Everything, Everything Book-to-Movie Review

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By: Liz Vallish (@elizziebeth)

Everything, Everything is the story of Madeline Whittier, who hasn’t left her house in nearly 17 years due to a very rare virus that makes her sensitive to mostly everything outside. She takes classes online, writes a book blog, and reads a lot. Things change when a new family moves next door and she becomes intrigued by them, especially with the son, Olly.

Maddy and Olly quickly become friends by emailing and messaging each other regularly. In the book, it’s written out as messages, but in the movie, it’s an extension of her imagination. It’s amazing to see Maddy’s architecture projects come to life during those scenes, including the astronaut who can’t quite figure out how to drink out of a straw. What could have been scenes of the two texting back and forth were made into in-person conversations in some very interesting locations.

As their relationship progresses, we see both Maddy and Olly trying to protect each other. Maddy wants to protect Olly from his abusive father. She also wants to protect herself from the inevitable heartbreak when Olly starts school and meets girls who can leave their homes. Olly tries to protect her from coming outside and getting hurt. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know that Olly’s protecting doesn’t go very far as Maddy is the strong-willed person that she is.



Something that I really liked that they carried over from the books were the drawings, which were drawn by David Yoon, author Nicola Yoon’s husband. They were animated for the movie, and even included many more of them in the end credits.

The casting for this movie was so great. I’ve been dying to see Amandla Stenberg in a starring role since I saw them in The Hunger Games. They play Maddy with so much joy and such a range of emotion. That smile, though! Nick Robinson as Olly was wonderful. He really brought Olly to life. Although it would have been cool to see Olly do parkour like in the book, it was nice to see some other parts of this character shine. Anika Noni Rose as Maddy’s mom, Dr. Whittier, had me tearing up a few times. I love seeing parents and familial relationships in YA novels and movies.

Also, it was great to see such a diverse cast on screen. I went to a screening in which Stenberg, Rose, and the director Stella Meghie introduced the film and talked about how vital this is. It’s so important that they kept Maddy as mixed race. I also loved that Maddy’s friend Rosa was seen more in the movie. In the book, she is rebellious and we don’t really get to see her. In the movie, she is as good of a friend to Maddy as can be when she’s inside 24/7.

It was magical to see how much they kept from the books while bringing it to life on screen. Of course, there were scenes and a character that were left out, but it doesn’t lessen the story. There are a few scenes near the end of the book that I wish had made it into the film revolving around what Dr. Whittier went through after her husband and son were killed in the accident. The film definitely toned down her grief, but showed how protective she was of Maddy.

Overall, Everything, Everything is so satisfying both as a book and as a film. I suggest reading the book first, but it’s also fine if you read the book after you watch the film. The characters, the world, and the story are so majestically put together and so pleasing.

Everything, Everything is in theaters now.


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