Rating : 3.7/5
As far as planning and mapping are concerned, Andie got it all right. She know what she wants: go to med school. The road to success starts summer of high school ,senior year when she is admitted for a Pre-med program at John Hopkins. Life is beautiful when everything is under control. But, again, that’s when you’re a normal seventeen years old. Andie is not just “Andie”. She’s Andie, the daughter of Congressman and Politician Walker. Her life has always been controlled to the closest details: who her friends are, what school she goes to, what places she can venture in, what her social media contain, etc. Now, she grew up to be a responsible young lady. So far, she has never been the center of Media scandals that may ruin her father career. Unfortunately, her father, himself ,has. A political scandal burst from his offices to the public and threaten his reelection. When under investigation, he retires from his duties and decides to spend the summer home, with Andie. To her, this sounds like a nightmare. Nothing relate the two of them anymore so the prospect of spending three month under the same roof together seems like madness. Other terrible news hit Andie and threatens her whole academic career. Nothing seems to work out anymore. Luckily, she has some awesome friends that can turn any Yin to Yang. Also, there will be a boy. A very interesting one and quite a lot of dogs. All and all, every single thing will turn to be much unexpected.
« You have to try. You have to take your chances. Go and attempt and see what happens. And even if you fail – especially if you fail – come back with your experience and your hard-won knowledge and a story you can tell. And then later you can say, without regret or hesitation… ‘Once, I dared to dare greatly’. »
I think that we all agree that this book is one of the most reviewed/talked about YA of these past couple of months. Chances are that you have seen it hundreds of times on Bookstagram and BookTube. The hype was very real. And if there’s one thing I have learned from the online book community is: Not all mega popular releases are a five stars reads. Just like this one.
Morgan Matson is one my absolute favorite YA authors. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is on my top 10 absolute favorites and Since You’ve Been Gone is also high on the list. Unfortunately, The Unexpected Everything wasn’t that awe-inspiring to me. It’s true that the “cuteness” and “fluffiness” criteria of a summer read were correctly met but still, it wasn’t enough. I found it really hard to fall in love with or simply relate to or empathize with the characters. Whatever happened or was going to happen to any of them got me like “meh”. I am often told that loving the characters isn’t always the main deal, and I agree to some extent. However, not getting attached to any of them emotionally, intellectually or under any other form is a deal-breaker. Nevertheless, I need to acknowledge that the narration got faster each time the writing featured scenes were the whole characters squad was hanging out together. Andie, Palmer, Brie, Toby, Tom, Wyatt and Clark are fun people to be around, TOGETHER, as a group.
The plot is quite interesting. It’s intriguing to see how someone supposed to spend the summer at John Hopkins University will end up walking dogs around their neighborhood. The narration pace starts slow but gets faster and faster towards the end. It was particularly engaging to know more about cute Clark who wears glasses and writes fantasy books (Yes, ladies, that’s a major plus!). In the other hand, I felt really awkward and out of place sometimes when all the dogs talk was going on. I am not a huge animals fan (Yes, we do own a dog back home but he’s my father’s, not mine!) so I couldn’t really understand all the fangirling over the dog walking thing.
As for the ending, it was quite obvious for some characters but totally unanticipated for others. It’s a courageous choice that the author made, but I did not like how thing ended at all.
All and all, it’s a book with some interesting aspects but that simply did not work for me. No lessons learnt, no tears shredded, no “Wow” moments (except maybe once), no post-thinking nor contemplation. It just passes by. This book reminds me of someone you cross at some point in your life: you notice them but you don’t really see them. A simple memory along the way.
If you are planning to read anything by Morgan Matson, don’t start with this one. It simply does not give credits to Morgan Matson’s writing superpowers. Don’t trust the hype. As reassuring as it can seem, the brouhaha can lead you somewhere where everything is unexpected.
Feel free to share your opinions about this one if you’ve already read it or if you just want to voice your thoughts, we would be glad!
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