Everything, Everything Movie Review: Sweet Love Story For Teens
As a high school English teacher and romance writer, I rarely commit the "sin" of watching a movie before reading the book. This weekend, however, I couldn't help myself when I was scrolling through HBO and found Everything, Everything.
I've seen reviews of the young adult novel all over bookstagram and have had it on my tbr list. I've also been wanting to see the movie, so I jumped in over the weekend. I wasn't disappointed.
The story follows Maddy, a teenager diagnosed with a rare illness that won't let her leave the house. Essentially, any virus or bacteria can kill her, so she's spent her entire life under the careful watch of her mother and nurse. Locked in a house where everything is sanitized, Maddy feels isolated and like she's missing out on life. When Olly moves in next door, though, her world opens up. Even though they are physically separated, their relationship grows as the somewhat wild neighbor boy steals Maddy's heart. Will she be willing to risk it all for just one real life moment with him?
Overall, the premise of the movie was very intriguing. I empathized with Maddy and couldn't help but feel sorry for her situation. The isolation and loneliness created a real problem, and the added romantic interest certainly pulled on the heart strings. I also loved how Olly brought an edge to Maddy's life. He was the typical "bad boy" who showed his sweet side for Maddy, and an endearing relationship developed. I loved how the two show the true emotional side of romance. The love story was sweet and well-developed.
Overall, the movie was a sweet watch perfect for anyone looking for a sweet romance or any teens looking for a cute love story.
I would give this movie a four out of five. The star deduction is mostly for the ending (SPOILERS BELOW: STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON"T WANT TO SEE SPOILERS)
Okay, so here is where my issue with the movie comes in.
The entire movie, I was really curious as to how the author would wrap up this love story. Could Olly sacrifice his whole life to be with Maddy? Would she be okay with it? How can you be in a relationship with someone who has such a limited opportunity to see the world, especially when your'e a bit of a wild child?
I also couldn't bear the thought of Olly and Maddy going their separate ways, especially after how much Olly brought to Maddy's world. I realized early on this presented a difficult problem for the writer and was curious as to how it would end.
But then.... I felt like there was an easy way out. Suddenly, Maddy's mom lied about the whole disease (for 17 years!). I understand the reason was plausible and did appreciate the twist. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that the author wrote herself into a corner with the love story and, to give a satisfying ending, had to "heal" Maddy.
Don't get me wrong... the happy ending was endearing and left you in a feel-good place. I would, however, have appreciated a less-than-cheerful ending if it meant the author had tackled the really tough situation head-on.
What did you think? Did you read the book? Is it different? Let me know in the comments!
Sneak Peek at Small-Town Romance, Still Us
From the first time they locked eyes, Lila Morrow and Luke Bowman had a special spark. Their first kiss sealed their fairy-tale romance… until everything fell apart.
Here’s your excerpt of Still Us. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
Sitting on the sofa with the curly-haired hunk who was a singer and an animal lover, I couldn’t help but wonder if this might just be different and if Luke’s desire to see Henry might turn into something more.
“I’d like that too.”
We spent the next few hours chatting about school, childhood memories, animals, and life. For those hours, it didn’t feel like Luke was some man I’d met less than twenty-four hours ago. It felt like he was someone I’d been meant to talk to my whole life, like the piece of me that was missing.
When we woke up in the morning to Floyd’s cries for food, I awkwardly stumbled to my feet. I’d been leaning on Luke’s shoulder, a wet spot on his shirt showing where my drooling mouth had been. I flushed with embarrassment.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry. We must’ve fallen asleep. I’m so sorry,” I said, cupping my mouth in embarrassment.
Luke looked at his shirt, then at me, and started laughing. “It’s fine. Just a little drool, right, Doctor? Nothing you haven’t dealt with before.”
He shrugged. “Could be worse.”
“Not really. I just fell asleep on a patient’s owner’s shoulder and drooled on him. Not quite professional.”
“Well, there’s one solution for that.”
“What’s that?” I asked, rushing to get Floyd some food from the cupboard, mostly to busy my hands.
“Let’s not make this professional. Let’s make it personal. Go out with me tonight.”
I froze with a can of cat food in my hand. I turned to look at Luke, trying to avoid looking at the drool spot. “I don’t know. That’s not very professional. I mean, what would people think?”
“People can think what they want. Who cares. Go out with me.”
He took a step forward now, and I felt that familiar flutter. I wanted to say yes, to see where this feeling would take me.
But with the haze of the evening gone and the bright daylight streaming in, I realized this could lead me down another path to heartbreak. I didn’t know much about Luke, but I knew he seemed too good to be true. Those eyes were inviting, but they also said trouble.
“I don’t know. I’ll think about it.”
“That means no.”
“It means I’ll think about it.”
“Dammit, Lila Morrow. Just go out with me.”
I sighed, shaking my head. “I can’t. But I think Floyd is okay to take home. Call me if anything changes.”
