Charming and well-acted, this sweet, refreshingly diverse love story is a great example of why Hollywood should pay more attention to realistic YA instead of trying to find the next dystopian hit. Robinson and Stenberg are both talented young actors, and it's nice to see an on-screen relationship develop via communication rather than just attraction. Best known as Rue from The Hunger Games, Stenberg is an ideal choice for Maddy: Like the book's main character, she's mixed-race (although in the book, Maddy is half-Asian, not half-white), and she exudes the fragility and curiosity of someone with a bright mind and imagination who must use books, movies, and the internet to expand her limited physical horizons. And although many younger viewers may be drawn to Everything, Everything by the promise of romance, it's a lovely mother-daughter selection as well. The two women in Maddy's life in many ways represent the duality of motherhood -- the desire to open your child up to new experiences (Carla) and the desire to shelter her from harm (Dr. Whittier). Both de la Reguera and Rose portray that tension well. The only quibble, character-wise, is that it would have been nice to see a bit more time devoted to Olly's backstory or personality.
Starring, directed by, and based on an adaptation by women of color, this contemporary YA adaptation is faithful enough to its source material to please the best-seller's fans but easy to follow for newcomers to the story. The film's one small misstep is the sequence in Hawaii (spoiler alert!), which stretches the bounds of believability (can 18-year-olds even rent cars?). But probably only adult viewers will wonder that, since younger audiences will be too busy reveling in the romance of such a grand, dreamy escape from reality. For those who enjoy teen romances with deeper messages about risk, love, and loss, this is an endearing pick.