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A Brief Summary of Everything, Everything For Everyone Who Didn't Read the Book

Warning: Contains major spoilers!

Everything, Everything is guaranteed to make your heart swell and cheeks wet with tears. If you read the bestselling novel by Nicola Yoon, then you already know, well, everything, everything there is to know. But if you plan on just going to the movies to see the beautiful story unfold on the big screen, then we have the perfect rundown of what it’s about right here. Please note that this is a summary of the book, not the movie.

Much like The Fault in Our Stars, Everything, Everything is about a sick teenage girl who falls in love with a boy. Sounds pretty simple, right? Wrong. The story follows Madeline (Maddy) Whittier, an 18-year-old who is confined to her home because she suffers from SCID, or severe combined immunodeficiency. Since Maddy could be deathly allergic to anything, she can’t go outside or interact with anyone who hasn’t been properly sanitized. Her days consist of going to school online, reading books, having movie and game nights with her mom, and talking with her nurse, Carla. Maddy’s brother and father died in a car accident when she was just a baby.

While she is quite content with her life, everything changes when a new family moves into the house next door. Maddy immediately takes notice of Olly, a teenage boy whose bedroom window is directly across from hers. The two strike up a friendship after talking online, and after Maddy begs Carla to let them meet in person, Olly gets properly sanitized and comes over when Maddy’s mom isn’t home (since she’s so overprotective, Carla doesn’t tell her). The visits become more frequent, and Maddy and Olly slowly begin to fall for each other. However, once Maddy’s mom finds out about their secret meetings, she fires Carla and bans Maddy from ever seeing Olly again.

Maddy begins to withdraw from Olly because she doesn’t want to torture herself with wanting a life she can’t have, but that doesn’t last long. After booking plane tickets to Hawaii, Maddy convinces Olly to go with her by lying and saying she’s on medication that will prevent her from getting sick. After they arrive, they do everything from snorkeling to cliff jumping, but Maddy falls ill one night and is taken to the hospital, where her heart stops. Her mom flies to Hawaii to take her home, and Maddy wakes up back in her bedroom living under the same strict rules. But a few weeks later, she receives a letter from the doctor who treated her in Hawaii, telling her she doesn’t have SCID after all and only got sick because she’s spent her entire life inside without ever having the chance to develop a proper immune system.

After digging around her mom’s office for her nonexistent medical files, she confronts her about not being sick, which her mom initially denies. Maddy and Carla then secretly send away blood tests, which come back and confirm that she’s fine. Her mom then breaks down and admits that she made the whole thing up because she didn’t want to lose her after already having lost Maddy’s brother and father. While Maddy and Olly continue to text and email, Olly moves away while she decides to stay and look after her mentally ill mother. But Maddy quickly realizes that she can’t keep living her life for her mom, so she travels to New York and happily reunites with Olly.

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