The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson – Simon & Schuster – Published 3 May 2016
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?
Clearly this is a highly expected book. You only have to see some of the hype surrounding this book to know that readers love Morgan Matson’s writing. And that hype, that excitement is so deserved. This book is outstanding. Nothing and everything like I expected and so much more. This is a story about friendship just as much as it is a love story. But it’s also about family, looking out for and learning to stand up to each other, and about being brave enough to step away from the expected, the planned, and experience something so unexpected it just might change your mind about everything.
Andie is your typical type-A personality. Everything in order, under control and planned to the last detail. It has to be because one little mess-up could have serious ramifications for her father’s political career. But as so often happens, sometimes things spiral out of control even for the most prepared. So when a financial scam rocks her father’s career and her summer internship is pulled as a result, Andie finds herself at loose ends. Luckily she has an incredible group of friends with which to surround herself, manages to find a job walking dogs which isn’t all that bad, and the cute guy she keeps running into has definite crush possibilities. But with her father always around for once and the cute guy looking for more than Andie’s standard three week kiss-and-breakup ritual, this summer is nothing like she expected.
I loved this book. At over 500 pages, this is no quick story and yet I just devoured it. It has so much packed into it and yet it flowed steadily, never feeling rushed or too slow. It has the perfect balance between romance, friendship, self-discovery and family. The love and fun Andie shares with her four friends is so authentic, right down to the group texts, fights and summer days at the beach. On the other hand, Andie’s relationship with her father is strained. She never sees him and their family doesn’t feel like much of a family after her mother’s death five years ago, so it is awkward having him around again. But as they work through their differences and reconnect, their relationship grows and he turns out to be pretty cool. And then there is the romance. Wow. Sweet, bumbling Clark makes for the perfect love interest. I loved the stuttering, awkward moments when they first connect and watching as their feelings grow into something more consuming, so filled with innocent desire and first love.
Summer romance, coming of age, a strong friendship group, fantasy novel references, even a mini road trip and of course the dogs, there is nothing this book doesn’t have. I could say so much about this book, list all the things that I loved about it, but instead you should just go read it. The Unexpected Everything is highly recommended.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Friendship, romance, love, family, fathers, politics, dogs, summer, coming of age.
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references.
Published: 3 May 2016 by Simon & Schuster.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 496 pages.
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