The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult
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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?
Morgan Matson wrote one of my favorite contemporary YA books a few years ago (Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour) and I have been reading her ever since. Every couple of years, she releases a new book and I have to read it. I always enjoy her books but I haven’t loved any the same way that I loved Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour but they’re all still damn good reads. This was one of those.
Andie Walker has always had a plan. She’s got summer plans that include a pre-med study program but when a scandal involving her politician father derail those plans, Andie’s summer is up in the air and she’s without a plan for the first time…ever. Growing up as a politician’s daughter, Andie had to make sure that she stayed out of trouble, out of the spotlight and out of the media because her life could affect her father’s political aspirations. She’s a good girl and plays by the rules but when her father’s scandal starts to bleed into her life, she’s not at all happy about that.
Spending the summer with the father that has been largely absent from her life takes a lot of getting used to and Andie is in for one heck of a summer. On top of living with her father for the first time in years, she got a job as a dog walker. The very last job she’d ever thought she’d have but the upside to all of this was she could also spend her summer with all of her friends. It was the first summer that all of the girls in her foursome were together in the summer and that was something that she was looking forward to.
Then she meets Clark and her summer really starts looking up. He’s different from anyone that Andie has ever dated before and when her usual three week ending point comes around, Andie is surprised at how much she doesn’t want to end things with Clark. Things certainly are way different than Andie had originally planned for her summer.
There’s a lot going on in this book and I thought that was good because it kept the flow of the story going. Andie was dealing with getting to know her father again but she was also learning how to walk dogs and keep their leashes untangled and everyone happy, she was learning all there was to know about this new boy that she really likes and reading his books but she was also hanging out with her friends and getting grounded for the first time.
I really enjoyed Andie’s character. She was very mature for her age. She was smart and she was determined to succeed in life. She was also trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her future and figure out the kind of person she wanted to be. She was getting to know her father and all of these things were helping her really come into her own.
I loved Clark. I thought he was such an adorable love interest and so very perfect for Andie. I loved the way that he brought the real Andie out and showed her that being real didn’t mean losing herself. I loved getting to know him and my heart hurt for him where things were concerned about his father and his writing. He was a great book boyfriend!
Her friends were a lively bunch that I really enjoyed getting to know. They were all distinctively different from each other and yet together, they all made sense as a group. The whole Bri and Toby thing was disappointing. I was sorely disappointed in Bri and then later on Andie for her suggestion on how to fix everything but mostly with Bri because she tried to justify her relationship by belittling Toby’s crush on him. She kept saying that what Toby and Wyatt had wasn’t real, that they only kissed and maybe it was true for Wyatt but it wasn’t true for Toby and Toby was her best friend. Her feelings for him were completely real otherwise she wouldn’t have been as hurt as she was. But Bri’s whole, “Toby always came first when it came to Wyatt with you guys but what about me?” mentality drove me crazy because hello??? She had dibs on him, she spoke up about wanting him and if Bri wanted a chance at a relationship with him, she should have been upfront about it with Toby…from the beginning…or at least the night of the scavenger hunt. So in that whole debacle, I was Team Toby. It really sucked for Bri too because I wonder if she thought that whole summer and all of the lies were worth everything in the end considering how things end with Wyatt. I couldn’t help but feel like that was such a waste.
The way that the summer wraps up was interesting and yet very real. I loved that Toby chose herself and that not everything ended with a cookie cutter ending and bow tie. I’m kind of interested in a story with Toby at the center and a love interest named…Topher? Haha, that would be great cause I can totally see it. Toby choosing herself, spending a lot of time alone and then she runs into Wyatt months and months later and in her rush to get away from him, she runs into Topher and they strike up a conversation. She’s not a fan of him, he doesn’t really care for her but there’s something different about her these days and he finds himself intrigued so he turns on the charm. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with him because she’s not going to be another of her friend’s sloppy seconds and he doesn’t want to miss out on another girl so they bicker their way toward…a love match? Haha, I need to cut it out but that would be awesome!
Anyway, this was a great book with a charming cast and a lovely protagonist. Though it’s not my favorite Morgan Matson, it was still enjoyable.
Grade: 3.75 out of 5