The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL AND I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK

Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: May 3rd 2016, Simon & Schuster
Pages: 517 Pages, Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: 5/5 cupcakes!

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?
I finally read a Morgan Matson book!!! Every summer I say "This is the year I'll read a Morgan Matson book"...and I've never kept to that. BUT I FINALLY DID IT. I FINALLY READ A BOOK BY MY NEW FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARY AUTHOR. I'm kicking myself for not reading her books sooner. I mean, I knew I would love them, but for some reason I just never got around to reading them. The other day I was so in the mood for a cute contemporary read, so I knew it was time and picked up The Unexpected Everything, a.k.a. MY NEW FAVOURITE BOOK.

GUYS. GUYS. THIS BOOK. I just want to shove a copy into everyone's hand and screech at them (well, maybe not screech, but politely give them book recommendations that they probably don't want but will definitely thank me for) to read it. This book is gorgeous. It's funny and heartwarming and bittersweet and real. It's summer sunsets, beach trips, romance, friendship and family. It's about forgiveness and growth, honesty and wearing your heart on your sleeve. It captures perfectly the exhilarating beauty of a summer filled with dazzling possibility and discovery. I'm nominating The Unexpected Everything as a book to reread every summer. In fact, I'm tempted to reread it right now, as I feel like I'll fall even more deeply in love with it the second time around. 😻
I say this in pretty much every review: I need to like the characters. Or, if they're meant to be unlikable, understand and connect to them. I LOVED the characters in this book. Andie, our main character, is such an incredible protagonist because she's so real. She's not a Mary Sue, Chosen One...she's just a seventeen year old girl learning and growing and changing. I loved the fact that she was:
a) an aspiring doctor - we need more female characters who are interested in STEM! I also LOVED that Morgan Matson included scenes of Andie reading out of her organic chemistry textbook. It was one of the elements that made this book so authentic. I don't understand YA books that show the characters doing all the fun stuff, not committing any time to studying, yet still achieving really good grades?? It's so unrealistic, so YAY FOR STEM STUDYING FEMALE CHARACTERS

b) flawed - sometimes Andie did things/said things that I was like "NO, STOP" and had me wanting to shake her (mainly that scene with Clark towards the end. I WAS STRESSED), but she wasn't overly flawed. She was just normal. We all say/do things that weren't that wise. A lot of books include characters that are too perfect or too flawed, yet Andie was such a realistically written character. 

c) mature - FINALLY. A YA BOOK WHERE THE CHARACTERS ACTUALLY ACT THEIR AGE. A lot of YA books feature characters that are either a 40 year old in a 17-year-old's body, or a 12-year-old in a 17-year-old's body. There's generally no in between. However, Morgan Matson wrote characters that were mature and responsible (for the most part), which I loved. As a mature and responsible 19 year old, I'm so glad to see teenagers that aren't stupidly ignorant/irresponsible getting represented! THANK YOU, MATSON. 

d) willing - She was willing to accept the fact that she was wrong, willing to change for the better, willing to forgive and grow. I loved the fact that she recognised where things in her life/herself that could use improving on and she was proactive about it. It wasn't always smooth sailing, but she persevered. I loved that. 

e) humble - Andie is the daughter of a politician. It's apparent they have money and connections, yet she's so humble. When she's unable to do the internship she had planned over the summer, she takes up dog-walking to fill her summer. I loved that she wasn't snooty or thought of herself better than anyone else, and I loved that she also worked for her own money. Again, so many rich characters I've read about look down on others and don't really bother getting their own money due to their family's wealth. Andie wasn't like that. 

Andie's character development was also on point. She liked to have everything organised and planned. She built up walls with some people, because she was scared they would leave her. I loved watching her grow throughout the novel. She allowed herself to stop trying to completely control her life and instead see where it takes her. She learned to open herself up to people, despite knowing that she might get hurt. I loved how genuine and brilliantly constructed her character development was.


Then there was Clark who I'm 112% sure I'm in love with. I think I almost got jealous of Andie at one point, because I WANT HIM. Clark is the love interest and he is SO PRECIOUS. He's 19, homeschooled, super sweet and socially awkward (hey, it's me!). Not only that, he's also a writer of two bestselling fantasy books that have even been turned into movies (okay, it's not me...but maybe one day) who has been suffering with terribly bad writer's block. I can't describe how much I loved Clark. He wore his heart on his sleeve and wanted to form a deep connection from the start. I LOVED the fact that he didn't want to indulge in casual conversation, but if he liked someone, he wanted to start getting to truly know them. I loved how kind, awkward and positive he was. I loved that he was also a well-rounded, complex character. I'M IN LOVE WITH HIM OKAY.

Andie's friends: Palmer, Bri, Toby & Tom
I LOVED THEM ALL. Their personalities were all so different, yet they worked so well together. I hope Morgan Matson writes novels from their POVs too - I need it. Also, I SO RELATE TO TOBY. She's a hopeless romantic who has never had a boyfriend. She believes she's cursed. SAME, TOBY, SAME. 

