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Presented by State Library Victoria

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - Review

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – 3/5 stars

I was really excited that I found this book, I loved Since You’ve Been Gone and Second Chance Summer, both by Morgan Matson but I was a little let down by this one. It took me a while to really get into this book, it started off quite slow and the main character was pretty irritating to begin with. Throughout the book this, gratefully, did change and became a much more enjoyable story.

It begins with Andie, the daughter of a congressman, standing on her front porch supporting her father as he makes a speech about a recent scandal that is forcing him to step down temporarily from his role. Now, from past experience, I prepared to hate this book as I’ve read other ones with a similar plot line with the politician parent and they were tedious to read. That’s probably why I didn’t like the start of this one. Andie is a solid Type A personality: overly competitive, slightly selfish, loves plans, but also fiercely loyal to her friends (which is the side shown later on). In the beginning she is controlling and self-centred and annoying to read through the eyes of, especially as she describes her ‘on and off relationship’ with a kid named Topher (short for Christopher) where they just make out at parties. She is a bundle of anger towards her father who doesn’t have time for her and has shut out any mention of her mother who died five years before the time the book is set.

As the story develops and Andie pulls her head in a bit, being rejected rom her summer workshop/camp this and instead takes up dog walking as a summer job, she becomes a much more enjoyable protagonist to read and she seems to figuratively blossom in her relationship with ‘Dogboy’ a.k.a Clark. Their relationship is beautiful and so sweet, Clark was the perfect fit for her: driven but more relaxed than herself. Clark is also a writer (slight spoiler, sorry!) which is sort of funny as Matson, a writer, wrote a character who is a also writer.

Small excerpts of Clark’s books were added between some of the chapters which initially confused me greatly so I skipped them, but made much more sense later so I went back to them. I didn’t really think the inclusion of the really ones was necessary thought, the last one was a really nice addition though.

I liked the development of Toby and Bri’s characters towards the end, I felt they grew realistically as people and took necessary steps to get there. They were always grouped as two people acting as one individual and how their story turned out seemed a really nice detail for me as I’ve felt and done this with my own friends. I’m a sucker for background character developments…

Anyway, since I dragged my feet through the first half of the book and finished the second half in a day I have to take some points off. Overall I enjoyed it, due solely the second half, and would recommend it to people who have read and liked other books by Matson but not to read as your first book by her.