Based on Nicola Yoon’s YA novel, Everything, Everything is about an 18-year-old girl who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency, a condition that’s kept her inside the same house her entire life, due to potentially fatal vulnerabilities to allergens, viruses, and other infections.
Everything hasn’t thought through the implications or possibilities of its premise very deeply.
At worst, Maddy Whittier, the afflicted teen played by Amandla Stenberg, could be described as a little bookish and shy, given to daydreaming or losing herself in the imagined spaces of architectural models.
Maddy owes a portion of her sanity to her mother and her nurse, who are patient and sympathetic, and who encourage her fertile mind to transcend the limits the disease has placed on her existence.
Still, t’s nothing they can do to keep this hothouse flower from blooming and when Olly, a charming and sensitive rebel-type, moves in next door, Maddy starts thinking about risking her life for love.
Maddy is only an inch of glass away from him and a few miles from the ocean she dreams of visiting, and she hopes one day to see Hawaii, home of the humuhumunukunukuapua’a fish.
Stenberg is enormously appealing as Maddy, whose combination of frailty and adventurousness recalls Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars, which Everything, Everything resembles in more ways than one.
The big difference between the two is that Hazel’s terminal illness is grounded in wrenching truths about how parents and friends treat imminent loss and Maddy’s SCID is merely a device, no more true to life than Drew Barrymore’s reset amnesia in 50 First Dates or any number of body-swapping comedies.
Everything, Everything is caught in a trap w it doesn’t commit to fleshing out the implications of its premise but doesn’t have the tools to survive without it.