Luke stared, those eyes piercing into me. For a moment, he hesitated, as if he was going to push me further. “Okay. But you call me if anything changes on your end, okay?”
I smiled, shaking my head. “Okay, I will.”
I helped him get Floyd ready for the ride home, giving him medicines and instructions and things to watch for. As I walked him to the door and thanked him for the coffee, he turned around to me.
“Just one more thing.”
He leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I froze, shocked by his boldness. He pulled back so we were almost nose to nose, his eyes glinting in the sun’s rays floating through the door. “I don’t think this is over. I think you haven’t seen the last of me. I think we could be good for each other.”
I sighed again, the fluttering intense now. “Well, for starters, that was more than just one thing, FYI.”
He shook his head now. “I’ll see you soon, soul mate.”
“Soul mate? Really? Don’t you think it’s a little soon?” I said, unable to stop the smile from spreading on my face.
“Nope. Not at all. Come on, Floyd. Let’s get out of here before Dr. Morrow makes a move. We’re not ready for marriage yet, you know.”
“You’re unbelievable.” I was flabbergasted by his confidence, more accurately labeled as arrogance. From his smirk to the way he walked out of there, it seemed like Luke Bowman knew I would be his.
Which was both frustrating and surprisingly intriguing.
“Well, thank you,” he said, whistling as he walked to his pickup truck, loaded Floyd, and drove out of the parking lot, leaving me to stand and wonder what the hell kind of trouble I’d gotten into.
“Maren, this is a terrible idea. I have no rhythm,” I whined, yanking down my hot pink exercise top and feeling completely out of place. I had no idea why I’d let her talk me into it.
“Come on. Zumba’s great. Plus, that guy I’ve been telling you about works out here, so come on. Just go with it.”
“Wait, that Will guy?”
“Yes, idiot. Hence the hour it took me to get ready for Zumba. Didn’t you think the eye makeup was a little over the top?”
“Still do. But I don’t see what your obsession has to do with me.”
“Because I need a Zumba buddy. Only creepos come alone. I don’t want Will thinking I’m a creepo.”
“That seems like seriously flawed logic,” I said.
“Okay, doctor lady. You get that white jacket and you think you know everything,” Maren said, rolling her eyes but grinning.
I shoved her into the wall, and we started yelling and pinching each other like the preteens we still were together. After we’d settled down, I turned to the right, eyeing the muscular guys on the machinery, taking a peek.
And then I froze, putting a hand on Maren’s arm. “Oh, shit. Are you serious?” I asked, seeing the familiar curls.
He was in a T-shirt and shorts, but even from here, I could appreciate his amazing biceps at work. My heart started to beat faster.
“It’s him. That guy from the other day. You know, the whole Floyd thing?”
“Oh, Lila, he’s gorgeous. Go get him.” Maren let out what I thought was supposed to be a Latin growl, but sounded more like a cough.
“No. I can’t. He’s crazy. Super bold. He’s trouble.”
“Trouble is what you need,” she hissed. “You’re so boring. He could liven you up. Now go talk to him.”
“Not in this outfit.”
“Absolutely in that outfit. Now go, or I will.”
“I thought you were here for Will,” I observed, staring at my crazy sister.
“I am. But if you let that fine man go to waste, I’ll just have to move in on both.”
“You’re ridiculous,” I said. “But fine. And besides, there’s Will. Go make eyes at him,” I said, rolling my eyes now. We pinched each other one more time before heading off in separate directions. So much for using the gym to get fit.
What did you think of Lila and Luke? Feel free to hit comment and tell me about your own love story and what you thought of Luke and Lila. If it sounds like your kind of romance, click the button below to add it to your TBR pile.
April's Petit Vour Unboxing: Cruelty-Free Beauty
I'm a huge animal lover and an advocate for cruelty-free beauty. I love my makeup products, but I also do not want any animals suffering for them.
Thus, the Petit Vour beauty box is a perfect subscription box to give me the best of both worlds. This box is $18 shipped each month and comes with four products, all of which are Vegan and cruelty-free. The sizes are great, the products are high-quality, and I am in love with getting a beauty gift in the mail every month.
Check out my video to see what's inside the April box, and comment below with any cruelty-free beauty boxes or products you think I should try next!
Bigger Isn't Always Better When It Comes to Love
He got down on one knee at King's, our favorite restaurant at the time.
We'd gone there for late-night breakfast dates. We'd gone there after prom, on random Saturdays, on lunch dates.
And so, on a Friday, he got down on one knee in the middle of King's while we ate dinner. There was no fanfare, no clapping, no flashiness.
It was just me and the boy I met at the art table, in the middle of a sleepy restaurant, thinking about forever.
I said yes, and he slid the ring on my finger. We continued on with our date because in reality, nothing had changed. We were still the same people we were before he got on one knee. We were still the couple who argued over stupid things, who laughed at the same jokes, who could know what each other was thinking with a single look.
