The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Maston
Publication Date: May 5th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Children’s
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance.
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones
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?
I have a general rule that I simply must read a Morgan Matson book every summer. Her books always encompass everything I love about the summer and The Unexpected Everything did just that. The book follows Andie, a congressman’s daughter, who’s perfectly planned summer suddenly falls apart due to a scandal her father finds himself caught up in. As a result of this, Andie finds herself taking a job as a dog walker for the summer and along the way she finds herself forming new relationships and learning that change is inevitable and sometimes that’s not a bad thing.
Andie was a great character to follow. She’s ambitious and pays attentions to the necessary details needed to succeed at whatever path she takes. However, due to her fathers line of work, she’s also had to create this wall around herself. To the public, she is this prim and proper young lady and because of this, Andie finds it tough to break down these walls and allow herself to be truly exposed and vulnerable. This summer sets to change all of that and with this unexpected turn of events Andie is forced to face the unpredictable, which can be both terrifying and exhilarating.
This book is a lot more romance orientated than her other books and I must say that Clark might just be my favourite Morgan Matson man. His initial meeting with Andie was so cute and adorable. He is delightfully awkward but still had enough layers to make him fascinating. He’s also an author and I loved seeing him struggle with his writing block and the pressure he faced with everyone expecting the next book. His relationship with Andie was also one of my favourite aspects of this books. I loved how Clark helped Andie embraces this spontaneous, taking a chance lifestyle and always encouraged her to express herself. Their relationship felt like a natural progression and these two are simply a great match for one another.
As with every Matson book we also explore other dynamics. Let’s starts with family. At the beginning of the book Andie’s relationship with her dad is very strained. Due to his work, Andie felt very neglected by her father. After the scandal that erupts withing her fathers political campaign, he finds himself with an abundance of free time, time both he and Andie use to try and mend their relationship. I loved seeing them work on their bond and I also love the confrontation they had with regards to his neglect. The summer proved to be a start in rebuilding the bond they once had and it was heartwarming to see the two of them make a conscious effort to reconnect.
A strong sense of friendship also plays a part in the book and are a contributing factor to Andie’s character growth in this book. I liked the fact that Matson explored the way a friendship can sometimes be used to define you as a person and how you can easily lose your sense of individuality within a friendship just as you can in a relationship. It was a learning curve for all of those involved and a much needed one at that.
My one complaint about the book was that I felt like 500+ pages felt a bit too lengthy and the long chapters didn’t help. So the first 100 pages or so felt very slow but once I passed that mark, the pace picked up a bit.
Once again Morgan Matson delivers a fun summer contemporary with a lot of heart. The character dynamics were greatly fleshed out and if you’re a dog lover, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this book.