Tag: Morgan Matson

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Posted June 13, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan MatsonReviewer: Rowena
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 528
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

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

four-stars


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Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

Posted May 30, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments


Rowena’s review of Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

Main Character: Taylor Edwards
Love Interest: Henry
Series: None
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Last year, one of my favorite books read was Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour so I was pretty anxious for this book to come out this year. Ames got me hooked on this writer and I had every confidence that I would enjoy this book as well and…I did. I totally did.

This book follows Taylor Edwards back to the place where she hadn’t been back for five years. The summer where she got her first kiss, and fell in love for the very first time. The summer that she also lost her best friend and then lost that same first love. When she walked away all those summers ago, she hadn’t ever wanted to return and face what she did but her Dad is terminally ill and wants to spend the few months that he has left at the summer house with his family.

So off they go.

Taylor is dealing with a lot of things and like most teenagers, she keeps it all bottled up and well, that’s never good. Facing the memories in the town that she had loved from her childhood was going to be hard enough but facing all of those memories and dealing with all of the changes that come with time made everything so much harder.

The biggest change of all is seeing Henry (the boy she loved and lost) living right next door to her. The other biggest change? Working with the best friend she loved and lost too. This book is about summer of second chances and about a girl who comes to terms with the hand she’d been dealt. I couldn’t read this book fast enough. I almost read the entire thing in one sitting. I just couldn’t get enough of the characters, the setting and the romance. I’m a total fan of romances, whether they’re between adults or teens, I don’t care. I’m all about the romance.

I won’t lie and tell you that Taylor didn’t get on my hot damn nerves throughout some of the book because she did but I forgave a lot of what she did because of the things that she was going through. Her Dad is dying, she has to face things that she walked away from and over the course of the summer, I saw her grow and learn from her mistakes. She wasn’t perfect so with every mistake she fixed, she made another one to take its place but through it all, I was rooting her on.

Matson wrote another winner of a book for me with this one. I laughed, I cried, I smiled and sighed throughout the whole thing and if that doesn’t spell WINNER in all caps, I don’t know what would. I can’t recommend this book enough. I enjoyed the ups, the downs and I connected with each character. From her family members to her friends, I loved them all in different ways.

I really enjoyed seeing Taylor bond with her family. When they first got to the summer house, they weren’t connected the way that they were when they left and I loved that we were there to see how far they came over the course of one summer. I loved that we were able to go through this hard journey with Taylor’s Dad, right alongside her and really, the whole thing was just an awesome read. If you were wondering if you should get this book, I think you should. It was a great book.

I also loved seeing the quick glimpse of Amy Curry in this book. Oh goodness, I loved her book so much!

..and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Simon & Schuster.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com


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Book Watch: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

Posted August 26, 2011 by Rowena in Promotions | 2 Comments




Taylor’s family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it’s stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them very aware that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.

I absolutely adored the last book by Morgan Matson that I read, gave it an A grade because it was that awesome to me. It’s still one of those books that I see sitting on my bookshelf and it makes me smile. It was such a cute story that I have every faith that Matson will deliver another wonderfully cute contemporary YA story so I’m anxious to get my hands on this book.
Who doesn’t like second chances stories? I love second chances stories so I know that I’ll be all over this one. This story also deals with a family member getting cancer and I can totally relate to this so I really want to read it.
This book comes out on May 8, 2012 so we’ve got a bit of a wait but still, it’s on my radar! Mark your calendars dear readers, this promises to be a book not to be missed!
Who’s a fan of Morgan Matson? Who’s going to be reading this when it comes out?

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository

Book cover and blurb credit: http://goodreads.com


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Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

Posted April 28, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments


Main Character: Amy Curry
Love Interest: Roger Sullivan
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew–just in time for Amy’s senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she’s surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road–diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards–this is the story of one girl’s journey to find herself.

Always listen to Ames when she recommends a book to read because she always hits it out of the park with her book pimps. This is one of the books that Ames told me a long time ago to read and though I really wanted to read it, I kept putting it off until finally…I picked it up and couldn’t put it down.

Oh man did I love this book. It starts off great and ends spectacular. I loved it. Every bleeping single thing about it. I really enjoyed getting to know Amy through her adventures but also getting to know Roger as well. I’ll be honest and tell you that I seriously wanted to go on a road trip after reading this book. It was that fantastic!

