Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Eighteen-year-old Maddy Whittier lives her life in a bit of a bubble. This can be a cliché for some people, but for Maddy, it’s much more than that. SCID is the acronym for “Severe Combined Immune Deficiency” and victims of this dreadful disease must live in isolation from the outside world for fear of germs and contamination that can lead to death. This describes Maddy’s world where she lives at home with her mother, Pauline (who is also her doctor) and Carla, her long-time nurse and friend.
Maddy seems resigned to a lifetime of books, movies, and board games in her sterile but safe home. Her over-protective mom dotes on her and there’s no denying the deep love they share. With the death of Maddy’s brother and father many years before (in a horrible car accident), they are understandably each other’s whole world. That is until a new family moves in next door and Maddy’s curiosity is piqued by a teenage boy she watches from her window. His name is Olly and his family life is a mess, mainly due to an abusive father who torments the family with ugly fits of drunken rage.
Maddy and Olly’s window to window communication leads to online chatting and they quickly develop romantic feelings for each other. These feelings are brand new for Maddy and now the illness she had learned to tolerate becomes a bitter torment that’s keeping her from a life she now wants to experience more completely. There’s plenty of conflict for Maddy as she risks her health and safety trying to break free from her fearful mom and find the courage to face the outside world. Be ready for a significant plot twist that will have a large impact on all the characters in this well-written YA novel.
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