C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, read-2016, young-adult

Because the law requires me to make some sort of pun about the title here...I MUST SAY, GOOD SIR, THIS WAS AN UNEXPECTED DELIGHT. Except not everything was delightful. But lucky for your precious face, I'm going to have a list of likes and dislikes. But I'm very pleased to say that the book was very sweet and happy. I mean, plus drama and angst in the last 100-pages, but do you know how often I read HAPPY books???? Like 3% of the time. It was refreshing.

(Although FYI it is winter in Australia; and I realise the Americans are like "Oh let's publish nice summery books because it's summer!" but I am huddled under 74 blankets while forced to read your summer books and being murderously jealous. #AppreciateCaitsSuffering")

L I K E S:

• It is so so so so friendship focused!!
Seriously! Friendship is the BIGGEST THING in this book! (And I think that's really common for most of the Matson books I've read so far.) And ya know, this gives me warm fuzzies. Not only does it really hone in on Andie and her 3 really really close friends, it talks about friendship between fathers and their daughters. LIKE, AWWWWW. The book starts with Andie having like 2% of a relationship with her dad, and then it grows and strengthens until they're watching John Wayne (ew) and having midnight ice cream meetings and inside jokes and IT LITERALLY IS MY FAVOURITE THING TO WATCH THIS DAD AND HIS DAUGHTER GROW CLOSER.

• It features a HOMESCHOOLER who is NOT WEIRD.
Be still my beating heart. The love-interest is Clark who is a) a huge nerd, b) socially shy but not inept, c) a homeschool gradate, d) and a fantasy writer. AKA = HE IS THE MALE VERSION OF ME. He was so adorable and literally one of my FAVOURITE bookish boys of the universe!! He was funny and awkward and adorable and I shipped him and Andie so so so hard. Also Clark is suffering from writers block....which is like the ONLY way writers are represented in literature, so. That was annoying. But I appreciated all the insider writers jokes and how he felt with pressure from his fans and how he was so young and successful and ajdfklasdfjad CLARK. CLARK. CLARK. What I'm most impressed about is that he wasn't a FREAK. I could list a scanty few books/movies with homeschool characters, and usually the homeschooler is really embarrassingly freaky. WE ARE NOT, OKAY?!?! WE ARE COOL FISH SOMETIMES. DORKS AND NERDS, SURE, BUT NOT COMPLETE WEIRDOS.

• It was a relaly pleasant book to read.
I mean, I was stressing because when a book is about HAPPINESS I just am sitting there waiting for the sucker punch of tragedy. Ahem. But for about 400-pages, it was about a) strengthening summer friendships, b) Andie loosening her tight controlling reigns on relationships and letting herself fall for someone properly, and c) putting happiness first. I loved the theme of happiness. And it had that nice summery vibe with ice cream and scavenger hunts and pizza and pools...so, ya know, I'm here in winter being bitter BUT IT WAS ALSO NICE.

Andie is set to go to pre-pre-med-med school (shhh, it's a thing) but gets dumped from the program at the last minute. She ends up walking dogs all summer. I KNOW. DREAM JOB. I am actually quitting being a writer directly and taking up dog walking because PUPPPPPIES. Ahem. So there are tons of dogs (and a few cats) here and none of them die, so isn't that lovely? So much win for the author here.

• I laughed out loud. SEVERAL TIMES.
The dialogue and witty banter was so freaking brilliant I CRACKED UP. Three or four times, and this is from the person who usually gives 1/3 of a smile and calls it laughing. NOPE. OUT LOUD. CRACKING. UP.

D I S L I K E S:

It was way too far freaking long.
I'm not gonna lie: I almost gave it 3 stars for this...why? Because I got bored several times. I realise it was building friendships and making the characters more complex with all the side detours but THERE WERE SO MANY RABBIT RUNS. Literally pages and pages of events that really didn't contribute to the plot. Well...what plot, really? It was a summery contemporary and full of laughs and sweet moments and romance, but definitely not excelling on the plot. But I found the first 100-pages excruciatingly boring, and then the middle just made me want to nap. Contemporaries DO NOT need to be 500-pages. They just don't. No.

• It was entirely predictable.
I mean, look at it. You KNOW Andie is the "I dump him before he dumps me, and it only lasts 3 weeks max." sorta gal. So aka the book is going to be about the guy who steals her heart, right? And she has awesome friends....okay so something is going to happen there. She misses her mum. Great, she'll confront those emotions. MAYBE I'vE JSUT READ TOO MUCH. But I think a lot of the reason I got bored was because it was entirely predictable.

• I was kind of disbelieving at how quickly it went from SUMMER! FUN! POPSICLES! to ANGST! DRAMA! HEARTBREAK!
Okay, I shouldn't be. Humans are weird and confusing, obviously. But the ending had me blinking quite rapidly and going "Seriously? After this whole summer of fun, you're gonna do THAT?" I just did NOT feel the ending at. all. I think this is because the climactic drama revolved around a secondary character, not Andie. So it felt detached from her and I didn't really care. (I mean, it does affect Andie and she ends up doing STUPID THINGS BECAUSE OF IT...but it felt like this whirlwind of STUPID because I wasn't invested in the secondary character as much as Andie.

