***Major spoilers ahead!!***
This discussion will have spoilers for both the book and the movie!
If you want to read a spoiler free review of the book Everything Everything by: Nicola Yoon, click here!
Find this book on Goodreads here!
Book = 3.5/5 Doughnut
Movie = 3/5 Doughnuts
Overall thoughts on the Book:
Overall we really enjoyed this book. The way Nicola Yoon wrote it is so creative! It felt like we were reading Maddy’s journal, and getting to know her on a deeper level. We both feel like if she were just telling her story in the “traditional” way, we wouldn’t have loved Maddy as much as we do. So props to Nicola Yoon!! Oh my gosh Olly!! ❤ ❤ He is everything! However, we both feel like we needed more of him. Even though this is is Maddy’s story, it would have been nice to see a bit more into Olly’s world.We got a small glimpse into his world by seeing his father’s relationship with the family, but would have been happy to read more. We both would be here for a retelling of this book from Olly’s perspective.
Problems we had with the book:
Overall, it seemed like in order for Maddy to be happy she had to not be sick. We read an article written by someone with a condition that allows her to relate to Maddy’s SCID diagnosis. The author of this article writes about how Everything Everything is problematic because she interprets it as a story of someone that cannot be happy while living with SCID. If you are interested in reading this article you can find it here. Neither of us have SCID, however we both do live with a disability as we are legally blind. Therefore, we can understand how misrepresentation of someone living with a disability is problematic. We both agree that Maddy seems to not feel like she is living if she cannot leave the house. However, as we find out later in the book, Maddy does not have SCID. The reason Maddy was wrongly diagnosed with SCID, is because her mother diagnosed her. It is evident that her mother has a disability herself that she is unaware of until the end of the book. Therefore, we can see how she would not have shown Maddy how to make the accommodations necessary to live a positive and healthy life with SCID. Maddy’s mom wasn’t supportive of Maddy’s relationship with Olly, and didn’t show her how SCID does not have to ruin Maddy’s relationships with others. However, we believe that this is not because she doesn’t think someone with SCID can have relationships, but because she is filled with fear of losing Maddy because of her own disability. We believe that it is understandable why we didn’t see that positive representation of SCID, because that is a result of Maddy’s mom’s disability. However, we can understand how someone with SCID could be offended by the representation. We think that if the book had expanded more on Maddy’s mom’s disability, it could have fixed some of the problematic aspects of Maddy’s SCID representation.
The other problem we both had with the book is that the ending felt way too abrupt. I already mentioned how we would have appreciated seeing more about Maddy’s mom’s disability. We also would have liked more of an interaction between Maddy and Olly at the end.
Overall thoughts on the movie:
Going into this movie we had a lot of expectations and a lot of them had to do with problems we have with the book. Overall, we enjoyed the movie but we feet that the movie expands the problems we found in the book rather than reduces them. We both really enjoyed Amadla Steinberg as Maddy, and Nick Robinson as Olly. Their chemistry is very evident and they bring the relationship between the characters to life beautifully. We thought it was really creative how the movie brings the conversations between Maddy and Olly to life, by having them set in Maddy’s architectural models. We also enjoyed the ending more in the movie. We feel that the movie gives more closure between Maddy and Olly than in the book. We like that Maddy apologizes to Olly for ignoring him after they left Hawa and that they decided to start over with each other.
Problems we had with the movie:
We had hoped that the movie would expand upon Olly and his relationships with his family. This wasn’t the case. If anything, we get even less of Olly in the movie than we do in the book. We know that Olly’s father is abusive but we really didn’t know much about the background of that storyline like we did in the book.
We mentioned that the book can be interpreted as giving the message that someone can’t live a happy life while also living with a disability. We’ve discussed seeing both sides of that interpretation, however we feel that the movie did nothing to remedy it. There is a scene in the movie where Maddy’s mother basically tells her that she can never be happy with Olly because of the life she lives with her illness. We understand the mother has her own illness that contributes to how she raises Maddy, but we can also see the damaging interpretation that can be taken from it as well. Also, in the book Maddy’s mom doesn’t provide any support that would show Maddy how she can live life positively while living with SCID. In the movie, Maddy’s mom has her be a part of a support group for people with SCID. We feel that this expanded upon a negative representation on living with SCID because Maddy described the people in the group as looking sad and depressed, as if they weren’t living a happy life.
Though we feel the book could have expanded more on Maddy’s mother’s illness, we feel that the movie made it even less apparent that she even had an illness to begin with. In the book it was obvious that she had convinced herself that Maddy was sick and it is mentioned that she ends up going to therapy to work through her illness. We feel that her illness didn’t come across as clearly in the movie and it didn’t show or mention her seeking any sort of help for herself.
Something that we felt was lacking in the movie that wasn’t in the book was that Maddy at least has a suspicion that she might not be sick and that is expanded upon when she goes to visit her nurse, Carla before going to Hawaii with Olly. Carla tells Maddy that she herself had suspected that Maddy might not be sick. This didn’t happen at all in the movie and we feel that this took away from the story because in the book Maddy leaves with Olly with some understanding that there is a possibility that she isn’t sick, while in the movie it seems that she was just willing to risk her life to be with Olly with little regard to her health.
We understand that every aspect of a book can’t always translate to screen especially because of the time that it can take up. However, we feel that neither the book nor the movie were very long so we feel that it would have been possible for the movie to expand more on certain aspects of the book.
Thanks for taking the time out to read our review! We’d love to know your opinions on this book! Feel free to share and sound off in the comments!