For a while, it felt like the only YA movies were formulaic stories about dystopian societies and apocalyptic events. Sure, it was kind of fun, but the world needed a breather.
This summer, the YA novel Everything, Everything gets a movie adaptation which looks like it could be a strong contender for the best teen movie of 2017. Before we talk about what #EverythingEverything is all about, and why you should be at the theater on opening weekend, check out the new trailer below.
In Nicola Yoon's novel (published in 2015), teenager Maddy Whittier has a rare genetic condition known as SCID which prevents her from leaving the house. Yoon wanted to present a "heightened" version of the reality lived by many teenagers — the desire for more freedom than a parent will allow.
In book and film, Maddy's mom is highly protective, understandably, but that fuels her curiosity about the world outside of her LA home. When the Bright family move in next door, their teenage son Olly strikes up a friendship with Maddy, and she begins to question whether being kept inside for 17 years was really what's best for her.
If Maddy looks familiar in the film, it's because she's played by Amandla Stenberg, who had her breakout role in another YA film, playing Rue in The Hunger Games (whose super-sad death I'm still not over). Olly is played by Nick Robinson — you probably remember him from Jurassic World, as Claire's perennially bored nephew Zach.
The themes of Everything, Everything are universal enough that every teenager watching will find something to relate to. The rush of falling for somebody for the first time. The desperate need to experience something outside of what you already know. Making friendships online when reality has limited options.
What's different is the optimistic presentation of those themes — Maddy is the kind of thoroughly grounded, curious, likeable heroine more YA fiction could use. Her outlook is positive, which is why Olly feels a romantic connection to her.
An obvious point of comparison if you're looking for something similar to watch is The Fault In Our Stars, but really Everything, Everything is just different enough from the rest of its crowded genre to stand alone, and the movie (directed by Stella Meghie) seems to have captured the spirit of Yoon's book completely.
Everything, Everything hits theaters May 19. Is it the feel-good YA movie you've been waiting for?