The Unexpected Everything is the first contemporary I’ve read that is over 500 pages! I felt going into TUE that over 500 pages was pretty lengthy for a cute summer contemporary, and a lot of the plot did end up being a little “day in the life of” feeling, where the reader just gets to hang out with Andie and her friends for their summer break. I actually didn’t mind this at all; I loved the pacing of the story! Matson really packed in the details of their friendships, and Andie and Clark’s relationship never felt rushed.
Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 519 pages
Format: Library book
Andie had it all planned out.
When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check.
Amazing friends? Check.
Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.
Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.
And where’s the fun in that?
Shelf it on Goodreads
So here’s the alphabetical run down:
I absolutely loved the characters in this book! Andie, Palmer, Toby, and Bri (all girls) are really fun best friends. They go through some realistic trials throughout the book and have a realistic outcome from them, which was refreshing instead of their relationships staying stagnant. These girls, along with the other secondary characters in the book, I felt like I knew as friends by the end of the story.
I love Clark as the love interest, he is perfectly imperfect.
“He was really cute. And I liked that he seemed a little bit awkward, like he wasn’t sure what to do with his hands right now.”
I think this cover it cute, but I think the ice cream truck in the background makes it too busy and isn’t related to the story. I think that the cover model isn’t bad, but I would rather see her walking the dogs on a tree lined neighborhood street, which would fit the story better.
I loved Andie and Clark’s relationship throughout the book. No one can fault this one for being insta-love, because, much like some real relationships, they don’t actually work out well at first. Honestly, the length of this book allowed their relationship to move at a more natural pace. I love how Matson takes her time describing their relationship, even their first kiss takes a page and a half.
Also, Andie’s relationship with her father really grows and changes well throughout the book in a very organic way.
There are a few “book within a book” moments because one of the characters is an author, but a far cry from Fangirl, (where we get so many pieces of the story, that Rowell actually goes on to write Carry On as a stand alone novel). Still, it adds some interest and depth to the main storyline.
I really enjoyed that TUE embraced being a contemporary, really dug it’s heels into pop culture and consented to being relevant now and may be not so relevant in 5 years or so. Including pages of text conversations that will probably be laughable in a few years because of the overuse of emojis. I honestly find that I may love contemporary for that exact reason. It’s a snapshot of a time period and after it’s published and out there, it continues to be a snapshot of summer 2016 and anytime you go back and read it, you’re reminded what life looked like then.
I love love love that the last chapter fast forwards a few months and gives us a picture of what all the characters are doing after summer has ended. It makes me so happy when a story doesn’t stop abruptly, but give us just a bit more.
“Clearly, the downside of having a theoretical crush on someone you knew nothing about was the crashing realization that you actually knew nothing about them.”
“You need to dial it back,” Palmer said as she pulled out her phone. “Like this afternoon, you texted me ‘I’m so whale, dancing girl, dancing girl, blushing smiley, nervous-teeth smiley, star, star, pizza.'” She looked up from her phone. “What was that supposed to mean?”
I loved The Unexpected Everything as a fun summer contemporary. It’s a solid four hearts and I would definitely recommend it, especially this time of year!