We were still the couple who had been through ninth grade social, two proms, graduation, first dates, first dances, and first kisses.
Yet, we were also different. Because in that moment, we realized that the boy and the girl who met at the art table would grow up to be a married couple who chased their dreams together, who built a life together. With that ring, the next phase of our love story began, the simple, genuine love has led us where we are today.
Every proposal story, big, small, embarrassing, or even disastrous, is special in its own way.
I'd love to hear about your proposal... or about your dream proposal. Comment below and let us know how your next phase of your love story began.
If you love talking about simple, genuine love, be sure to connect with me on Facebook where we chat romance, fashion, makeup and more.
How Keith Urban Inspired This Sweet Romance
First, let me say this: I’m a huge fan of Keith Urban. The Australian accent, the tattoos, and that sexy voice--I’m in love.
But I never realized my love for the guitar-playing Australian would lead to this.
It was the summer of 2017, and I’d been playing Keith Urban’s latest CD on repeat in my car (yes, I’m old school and still love CDS). For some reason, it was song 12 that started haunting me.
The song, “That Could Still Be Us,” was this super moody song about a couple who broke up but was still longing for each other. I don’t know why, but the song just hit me. It made me feel something.
Let’s be clear--the song really shouldn’t have connected with me. I’ve been with my husband since we were twelve. I’ve never really been through a breakup. I don’t know what it’s like to deal with the emotions of leaving someone you still love. But Keith Urban made me feel like I did.
Suddenly, I was thinking about life in our small town. What if my husband and I after all this time called it quits? How would we separate our lives--not just our belongings, but our emotions and identity? Sometimes when you’re with someone for so long, your lives meld into one. How would we separate them again? And how would it be to live in this tiny town where everything would remind me of our life together?
I couldn’t get the song or the idea out of my head.
And that’s where Still Us was born. I knew I wanted to write a book that captured that emotion. I started imagining this couple who had been together for years but break up… only to realize they can’t get over each other, no matter how hard they try.
I already had two character names I was saving. I’d come up with the names Luke and Lila while still feeling loopy after wisdom teeth surgery (boy, that’s another story for you… it includes me putting my hood up and running into the pharmacy to look at school supplies while my husband was getting my meds). Suddenly, I had the story that Luke and Lila would fit in.
I knew I also wanted to capture humor because that’s my favorite kind of book--one that can make you angsty and make you laugh. I imagined Lila, a twentysomething vet with student debt, having to move back in with her family after the breakup. It’s Lila’s sometimes crazy family that helps bring the comic relief to a book that would otherwise be quite heavy--Grandma Claire is a character you’re not going to soon forget, especially the scene with her blind cat in the casino.
So it started with my love for Keith Urban, a song that moved me, and a storyline that haunted me. That’s where Still Us came from.
What do you think? Have you ever had a song that just wouldn’t let go of you? Hit reply and tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you.
Honest book review of The Wife Between Us
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Did love or control propel him?"
The Wife Between Us is a story about secrets, love, and revenge. It is a winding tale that will keep the reader guessing the entire way through. The story follows a character named Vanessa who, throughout the story, is a complex woman. After a breakup with her husband, she is left in the shadows of his new wife... but can't seem to let it all go. As the tale goes on, it is difficult for the reader to know whom to trust.
I enjoyed the constantly shifting perspectives in this book. Just when I thought I'd figured everything out, things shifted again and again. It was unsettling to read because of this, but kept me wanting to read. I appreciated the various twists and turns up through the last page. Furthermore, the constantly shifting timeline helped keep the book engaging.
The writing was seamless; even with two authors, I couldn't tell where one's words began or ended. The description and emotion packed into the words was powerful and kept me intrigued.
I do wish the ending was a little bit stronger. The final twist was interesting but could have been executed more thoroughly.
View all my reviews
Style Steals by A.N.A. at JcPenney: Ready for Spring
One of my favorite days to be at the mall was the chocolate sale day at JCPenney.... first, because chocolate (hell yes!). But second because the coupons were always great.
So when our store ran the chocolate sale again this weekend, I was psyched. Things got even better when they mailed me an extra 50% off coupon, which was the highest amount. I was ready to shop and get a new spring wardrobe... and shop I did.
I ended up making out in the end, and was pleasantly surprised that the coupon worked on every single item I bought. I always am tentative about coupons in department stores because some will give out coupons that simply aren't valid on anything in the store. This coupon, however, was legit and worked on all of my items.
In the end, I spent a total of $70 for seven shirts (two of which are dressier options for work), a maxi skirt, and a pair of Saint John's Bay sandals that I adore. Check out my style steals above.
Are you a fan of the A.N.A line? This is my favorite line at JCPenney because it's work appropriate but also comfy. I can shop for work and play in the same department, and everything just seems to fit my lifestyle.
Did you get any style steals at the chocolate sale? Feel free to share in the comments below. And, if you missed it this time around, get ready for the next one because it was definitely worth getting up early for!
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