The third book I read, I read because I saw the movie…and loved it.
I read Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, and I gave the story 4/5 stars.
I’ll be honest: I watched the movie for one reason: there was an interracial couple. There is precious little diversity in the world of film, and I was curious to see how this story unfolded.
The story itself was excellent, and the fact that the interracial-ness of the couple was nover even highlighted made it even better. Love is love, and the issue in the story is strong enough on its own without making a gimmick out of diversity. I was pleasantly surprised.
Then I read the book, and I liked the story even more. For anyone who doesn’t know what the story is about, Maddy is an 18 year old girl who has not left her house in 17 years due to an extreme illness. She’s basically allergic to everything. But a boy named Olly moves in next door, becomes curious about her, and strikes up a friendship with her, first through the window, then online. The relationship develops, but there is always the elephant in the room: Maddy and Olly can’t really “be” together. Eventually, Maddy has to decide if the pain of her limitations is too much for this budding romance. There’s more to the story, but I don’t want to give anything away. Go read the book.
The interracial element was actually part of the book’s original appeal and not just something the film makers decided to try. I watched the premier panel with the cast and creators, and when someone asked Nicola Yoon about her choice, she had this to say: “Growing up reading books, I never saw girls like me [in the stories]. I didn’t want my daughter to go through that.”
I was tremendously impressed with this story. It was creative, well written, and intriguing. The only problem I really had, which was the difference between a 4/5 and a 5/5 for me is that I WANTED MORE OF OLLY’S STORY. I know the story is about Maddy, but I want Olly’s perspective a bit more. He was so close to a well fleshed out character! I want a second book from Olly’s perspective. But that’s just me.
Have you watched any book-to-movie adaptations this summer? This one? Thoughts?