The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer read; it’s fluffy, full of funny scenes, and has the best friendships and relationships EVER. This book doesn’t veer too far from Matson’s earlier books, although it’s a lot funnier than I remember her other books being. The main themes in the book are friendship (especially like in Since You’ve Been Gone!) and learning to be happy with life instead of trying to control every detail.
The only problem? It’s 500+ pages long. Generally, fluffy contemporary reads should not be 500+ pages long, but it works for this novel. It’s the magic of Morgan Matson; her books are always long, but it works because you fall in love with her characters and their relationships. You never want the story to end.
Basically, I loved every scene in this book, and I longed for more after it ended. It just took a really freaking long time to read it!
The characters bring the story to life.
Morgan Matson’s books are never heavy on the plot, but her characters always shine through and bring the story to life. This is a book that will appeal to readers who fall in love with characters and who are complete suckers for character development, like I am.
Andie is more grown up than I think I ever will be. She’s super smart, confident, and she knows exactly what she wants for her future. Or so she thinks. She has a habit of over-planning and attempting to control every aspect of her life. She doesn’t like anything unexpected—which, of course, is exactly what her entire summer turns out to be. Very unexpected. The question is whether she will adapt and make the best of the summer.
“The idea that you could rethink the thing you’d always thought you wanted and change your plan—it was almost a revolutionary concept. That you could choose what would make you happy, not successful. It was the opposite of everything I had long believed to be true.”
– Morgan Matson, The Unexpected Everything
The thing about Andie’s planning and over-controlling attitude is that she applies it to her romantic relationships as well. She has rules for how long she will date a person, how to avoid being intimate, and begins each relationship knowing that it’ll end in just a few weeks. She never allows herself to become invested and never allows her boyfriends to really get to know the real her. But then she meets Clark.
AND CLARK IS A WRITER AND IS REALLY GENUINE AND GREAT AND THEY ARE VERY CUTE TOGETHER. Can you tell I shipped them? Immediately.
The best part of this book is all the adventures Andie has with her friends.
Andie has an amazing friend group—Palmer, Bri, and Toby—and I loved seeing all of their hangouts and adventures. They were hilarious and fun, and I was a bit crushed when some friend drama popped up toward the end. Beware!
Palmer is Andie’s BFF, but the group of four are all super close; even Palmer’s boyfriend, Tom, tags along and is basically a member of the group. But when Toby’s crush, Wyatt, comes back to town, things get a little uncomfortable for the group and drama ensues.
While the drama was incredibly annoying, the fun adventures and genuine relationships made up for it. Plus, there’s a scavenger hunt, and it is by far my favorite part of the entire book! Best scene ever.
Like in most of YA, there’s some parent troubles, but this quickly grows into a lovely father-daughter relationship.
The most unexpected feature of The Unexpected Everything is by far the way Andie and her father reconcile their troublesome relationship. At the beginning of the book, it’s easy to resent Andie’s dad. To some extent, Andie seems to do exactly that. However, their relationship quickly transforms into an adorable, heartwarming bond that I was completely sobbing over.
Overall? The Unexpected Everything is definitely a must-read for fans of contemporary YA.
While this might not be the perfect beach read (it’s pretty hefty!), it’s definitely got all the feel-good summer vibes and swoon-worthy relationships (both the friendship and relationship kind). Honestly, this book had me giggling and laughing out loud from beginning to end.
Morgan Matson has a talent for writing lovely contemporaries like this, so if you enjoyed her earlier books, you shouldn’t miss this one. And I absolutely can’t wait to get a copy of her newest release, Save the Date!
PLUS, THERE’S LOTS OF DOGS. You should read this book just for that fact alone. : )