The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (519 pages)
Overview: Seventeen year old Andie has been in charge of her own life for the past five years since her mother died and her father was always busy as a Congressman in Washington. When her father's office is involved in a scandal involving misuse of funds that were meant to go to his charity, Andie's life changes in ways she couldn't imagine. Her acceptance to Johns Hopkins medical camp gets pulled when the news hits and her father comes home and tries to take on his parental roles in full force. This leaves Andie to contend with a curfew and finding a job when the summer has already started. Despite not being thrilled with her new dog walking post, it might be just what Andie needs to jumpstart her summer and keep her centered when her best friend group blows up. Overall: 3.5
Characters: 4 At the start of the book Andie comes off bratty and superficial which immediately turned me off from her though I was determined to give her a fair shot. Eventually (After nearly 250 pages) we really start to see her evolve with the help of her new boyfriend Clark who opens her up to new ways to see things. She evolves into a character I was really starting to like until around page 450 when she throws herself into a wholly unnecessary spiral of self sabotage and self pity that leaves her almost brattier than before until she suddenly has some major realization that makes her purportedly have this switch where she sees how wrong she was. Both Andie and her friends came off as completely fake.
The males characters, though, faired much better in their portrayals. Clark, Andie's fantasy author boyfriend is kind, understanding, and sensitive without ever being perfect or unbelievable. Tom, Palmer's boyfriend and by default part of the friend group, is well rounded. And Andie's father, who follows a similar character pattern as Andie comes off as genuine and realistic the whole time.
Plot: 3 I had a hard time getting into this book. The story didn't really pick up till around page 330 where the action and storylines really start to come together. The pacing of the plot really suffered from the lethargy of wading through the mountains of unnecessary detail. There were some really great parts and some very slow sections.
Writing: 3 Unfortunately, beyond the pervading sense of superficialness throughout the book, the story was bogged down by boatloads of details that were wholly unnecessary to the plot. Sparse lines of dialogue and buried among sentence upon sentence of extra. This led me to start skimming the pages looking for the important parts and the dialogue. It seems that long books fall into two categories: Long books that are long because they need to be and books that simply needed better editing. This, sadly, was the later.
I do have to say that this book has not turned me off of Matson's work as a whole. I recently purchased Since You've Been Gone on my last trip to the bookstore, and while the length of it scares me that it will be another case of lack of editing, the synopsis is interesting enough for me to give this author another chance.
Also Look At: This week I posted my overview for September, and since its posting I've added even more articles to my calendar to share with you this month! Check it out here: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/09/coming-up-this-month-september-2017.html
If You Liked This Book: Okay, so I haven't posted a review for this book (stay tuned for that), but Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl also uses introductory fictional book snippets before each chapter in order to further build a character and the understanding of a world created (or in Fangirl's case, used) by an author. Look out for when I share my thoughts on Fangirl because I had plenty of thoughts about a book that has joined the ranks among my all time favorites.