Andie's Dad was such a good guy. His development was incredible. He went from being a distant father that had been overcome by grief, who completely involved himself in his career after his wife's death to an involved, loving father. I thought his realisation and journey to becoming who he was at the end of the book was, again, written brilliantly

THE RELATIONSHIPS IN THIS BOOK ARE EVERYTHING. *deep breathing* I need to take a moment to compose myself, otherwise I'll go OTT with my fangirling. The relationships in this book were seriously fantastic. I'm not even talking about the romance! I'm talking about non-romantic relationships. Again, do you know how rare it is to find a book that focuses on relationships that aren't romance based? SUPER RARE. This book focuses on all-girl friendships, all-boy friendships and father/daughter relationships! SQUEEE!

Let's talk about the friendship between Andie, Bri, Toby and Palmer. In this book, we have a positive all-female friendship group. They supported one another, loved one another and cared for one another. There was no fake friendship between the four girls which was SO NICE to see. They were all so different, yet their dynamics were brilliant. I also LOVED the added layer of authenticity and realism that accompanied The Unexpected Everything due to their group texts. YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECT - The Unexpected Everything contained snippets of messages between the characters! I LOVE IT WHEN BOOKS DO THIS. It was even complete with emojis! MY MILLENIAL HEART IS HAPPY. Another thing I commend Morgan Matson for is that the characters typed like actual teenagers. There was none of "c u l8ter". It was full sentences, which is how teenagers actually message. Morgan gets us, guys, she really does. I loved the strong friendship unit between the four girls, but I found the ending quite bittersweet. If you've read the book, you'll know what I mean. 

The relationship between Andie and her dad was SO BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN TOO! They started out awkward with one another, never knowing quite what to say. They'd been close prior to Andie's mom's death, but the proceeding 5 years had sent them, emotionally, a thousand miles from one another. I absolutely loved how they identified there was problem, that they were honest with each other about the situation and how they felt. I loved watching the unfolding evolution between Andie and her father: their conversations, Sunday movies together and reminiscing on Andie's mother. They brought out the best in each other and became so much closer. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND I MAY HAVE CRIED. It reminded me a bit of the relationship between Ronnie and her father in The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks, actually. 

I also LOVED Tom (Palmer's boyfriend) and Clark's bromance. They would nerd out together, marathon James Bond movies and discuss books. I loved it.
AHH IT WAS SO CUTE. You do not understand the level of cuteness. I literally haven't felt this giddy about a romance in awhile. Again, IT WAS SO REAL. Because Clark is slightly awkward, Andie and Clark's meeting wasn't the picture perfect moment. There was clumsiness and nervousness. There wasn't the suave flirtation of Jace Herondale or charming, witty utterances. It was real. I also love how it wasn't love at first sight. Yes, Andie thought Clark was cute, but she wasn't all "I'M IN LOVE WITH HIM AND THE WEDDING INVITATIONS ARE OUT". They had a few meetings (seeing as Andie had to walk Clark's dog) and then, finally, a date. A date that didn't go all that well! I've never been on a date, so I'm not speaking from any experience here, but I'm sure not all dates go that well. Maybe you really like the person, but the first date is awkward as heck?? I don't know, but I really like that their first date was a bit awkward (sorry, can I say that word any more?). I loved that they addressed their issues, were able to move past that and got past the surface. I loved the support they had for one another. I loved how Clark was a gentleman. I loved how Andie tried helping him through his writer's block (not in a "love cures any problem ever" way, but as in a "I love you and will do all I can to try to help you" way). The way they fell in love and were able to discuss things was absolutely beautiful. I ship them SO MUCH. I was honestly so invested in their relationship, I felt so much stress when things didn't go well between them (which they sometimes didn't because, again, IT WAS REAL).💖


The Unexpected Everything had a great plot. There were several subplots that ran throughout the novel, yet they weren't melodramatic that it makes the reader feel like they're being overloaded, nor were they so inconsequential that it removed any excitement and tension from the story. All the happenings that occurred in this book were, again, so incredibly realistic. I loved the dog walking Andie undertook, the visits Andie had with her friends, her and Clark's long walks that helped him develop some new ideas for a novel...and a couple of dramatic events that I won't mention because SPOILERS. 

The Unexpected Everything is over 500 pages, which is long for a contemporary book, yet I wasn't bored for a second. When I turned the last page, I felt so sad, as I just wanted to spend forever wrapped up in the wonderful world the author allowed me to be transported to. 
I loved the writing. Andie's voice shone throughout the novel. All of the voices of the characters resounded throughout the novel in unique, witty and wonderful waves -  loved how distinct all the characters voices were. The dialogue was fantastic. Dialogue can often be quite stilted and awkward in books, but the characters' interactions flowed smoothly and read like actual conversations!!! 👏 I adored the dialogue between the characters, and I feel like it really added an extra layer to this book, making it all that more genuine and relatable. 

  • I LOVED THE DOGS, ESPECIALLY BERTIE. I'm a huge dog person, so the fact that this book involved so many wonderful fluffballs made me SO HAPPY. 
  • I loved the message of The Unexpected Everything: you can't plan your life. You can try, but life works in wonderfully mysterious ways. That's the beauty of it, and  you need to learn to accept that.
The Unexpected Everything was an incredible read that was written with emotion and heart. The wonderfully complex characters, beautiful romance, realistic and heartwarming relationships, charming dialogue and meaning made this a book that I could get lost in and fall in love with. Filled with friendship, first love and forgiveness, this book will make your summer so much sweeter.

I give it: 5/5 cupcakes!