Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

With 11 days until the official start to summer, we all could use a fun and fluffy contemporary, right? Add in a few adorable dogs and a splash of light romance, and you have the perfect June read.

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With 11 days until the official start to summer, we all could use a fun and fluffy contemporary, right? Add in a few adorable dogs and a splash of light romance, and you have the perfect June read.

Rating: 4/5

Favorite quote: “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.”

Andie Walker has everything under control. She’s set to attend a prestigious pre-med program at Johns Hopkins this summer- the ideal resume material to get her into a top-tier college and kickstart her journey to medical school, and the perfect opportunity to distance herself from her Congressman father and his hectic career in the political spotlight. But when her father gets involved in a major scandal, Andie’s summer plans go down the drain. Her spot at the summer program has been withdrawn, and now she’s stuck at home, forced to deal with her strained relationship with her distant father and try to find something to do with herself this summer.

Taking matters into her own hands, Andie tries to secure a last-minute internship or job, but the only offer she can find is a position as a neighborhood dog-walker. Ugh- not exactly stellar resume material, and Andie doesn’t know the first thing about dogs.

Andie’s summer starts to turn around when one of her dog-walking clients turns out to be a super cute guy named Clark, who just happens to be a 19-year-old best-selling novelist, and guess what happens next…. they fall in love. Yes, this is YA after all. Andie’s summer isn’t what she planned it would be, but she soon begins to realize that life can be unpredictable and spontaneous and still be fulfilling.

I could definitely relate to Andie because my summer plans have also been ruined this year- I was supposed to be on a plane to France next week for a student exchange program, but obviously that was canceled. I mean, maybe I will get a cool job and find a guy like Clark and fall in looove…. but nope, because we’re still in quarantine and I’m not old enough to get a job pretty much anywhere. But still, I enjoyed reading this book, and I related to Andie’s frustration- it was exactly how I felt when I learned that I couldn’t go on the trip because of coronavirus. Andie’s character arc is about learning to let go and live in the moment, and since people are always telling me I’m too uptight, I could probably learn from that. This book was so cute and entertaining, and had just the right mix of drama, feel-good-ness and and a touch of deep thoughts. The romance didn’t feel forced either, and there was NO instalove (that was refreshing). Matson also included excerpts from Clark’s novel in between each chapter, which I thought was creative.

One thing I didn’t like was that Andie was supposed to be this really smart character, aiming for the Ivy League and wanting to become a doctor, but then she would say the dumbest things. She repeated adamantly throughout the novel that she “doesn’t read books”- well, you don’t have to read to be smart, but that’s not the only thing she did. At one point she says that Clark had to meet with “something called a ‘marketing team'”. Who doesn’t know what a marketing team is? Could you at least be able to infer what it could be, Andie? She was also kind of shallow and even though her boyfriend wrote two world-renowned books, she didn’t think to try reading one, even after he asked her to!

I liked this one way more than the other Morgan Matson book I read (Save the Date) The Unexpected Everything is pretty long- around 500 pages- but I didn’t think it dragged too much. It was light and fun, the quintessential summer contemporary atmosphere. It really did make me feel more summery, although reading it outside for so long flared up my allergies (whoops). I would recommend this for people looking for a cute summer read!

4 comments on “Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson”

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