I’m a little late on this one. SUE ME!! Better late than never, that’s what I always say.
So I read the book Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon last summer but I’ve only just got round to watching the film adaptation in the last few days.
It’s a cute film!! I won’t deny it.
Super cute boy (Jurassic world kid, broody, mature for his years, emotional, very forward, wears black) meets incredibly sweet girl next door – literally (Rue from Hunger Games). It’s a classic formula – but with a twist, as the main character Maddy has a serious illness which prevents her from going outside.
It works well. I really did root for the main characters, I wanted to see them together.
So overall I would say yes, both the book and the film are fab and gave me all the feels and I recommend for a cute little smooshy easy read.
There’s pictures included too, not like a picture book, but little artworks by the author’s husband. It maybe felt a bit juvenile at times, but they were harmless and enjoyable.
However, there were two little niggling things that slightly disappointed me about the book.
The first one has been WIDELY noted – and beware because it’s also a huge spoiler. The book uses disease or illness as a plot device – it makes the main character more interesting, in fact it almost defines the character. Yes, she’s a reader, yes, she’s smart but that’s because reading and school are the only activities her strict mother and her illness really allow.
She’s also INCREDIBLY well adjusted to social interaction and adult life considering she’d only spoken to an handful of people for the first 18 years of her life – but perhaps that’s just a bitter side note from me lol.
And then – this is the spoiler part – her character only develops and is allowed new opportunities when she finds out she no longer has the illness.
Whilst, as a reader, this is obviously what we want for our main character – to be healthy, – it feels a bit of a cheat – that in order to have her happy ending, she needs to shed her illness. It would have felt a more satisfying ending if somehow the illness and character progression had been compatible.
Secondly, it’s frustrating that Maddy is driven to defy her mother and explore the outside and become her own person – simply for a boy.
Okay, yes, it’s a YA romance book and I’m probably splitting hairs, but as I said before she is incredibly normal and intelligent despite her unusual upbringing, and surely capable for wanting more for herself – it’s sad that a boy is once more the most important and integral part of a young woman’s life.
I’d like for characters to be more than just their romantic relationships and their health. But I suspect this is more a critique of the genre rather than this specific book.
It’s a lovely book, it’s beautifully written and I really care about the main characters. And the film is a wonderful adaptation, suitably arty and soft and colourful. Exactly how I imagined the book. Whilst I recommend both a read and a watch, I’d advise you to remember that it’s fiction, as unrealistic as it is beautiful.