The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Category: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Olivia Tierney
Reviewed by Olivia Tierney
Summary: A story about friendship, coming to terms with grief, family and first love. Good character development and great central theme of friendship. Unfortunately, the story falls victim to predictability and being too long.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 528 Date: May 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471146145

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The Unexpected Everything follows Andie, the daughter of a prominent US politician, who has led a careful life as a result. Incredibly organised, her plans of attending the John Hopkins medical program all summer long are set. Until they're not. A political scandal implicating her dad causes all her neatly arranged plans to evaporate. So instead, to make sure her summer isn't wasted and there's no gap in her resume, she gets a dog-walking job.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I wanted a cute light summer read that I couldn't put down. But I didn't get that at all. It's a summer book about friendship, finding love, coming to terms with grief and family relationships. But it's not light, it's over-the-top cute and I wanted to put the book down (a lot). Long story short: I got bored.

So it wasn't all bad, I liked a few things. I liked Andie's determined attitude to fix her problems. She was proactive in trying to rectify her summer after all her hard work is ruined by factors beyond her control. Mason also does a great job evoking sympathy for Andie. The affect of her Dad's career on their relationship and her attitude to relationships overall is told really well. Moreover, the book focuses on friendships just as much as romance which was refreshing and the cute boy is different from the norm - he's geeky and gets embarrassed easily. I also liked the character development of Andie, there were obstacles that she overcame and became a better person as a consequence.

But there were quite a few things I didn't like. The book, for me, was very awkward to read, especially the first 200 pages or so. The interactions with her dad and at times friends were uncomfortable and Andie didn't help herself to make it less awkward. The story was also really predictable - I knew what was going to happen at every stage - nothing took me by surprise so I wasn't very interested in reading what happened next. Then there was a love triangle but it really wasn't a love triangle. It was very much one sided and the comparisons were just thrown in here and there to remind the reader that there would be a choice later on. However most disappointing, was the lack of humour throughout the book. Maybe it was just me… but maybe not. The timing of all the jokes and funny dialogue was off and it didn't make me smile let alone laugh.

Throughout the book, I really struggled to connect with the characters; I just couldn't relate to them enough to be emotionally invested in their lives, which perhaps is the major reason I didn't enjoy reading this book. I thought Andie was quite spoilt and unlikeable and unfortunately being the main protagonist I couldn't avoid her. Lastly, but most importantly, the book dragged on; there were so many scenes and descriptions that just didn't add to the story. Naively, I thought 500 pages plus would be great. Unfortunately I was wrong, the story lacked drama and a fast pace that would have made it a more exciting read.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing The BookBag with a copy to review.

In terms of further reading, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is one of my personal favourite teen romance books.

Buy The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson at Amazon.com.


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