5 Ways 'Everything, Everything' the Movie Is Different From the Book

by Macy Alcaraz   |  Jun 20, 2017
Image: Warner Bros., nicolayoon.com
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When a book is adapted into a film, there are two kinds of people who will watch it: those who have read it and those who haven't. Which one are you? Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything starts out with Madeline Whittier, a girl who has lived 18 years and can't quite remember the last time she stepped outside her home. She lives with her mom, a doctor, who makes sure she's alive by disinfecting everything she comes into contact with—even her nurse Carla, who gets sanitized between the Whittiers' front door and inside their home. We caught an early screening last night and we're listing down some things we found were different between the book and the movie. While there are some scenes we're glad made it on the big screen, there are still a few details we wish could have been included! So before you proceed, we'd like to let you know that there will be spoilers. You have been warned!

  1. Madeline is a bookworm.

Book: The book opens with Madeline declaring that she has read more books than you've read. Inside her books, she writes her name and proceeds to list down a number of rewards in case of loss (not that she'll ever lose them to anyone but her mother or Carla). We thought it was cute and made for a sweeter ending.

Film: She still reads but there are no "Reward if found" notes inside her books. Her nurse Carla actually gives her Flowers for Algernon for her birthday instead of already being a favorite. She still does her Spoiler Reviews in the form of a blog. Spoiler alert: Algernon is still a mouse. And Algernon still dies.


  1. Olly is still Olly but not quite.

Book: When Maddy first gets a glimpse of Olly through her window, he runs up his house's front wall, and hangs from the windowsill for a few seconds before dropping back down. Him being a parkour enthusiast is further emphasized the first time they meet, with him up on the wall, pinching the fake banana leaves in the sunroom. He demos a one-armed handstand, which he eventually tries to teach Maddy how to do. Remember when she almost falls backward then have Olly suddenly beside her with his hands on her ankle to help steady her?

Film: Olly still stages a fake funeral for the fallen Bundt (still funny!) and still wears black. His dad is still awful to his mom. But when Maddy does a handstand (out of nowhere!) when she and Olly first meet, it's awkward and out of place. He also doesn't hide out on the roof where his orrery is supposed to be. Oh, and his eyes? They're not ocean blue like the Atlantic.

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  1. They're messaging on their phones and not emailing on their laptops.

Book: Pings on the window before Olly writes his email address with a black marker on his window. They start emailing back and forth, messaging instead of sleeping. Maddy doesn't get a phone till she and her mom get into a fight because of That Life-Changing Moment. It's right before she heads to New York to see Olly.

Film: No genericuser033@gmail.com to madeline-whittier@gmail.com here. In the movie, it's 9175550117 that makes its way into Maddy's smartphone. They even call each other on the phone after their first kiss.


  1. Hello, Astronaut.

Book: Maddy takes an online architecture class with Mr. Waterman who she's seen all but twice in her two years of tutoring with him. She hides a clay astronaut figure in the models she builds.

Film: Their text messaging are reimagined as conversations inside her model structures. Yes, with her hidden clay astronaut present in all her imagined scenarios—wait till the astronaut tries to eat all the food Maddy's made for him in her pretend diner.

  1. They go to Hawaii and there is definitely a Humuhumunukunukuapuaa sighting.

Book: One of Maddy's book rewards is: "Snorkel with me (Madeline) off Molokini to spot the Hawaiian state fish—the humuhumunukunukuapuaa." She plans a trip to Hawaii, buying tickets with a credit card she applied for online, and escapes to the ocean with Olly, where they meet his friend from New York.

Film: In one of the first few scenes of Maddy in her bedroom, you can spot her drawing the fish in her journal. And when she and Olly snorkel in Hawaii, they definitely spot a ton of them underwater! Instead of heading to Carla's before going to Hawaii, she finds solace in her and Rosa, Carla's teen daughter who is a friend to Maddy in the movie, when she finds out The Life-Changing News about her condition.

While a film will never be 100% like the book, we thought this was a pretty good adaptation for both fans of the book and those who haven't read it yet. Go see it and let us know what you think!

Everything, Everything in cinemas on June 21. Let us know what you think of the movie and if you spotted any other changes from the book to the film!

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About the author
Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief, candymag.com
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
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