Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

29415084Andie 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? (From: Goodreads)

***Actual Rating: 5/5 Dog-Walking Stars***


“Sometimes we get a little bit of a facade. We think we have people. Family, friends…but in the end, it’s just you and the darkness. Everyone leaves eventually, my young friend. It’s better, really, to learn it early. This way, you can save yourself some disappointment.”

The Unexpected Everything is my first Morgan Matson book. Technically, it’s supposed to be the second, because I once tried to read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour but didn’t like it then. However, after finishing this one, I definitely will give her other books a shot. What I really, really love about this book is that I can relate to almost everything in it and let’s say the story touches my heart deeply.

Normally, YA Contemporary isn’t a genre I’d go for when choosing a book but who knows? I think I’m just lucky enough to pick the right one and it soon becomes one of my all-time-favorites. The Unexpected Everything tells a story of a teenage girl, Andie, who always sticks to her plan and maps out her future beforehand. But when her summer program is cancelled at the last minute, she suddenly doesn’t know what to do next. She’s completely lost and well, that’s how everything unexpected drops from the sky.

For example, she never thinks she’ll end up walking dogs–real dogs–for an entire summer instead of preparing for her pre-med courses in some sort of prestigious school, nor will she consider getting a longer-than-three-week boyfriend in the process. I like that books bring them closer and makes their relationship stronger, because well, apparently when a guy who writes/reads meets a girl who doesn’t read…they’ll find a way out eventually. #bookwormproblems

I nodded, like this was normal, to hear someone my age talking about their readers. “So what is it?”
“Oh,” Clark said, and adjusted his glasses quickly. He tilted his head slightly to the side, like he was trying to figure something out. “You’re not…I assume you haven’t read them.”
I shook my head. “I don’t really read, you know, books.” Clark’s eyebrows flew up, and it was like he took a step back from me, even though I was pretty sure his feet didn’t actually move. “I know how to read,” I said, seeing the alarm in his expression. “I just don’t love fiction. You know, novels.”
“If you don’t love fiction novels,” Clark said, and even though I tried to fight it, I could feel a smile tugging at the corners of my mouth, “what do you read?” He shook his head, and it was like I could practically feel how baffled he was. “Wait, I’m sorry, but how do you not read books? Like–what do you do on planes?”

Another thing I like about their relationship is that both of them are super awkward in lots of situations. The first time they talk, their first coincidence, their first date…etc. Unsurprisingly, it’s not often seen in other stories because most of the time, fiction isn’t reality. But in this book, the author describes every single detail occurring in our lives really well, as if telling us that it’s fine to be awkward, and there’s nothing perfect in the real world!

“So,” he said, and I held my breath, feeling my heart pound in my chest. “Do you think you might want to, I don’t know…try the dinner thing again?”
I felt myself smile, big and dorky and taking over my face. “Yes,” I said without hesitating. There didn’t seem to be any point in pretending I had plans or telling him I’d have to get back to him.

As for Andie’s group of friends, in my opinion, it’s probably what makes me love the story so much. Sometimes we take our friendship for granted and forget how precious it is, how much it means to us, and not until something terrible threatens it do we realize the importance of its presence. In the story, Andie has her beloved childhood friends, Toby, Bri, Palmer, Tom, and Wyatt, since years and years ago. She used to think they’ll stay as besties forever, that nothing can destroy their bond…until a harsh truth is discovered and unfortunately, wrecks everything. Therefore, it seems like her life is crumbling all of a sudden and once again, she does not expect any of these to happen.

Fortunately, while her friendship may not be as solid and perfect as the old days, her relationship with her congressman dad improves day by day. I’m genuinely happy for her, because somehow I know the feeling of being ignored in a family. Take my aunt for example, she’s a journalist and a total workaholic so when I was little, I seldom saw her in daytime, or even when I did, she’d be busy listening to CNN and reading lots of newspaper at the same time. She never speaks to me willingly, and always asks the same questions like “When does the school start?” or “Have you read the article about how to lead a successful life I just sent you?” Thus, I kind of get used to her indifference towards our family members and don’t expect anything more than warm greetings whenever I see her.

To sum up, The Unexpected Everything is a book about family, friends, and love along with every trifle in daily life that warms and breaks your heart, makes you laugh and cry; above all, it’ll encourage you to take the first step and help you grow up. So, I highly recommend it to everyone who’s looking for a light, fun and simple read. 🙂 Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to strategize the best dog walking routine that’ll somehow end up meeting a cute Dogboy soon! *wink wink*


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