communicate. Maddy tells Olly that she is taking a new medicine that enables her to leave the house, and, under that pretext, the two travel to Hawaii. Maddy gets sick there, and her mother brings her home. Maddy stops communicating with Olly, in order to make their estrangement easier. Meanwhile, Olly moves out to escape his abusive father.
Later, Maddy finds out from the doctor who treated her after her visit to Hawaii that she does not in fact have SCID, but just lacks naturally immunity owing to her cloistered lifestyle. Her mother has sheltered Maddy and told her that she has the disease to prevent her daughter from being taken from her, as Maddy's father and brother died when she was young.
The novel invites its readers to consider an element of risk inherent to love. This is especially true in Maddy's case, as someone with a serious illness, but really is true in all cases of love. Maddy's mother suffers tremendously after she loses her husband and son, which causes her to stifle her daughter's adolescence. This demonstrates the risk that attends pure love in all individuals.
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