Read With Your Teen: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.”


While this book presents itself a little bit like The Fault in Our Stars with a doomed heroine, it’s incredibly optimistic and not sappy. Maddy has a potentially fatal disease that means she is not allowed outside or even out of the house, and if she were not under the care of her mother, who is a doctor, she’d probably be dead right now instead of a very bright but housebound teenager who is incredibly good at seeing flaws and weaknesses in some people (sometimes just from her window) and not so good at seeing others.

This book, while a quick read made even quicker by the interspersed charts, cartoons and text messages, is definitely worth your time, whether you are 15 or 55. It’s about filling your time when all you have is time, making choices, over-parenting, and an incredibly complex and loving relationship between mother and daughter and what happens when that relationship is bumped a little lower on the priority scale by the existence of a Boy. (And what a Boy – trust me on this). Warning – this is for the 13 and up crowd, as there is a sex scene (mostly off camera, but there nonetheless).

Don’t protect your child (or yourself) from this potentially sad book – this is the most uplifting doomed heroine I’ve ever read, and it will have you pondering serious issues about parenting, medical ethics, and quality of life, while somehow never feeling terribly heavy.

This book may invite some serious discussions with your kid, but if you’re reading this blog, you’re up for that.

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