Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: May 3rd, 2016
After reading this book, I immediately wanted it to be summer (or at the very least spring). I also immediately wanted to adopt a big dog. The problems you face when you read a great summer book in the middle of winter. Let’s get into it!
Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?
Synopsis pulled from GoodReads.
I picked this book up because I was on a contemporary kick and had heard good things. It also helped that the book was available when I was browsing my library’s online book collection. Plus there were dogs on the cover (and supposedly in the book), and I am a sucker for dogs.
From the little I knew about the book, I was expecting a cute summer romance with a touch of family issues thrown in there. While I did get those things, I feel like I also got so much more. This book is about a girl who is trying to find balance/stability in a world that is constantly changing around her.
There are three mainish plot lines in this story. One follows Andie’s relationship with her father, one follows her friends, and one follows her love life. While they do overlap in some ways, each plot line is very much it’s own developed thing. For example, Andie’s friendship troubles are not caused by the relationship she has with her new boyfriend or father. I thought each plot line was very developed and given equal amounts of time. At the end it did not feel like the author was rushing to wrap everything up which happens sometimes when they have multiple plot lines.
Honestly my favorite part of this book was Andie’s group of friends and the fact that she had three close/best friends. Maybe it’s just the books that I read, but it was so refreshing to see our main character have more than one close friends. Usually I read books with main characters who are kind of loners or just have one or two best friends that they interact with. As someone who has more than one best friend and had a friend group like Andie in high school, it was cool to see that represented. Also Matson gives us a developed friendship plot line which was also refreshing, especially because it’s own thing. Everything about the friendship plot line felt so genuine.
Another thing I really liked was how the romance was developed. It did not feel like instalove as we saw our characters through an entire summer. Also Clark was a swoon worthy nerd that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.
There were a few points where the book dragged a little bit and I didn’t know how necessary some of the excerpts from the fantasy book one character writes was. Also, I think the text messages could have been better executed format wise. At one point Andie holds like 5 different conversations and it was confusing as to who she was talking to.
I honestly loved this book and sort of wish I had read it in the summer, because it is the perfect summer read. However, if you’re looking for a fun contemporary read with some cute dogs definitely pick this one up!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Please do not continue reading unless you have read the book.
You have been warned.
Okay, I don’t have too many spoilery thoughts but wanted to gush a little bit more over this book. The more I think about this book, the more I fall in love with it.
So first things first, I loved the text exchange between Andie and her father when she’s reading the ending to Clark’s second book. It’s basically her father being like, “Why are you crying at 3AM?” all concerned and she’s “I just finished the book!” Please raise your hand if this has ever been you. It sure as hell has happened to me except not over text message. The book was Clockwork Princess, I was a mess. I stumbled downstairs and my mom was like, “Are you okay?” Yeah mom, just fictional characters making me bawl my eyes out. Back to the book we’re talking about, I loved these cute moments between Andie and her father as they get closer. Another solid one is when he tags along on the scavenger hunt and steals a spoon. It was just adorable.
As I said in my more formal review, I was not sure how necessary the excerpts from Clark’s novel were. The one that deserved to stay in there was the final excerpt from his new book that shows his friends as fictional characters. I loved the fact he included Bertie in his new book as this giant wolf beast. It was so touching and honestly, I want to read that book. Also as a writer who puts her friends in everything, glad to see I’m not alone on that front.
Those are my thoughts on The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. Would love to know what you thought of this book! Did you love it? Hate it? Think it was just okay? Let’s chat in the comments.