I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Also by this author: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, Since You've Been Gone
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Social Themes, Friendship, Love & Romance, Family, General, Social Issues
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From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.
Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.
Future? A top-tier medical school. Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around). Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else? Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.
So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.
Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson was basically EVERYTHING I DREAMED IT WOULD BE AND MORE. I mean, I started this book like a month or so ago but just wasn’t making any headway or progress with it because I had a few more pressing reads. However, I think my subconscious knew that I would need The Unexpected Everything at a certain point and so, when Josh was making his preparations to leave for training for a month, I began to get serious about Matson’s newest book and the story of Andie, Clark, Palmer, Tom, Bri, and Toby carried me through my first night alone. So, shoutout to my subconscious and The Unexpected Everything.
Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything starts with Andie’s Congressman father Alexander Walker making a speech after a scandal and essentially taking time away from politics so the investigation can be conducted. Andie is in her mature and responsible clothes and basically in the background while this speech happens. She then goes home and gets ready to go out for a party for her last night in Stanwich Woods until she leaves for a training program at John Hopkins. The next day she’s all ready to go when she notices she has a voicemail from John Hopkins. She calls it back only to discover that her letter of recommendation has been yanked and her spot has been given to someone else. This is basically the end of the world for type A Andie. Fortunately, a whole lot happens that she does not expect this summer — from her Dad actually being home to a job walking dogs to a romance that actually means something to her. Basically I am the biggest fan of this plot and all the dogs and literally everything that happens in this book — I would laugh and then at points it was like raining on my face.
Andie, the main character of The Unexpected Everything, is a character that I think readers will go either way with. You’ll either see her as spoiled or you’ll see her as a person worthy of your empathy. I saw Andie as worthy of my empathy and also someone who makes this really great character arc. Andie’s mom died five years ago and her father is so busy with politics that he’s never home, the two exist in what seems like separate orbits. So, Andie has spent years without any kind of real supervision except distant family members who basically just collect a check. Luckily, she has an amazing group of friends. Anyways, I really had empathy for Andie because she has these serious abandonment issues and they do get in her way sometimes. She also has a plan and is very rigid about things not changing and staying the same and when things don’t go according to plan – this is when the real change happens and it is all FOR THE BEST.
I think that Morgan Matson is the queen of writing romance featuring smart nice guy leads who happen to also be really good looking. I only have Second Chance Summer left to read of her books, but both Amy And Roger’s Epic Detour and Since You’ve Been Gone feature smart, nice guy romantic interests which I guess is enough to signify a pattern. A PATTERN THAT I AM VERY MUCH OKAY WITH. Anyways, the love interest in The Unexpected Everything is Clark. Clark is in a house for the summer with a dog named Bertie. He’s around Andie’s age and kind of awkward. Their first date is a disaster, but then something happens, I won’t say what, and it sparks this awesome romance that’s different from any relationship Andie has ever had before — it is actually something REAL. I actually really want to go into more detail here but I know if I spoil you, you’ll end up pissed that you didn’t get to delve into this book’s nuances for yourself without the taint of my opinions. Just know I am 100% here for this romance.
So, another thing that I really absolutely am head over heels about regarding Morgan Matson’s books are the FRIENDSHIPS. So, in this book, The Unexpected Everything, Andie has a friends group that we can all be envious of. It’s comprised of four girls – Andie – herself, Palmer, Toby, and Bri – as well as Palmer’s boyfriend, Tom. They have this awesome friendship where they dish at the diner, go out, have epic group message text threads, and spend all this time together having fun and even participating in an annual scavenger hunt. For the most part, they are all super supportive of each other and relatively drama free. Well, until a certain event happens. Still, I loved every single page with Andie’s friend group and well, they play quite the significant role when it comes to Clark too, as you’ll see when you read this book.
So, I also love that with The Unexpected Everything family members are not just some presence that rarely gets page time. Instead, the relationship between Andie and her father is initially broken, but it turns out the scandal may be the best thing for it. Their relationship is on the mend and there were many parts where it felt like there was rain on my face because of this. I really loved this subplot and how much it surprised me. I guess I was expecting her dad to be this awful person but I ended up being wrong and never have I been happier to be wrong.
Overall, I cannot recommend The Unexpected Everything enough. This is the sort of book that is perfect to whip out when you’re not having the best moment. You’ll be so drawn into Andie’s world and will end up wanting to call your friends and family after reading this book — if only to strengthen your relationships with everyone. Dog lovers, politics fans, people who enjoy a good kiss scene and reading about complicated good people will LOVE Morgan Matson’s latest book.
Other reviews of The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson:
Pure Imagination – “the perfect read for me at the time”
Ticket To Anywhere – “Oh how you are in for a treat”
Book Yabber – “couldn’t stop thinking about it when I had to put it down”
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