Illustrations by David Yoon
Who can forget the Bubble Boy? Well, I certainly couldn’t, and Nicola Yoon takes that story and gives it a modern, unique twist.
Madeline suffers from SCID; Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. She is allergic to pretty much everything. Diagnosed as an infant, shortly after her father and brother were killed in a car accident, Madeline has lived her life inside her home. Luckily, her mother is a doctor and the insurance settlement from the accident allows her to create a sterile environment throughout the home, so Madeline isn’t stuck in the proverbial bubble.
As she nears her 18th birthday, a new family moves in next door. From her perch at her 2nd floor window, Madeline spies a boy about her age, a very good looking boy. Olly spies her as well, and writes his email address in big letters in his window across from hers. An online relationship is born, this time one that has to stay that way – or does it?
Madeline’s life is full of love, yet she longs for more. And when she finally gets what she longs for, her whole life is turned upside down.
Short chapters are interspersed with drawings, charts & graphs, drawn by the author’s husband. I love epistolary novels and this is a really good one, filled with unforgettable characters. It is a fast, heartwarming read and I can understand the comparisons to John Green and Rainbow Rowell. This young adult novel is sure to appeal to teens as well as adults.
10/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
From Becky LeJeune:
Madeline never goes outside. She can’t because she’s literally allergic to everything. It’s true, with SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) exposure to a trigger could set off a catastrophic allergic reaction resulting in death. So Madeline’s mother has built their house to be a protective environment – nothing that hasn’t been scoured of contaminants comes in and Madeline never goes out.
Madeline’s been mostly ok with that, until now. Now there’s a new neighbor, a boy who fascinates Madeline. Their friendship begins as a secret – written notes in their windows, emails, instant messages… Suddenly Madeline’s safe bubble starts to feel like a trap. Suddenly, Madeline wants more.
Nicola Yoon’s debut is fabulous. Really fabulous.
Madeline is sweet and brave and from the very first page it’s impossible not to fall in love with her. She lives with her condition while keeping a pretty admirable outlook on things. It helps that she has the support of her nurse and her mother and that she’s excited about her classes – even though she can’t actually attend them in person.
But as with anyone, Madeline does long for a life outside of her home. And connections that aren’t strictly online. This becomes more clear when she meets Olly, the boy next door who will not be deterred by Madeline’s mother or Madeline’s condition.
Yoon pairs illustrations (courtesy of her husband) with her prose to give the readers even more insight into Madeline and Olly. Theirs is a sweet and heartwrenching story, one that both teens and adults can enjoy.
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon. Delacorte Press (September 1, 2015). ISBN 978-05534966426. 320p.