One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was the traveling journal that Amy kept throughout the trip. Seeing the receipts for the places that her and Roger ate at made me that much more apart of their journey. I thought it was adorable.

Even though this book was a little on the light side, I think Matson did a wonderful job of keeping us right smack dab in the middle of Amy’s grief. She didn’t make light of it or breeze over it in the story, she added it to the story and I appreciated the addition. Once we finally got the entire story, I already knew it but still, it was nice how she slid that in and didn’t just leave us hanging with it all. I’m glad that we found out exactly what happened. I felt like Roger, finding out bits and pieces of it until Amy was ready to tell the story.

I can’t remember ever feeling like the story slowed or dragged because for me, I couldn’t read this book fast enough. When I was finished with the book, I went back and read through my favorite parts of the book. Yes, I enjoyed the book that much. I thought that both Amy and Roger were great characters that I’d love to revisit over and over again. I can already tell that this book is going to be one of my comfort reads in the future, one of those books that I come back to just because.

I definitely recommend this book, it was light and cute and just an all around great read. If you’re looking for something light, contemporary and cute, this is the book for you. The characters are charming, the story flows nicely and you’re not going to want to put it down. Just a fabulous all around read.

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com


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Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Posted June 11, 2010 by Ames in Reviews | 9 Comments

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew–just in time for Amy’s senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she’s surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road–diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards–this is the story of one girl’s journey to find herself.

I like a good road trip book and this one definitely fit the bill!

Amy’s dad died 3 months ago. She’s feeling guilty about it and the reason why isn’t revealed until later in the book, she’s pretty sure that whoever knows what really happened with her dad will make people hate her as much as she hates herself. Meanwhile, she’s been living on her own for a month in California. Her mom went ahead of her and her brother (who is in rehab) to set their new house up in Connecticut. So Amy’s been on her own, finishing up her junior year. She’s also upset because her house is being sold, the house she grew up in. And the realtor keeps asking her to leave during showings and she can’t sleep at night and basically things are in the crapper. The worst thing yet though is when her mom asks her to drive the family Jeep across the country with a guy she hasn’t seen since they were little. She’s pretty sure that road trip is going to suck and so she agrees and decides to get it over with quickly.

And then Roger shows up and they get started on their road trip. And it’s going to change both their lives…

Oh my goodness did I ever love this book! It had me laughing AND crying. It was that good. Amy, as a character, broke my heart. She’s feeling guilty, she can’t sleep, she’s freaking losing her hair over the stress of her life and she can’t connect with anyone. After her father died, her mom didn’t offer her any comfort and all Amy wanted to do was talk about things but her mom pushed her away. And then there’s her brother, in rehab. Her twin. And she’s never felt more alone. Pretty awful place to be. The big thing for her was like she felt like she couldn’t talk about anything. And the road trip is definitely stirring up feelings about her dad. First, she can’t drive. She absolutely is terrified to drive. And once the road trip gets started, she recalls the summer roadtrips she went on with her dad and brother. And how they kind of stopped but her dad was planning a good trip for that summer. And now she’ll never go on a road trip with her dad again.

And then Roger. Poor guy. First year of college and the girl he was seeing breaks things up with him for absolutely no reason. Yeah his issues aren’t as big as Amy’s, but we can’t have two terribly wounded people on this road trip. Roger has one reason for agreeing to this trip – to find his girl and get an explanation at least. Maybe a chance to win her back.

I loved Roger and Amy. They start off as strangers and then they become best friends who can almost read each other’s minds by the end of the book. And all the places they visit lead to some funny adventures.

Also, the book isn’t straight words. There are pictures, receipts, song playlists (because what’s a road trip without some good music, right?) and all manner of funky mementos included in this book. It really makes you a part of the book and experiencing things almost right along with Amy and Roger. Plus, like I said, it was funny. Pretty hilarious at times actually. For example, here are some of Amy’s thoughts on road signs:

Now that we were back on the interstate, we were seeing road signs again, and most of them were new to me. In addition to the inexplicable OPEN RANGE CAUTION, there were animal signs I’d never seen before – an antelope, a cow, and a cow with horns. There were deer signs too, but I’d seen those for the first time near Yosemite. But it worried me that, without warning, a cow with horns might be running across the interstate. And that this had happened frequently enough that they’d had to erect a sign to warn people about it.

So if you’re in the mood for a truly excellent book that will engage your emotions and your funny bone, check out Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.

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Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon


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