The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Total Pages: 519
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?
Normally the length of a book doesn’t intimidate me, but for some reason, with this one, it did? I’ve enjoyed the other books by Morgan Matson that I’ve read (Since You’ve Been Gone and Second Chance Summer), so I am not really sure why the length of this one was getting to me. Regardless, I did finally pick it up, and although at first I just kept thinking “this is so long…why is it so loooooong?” as I dredged through the pages, I really ended up enjoying the length of the book and found it to be really appropriate. The length of the book allowed for a ton of world building and detail throughout, and I felt like I was watching a TV show or a movie. I really felt completely immersed, and that was awesome.
The Characters. There are so many characters that are supposed to be relevant, and that was a struggle for me. I’m all for girl squads, but trying to keep track of Andie’s group of friends was a little bit overwhelming. I don’t think I’ve read many books where I was supposed to try to care about so many characters – and I’ll admit that I tried at first, but in the end I just didn’t. That didn’t impact my overall thoughts on the book, though. Just an observation that there are A LOT of names to keep straight and A LOT of details about each to try to keep track of. On to the more important characters, though. Overall, Andie wasn’t so bad as a main character. She got really teenage moody and started making all these awful decisions at one point, and in my infinite wisdom as a fake adult, that made me want to yell at her to stop acting like such a little brat, but of course I couldn’t do that, and it eventually passed, so yay! I did love Clark from page one, though. He was sweet, adorable, and perfectly nerdy.
Squad. This is going to sound a bit contradictory, because I know I slightly based the girl squad above, but while I sometimes mixed them up as people and didn’t particularly care about what was going on in each of their lives, the entire idea of the squad was important to this book. It brought a lot of opportunity for Andie to get different points of view, and it was interesting to see each friend’s influence on Andie. The larger group of friends also provided for some fun “friend activity” scenes throughout the book that were fun to read about.
The Love Story. Hooray, this wasn’t insta-love! I don’t want to give too much away so I will keep this brief, but I’m glad that things were not just love and first sight for Clark and Andie. It made it more realistic and fun to read about. It gets a bit exhausting when every book is love at first sight.
The Puppies! Puppies make everything better, including this book. At one point during the middle of the book, the puppy focus and talk dropped off, and thus so did my mood and love for this book. Puppies are life. Books are life. Books with lots of puppies are … heaven?
Growing Up. This was a good portrayal of growing up, the evolution of friendship, and learning who you are as a person. It was also a good reminder that even when you’re considered an “adult”, that doesn’t mean you don’t still have some growing up and evolving to do.
Overall, this book was really fabulous. It was easy to get swept away and be fully immersed in the story. Incredibly well written, so much detail, and PUPPIES.
Andie becomes a dog walker for the summer. What was your favorite summer job? Or your dream summer job?