...All in all? It was definitely a sweet, summery book about friendship!
I won't even deny that I enjoyed that a lot! (I miss me zombies and stabbings though.) But the predictability and the length did give me lots of YAWN moments. However, puppies and ice cream and the cutest fantasy writer love interest to ever grace literature MORE than make up for that.

*** QUOTES ****

Books were everywhere. Not in haphazard piles -- there was absolutely nothing about this place that seemed haphazard - but there were floor-to-ceiling built-ins on all sides of this very large room, and they were absolutely crammed with books. It was the kind of room -- big couches, comfy chairs -- that you would expect a TV in, but I didn't see one anywhere. All I could see were books.

"What is this?" I asked, taking it from him, then recognising the familiar font on the cover. This one showed a crow and a flaming swords. A Murder of Crows, the title read. By C.B. McCallister.
"I know you don't read," Clark said, and I raised an eyebrow at him. "But I thought maybe you wouldn't have anything against listening. It's the audiobooks, so it's like someone telling you a story."
"Ha ha," I said, turning it over and reading the back. I felt my eyes widen. "this takes nineteen hours?"
"Yeah," Clark said, not seeming fazed by this. "And those are just the first two discs. There's like twelve, but I didn't want to scare you."

I'd found my favourite brand of plastic bag --orange, biodegradable, from Raiders of the Lost Bark, whose name thrilled Bri to no end. She'd almost lost it when I'd told her about the other business, Temple of Groom.

I was listening to it constantly -- in my car, in my room, before I went to bed, my phone propped up on my nightstand and a sleep timer on so I wouldn't miss anything. But the place I really loved to have the story told to me was while I was at work. There was something wonderful about being outside, moving, keeping an eye on the dogs in front of me while the rest of me was swept up in the story. As a direct result of this, all my dogs were getting much longer walks than normal, since I hated to stop in the middle of a really great part. The walks that were normally twenty minutes had turned into epic walks that took us all over town, and as a result, most of them were getting pretty wiped out.
"Well, it sure looks like they had fun," Maya said as she bent down and scratched BAnjo's ears. Banjo immediately flipped onto his back and looked at her expectantly -- he was a fool for belly rubs.
"Definitely," I lied, since I honestly couldn't have told her. Tamsin had been captured by the book's great villain, locked in a tower, and separated from the Elder, so the amount of fun the dogs were having had not been my primary concern.
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Reading Progress

June 4, 2015 – Shelved
June 4, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
June 11, 2016 – Started Reading
June 11, 2016 –
page 100
19.27% "Why is this book twenty gazillion pages long????? ARE WE GOING TO WALK DOGS FOR THESE TWENTY GAZILLION PAGES???"
June 11, 2016 –
page 217
41.81% "Omggggg HOMESCHOOLER ALERT!! (And like cute and non-freaky homeschooler. I AM THE HAPPY.)"
June 12, 2016 –
page 351
67.63% "Andie's developing relationship with her dad is ACTUALLY GIVING LIFE TO THE UNIVERSE. So so so sweet."
June 12, 2016 –
page 448
June 12, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 12, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
June 12, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 12, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Annie-JoElizabeth (last edited Jun 13, 2016 12:00AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Annie-JoElizabeth How do you turn sweetness into angsty stuff in 100 pages, anyway? That just seems a little weird. But YAY for non-freaky homeschoolers!!! I definitely need to get this from the library soon!

Rose Okay, this review totally sold me! Definitely gonna start it soon! Great review (as usual), Cait :)

message 3: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda I was also homeschooled, and I hate 99.9% of homeschoolers represented in literature. At this point, I'm willing to read this book just for the decent homeschooled kid!

tifany。 I'm so agree with you on this, especially about how this book was tooooooo long!

message 5: by Kelcie (new)

Kelcie Makes me wanna read it just for Clark! He sounds wonderful! But I don't read much contemporary and the length looks quite daunting...

message 6: by Katie (new)

Katie  Hanna YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Cool homeschoolers for the win.

message 7: by mali (new)

mali Oh my god I been hearing about this books for WEEKS and I never knew fully what it was about but now you sold me into the thought of buying this and you're VERY CONVINCING YOU KNOW THAT??? And yes a homeschooler!! And those quotes had me laughing and I need to get this.

message 8: by Madeline (new) - added it

Madeline Osigian A cool homeschooler?!?! Represent! this has just been bumped up on my TBR.

Hannah Brown I really loved this book! Totally agree about the ending though. It felt like maybe 20 more pages and it would've been concluded better. I loved the length (feels like summer drags sometimes!) but it made me pine for friends and wishing I had what the characters had and miss my boyfriend and mwah I'm gonna cry again. :'(
(Ps - which Matson book do you suggest I read next? This was my first one!)

message 10: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Hannah: I'm glad you loved it!! I've only read Second Chance Summer (which I didn't like at all #oops) and Since You've Been Gone (which I ADORED) so I definitely recommend the latter. XD

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