The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


4.06  ·  Rating details ·  21,810 Ratings  ·  4,254 Reviews
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The Unexpected Everything
by Morgan Matson
Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

“I could do this. If whole galaxies could change, so could I.”

“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”

“Because believing you’re not alone is the cruelest trick of all.”

“Theoretical crushes could remain perfect and flawless, because you never actually had to find out what that person was really like or deal with the weird way they chewed or anything.”






 

 

Reviews


Morgan Matson definitely did not disappoint with this book! Filled with books, dogs, ice cream, scavenger hunts, and a swoon-worthy new romantic interest, Clark, The Unexpected Everything was an addictive read. I love the message of this book, learning how to live in the moment, and all of the characters were strong and (some of them) easy to love. ALSO CLARK. What a babe. A nerdy, beautiful babe.
I definitely recommend this and all of Morgan Matson's other books, especially during summer!
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It’s seriously impossible for me not to fall in love with the summer season while reading a Matson book. The Unexpected Everything was exactly what I was looking for right now.
It is the ultimate summer read, filled with hilarious, thrilling, and poignant characters that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy this one as much as her last book because of the length, but Morgan Matson really knows how to make the pages fly by. Her pacing in books makes it completely unputdownable— She perfectly captures that feeling during those magical summer nights where time seemed to stop. Seriously, hours passed in what felt like seconds while reading this book.
This review contains *spoilers*.

The story all starts with a conference in front of Andie’s house, she’s the only daughter of a prominent congressman, who’s suddenly caught up in a scandal that threatens to upend not only his career but the next national election.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

After the conference, Andie plans to leave home for the summer to participate in her pre-med (pre-pre-med-med) program, until an unfortunate phone call informs her that her perfect summer isn’t going to play out just as she’d planned.

Andie not willing to give up on her plans for a great summer yet, starts anew with a mysterious dog-walking job. Which I absolutely adored, especially when she met her boss, Maya, for the first time. I was smiling so much. So I just had to then spent some time on Tumblr looking at cute dogs. And I’m still amazed with how utterly beautiful these pictures are:

While doing said dog-walking job, she meets Clark. And he turns out to be a lot more than Andie was expecting. Their meet-cute was hilarious with the whole Bertie the dog situation.

I also really liked Clark’s initial nervousness around Andie, especially when he tried to ask her out:
“I was just . . . trying to get a sense of your schedule.” He blinked, like he’d just heard himself, and I could see the tops of his ears were starting to turn red. “Wow, that sounded creepy. I didn’t mean that in, like, a weird way. I think I’m making this worse. Oh god.” He took a breath, then swallowed hard. “I was wondering, you know, what you do. At night.” He stared at me in horror after he said it, like he couldn’t quite believe the words had come out of his mouth. “Oh, man,” he muttered, closing his eyes behind his glasses for a moment. “This isn’t going well.”
I had to bite my lip to stop myself from smiling wide.”
Me too, Andie, me too…

Oh, and when her dad and Clark met I was laughing so hard and feeling just as baffled about Clark’s life.

“Dad, this is Clark Goetz-Hoffman,” I said, just as Clark said, “McCallister.”
“What?” I turned to look at him.
“Clark McCallister,” Clark said.
“I thought your last name was Goetz-Hoffman.”
“You two need a minute to confer?” my dad asked, looking between the two of us.”
Clark wrote the book, he wrote the book, he wrote the book—throughout The Unexpected Everything we got little snippets of another story called A Murder of Crows written by a certain C. B. McCallister.
And I was pretty impressed with him when I connected the dots. (Also, I’m really glad it was explained early on in the book and not dragged out.)

“I blinked at him, trying to figure this out. I had assumed Clark was my age, or close to it, though I was now starting to question everything. Because people who were my age, or close to it, didn’t write bestselling fantasy books. They didn’t have movies based on their books with huge movie stars in them. How was this even possible?
“I published the first one when I was fourteen,” Clark said, clearly reading the confusion on both our faces. He gave an embarrassed shrug. “Homeschooled kids have a lot of time on their hands.”

And even though their actual first date was really awkward, I’m glad it went that way because no insta-love.
“But it was too bad, I realized, as I looked at his profile, lit up by his dashboard light. He was really, really cute. And he seemed nice. But apparently, somehow, that wasn’t always enough. (I made a mental note to be sure to tell Toby, since this seemed to run counterintuitive to everything her Rom-Coms had told her.)”
It’s the first time I remember reading a book where the first date didn’t go in the most spectacular way. So thank you, Morgan Matson, for that!

But they have a good talk with one another when Andie comes over because of Bertie. I was so glad the dog recovered. And also glad for the really nice conversations they had while watching over Bertie.

“As Clark went on, telling his story, I realized that I wasn’t trying to stop him, or control the conversation, or keep him from asking me something I didn’t want to answer. It was like talking to my friends—and I would just have to see where the conversation took me. And so, surprising myself, I leaned forward to listen.”

Matson really knows how to develop her romances because just them holding hands for the first time left my heart beating too damn fast.
“I took a breath to continue the story when Clark’s hand brushed against mine, and all the words left my head.
I wasn’t sure if it was an accident, so I kept my hand stretched down by my side, within easy reach, and what felt like a lifetime later, Clark’s hand brushed mine again, sending a spark through me that I felt all the way in my toes. He kept his hand touching mine, and then, moving a millimeter at a time, curved his fingers around so that they were resting against my palm, just brushing it, so lightly. Then he moved up, over the curve of my thumb, and ran his index finger over the inside of my wrist in a slow circle.”

Meanwhile, the whole deal Toby made with Palmer concerning her excessive use of emojis made me crack up.
“You need to dial it back,” Palmer said as she pulled out her phone. “Like this afternoon, you texted me ‘I’m so whale, dancing girl, dancing girl, blushing smiley, nervous-teeth smiley, star, star, pizza.’ ” She looked up from her phone. “What was that supposed to mean?”
Seriously so entertaining.

Also also, a Since You’ve Been Gone reference showed up:
“Whoa,” Palmer said, drawing back slightly from me, her expression surprised. “I mean,” she said, regrouping, “hi, Andie. Um . . . rough night?”
“Is it that bad?” I asked, tucking my hair behind my ears, slinking down farther in the booth. As I did, I caught the eye of a guy sitting across the restaurant and felt my stomach sink as he gave me a smile and a quick wave. It was Frank Porter, who I’d had a micro-crush on last year when I heard he broke up with his longtime girlfriend. But he came back to school in the fall so clearly besotted with Emily Hughes that I’d quashed my crush immediately. That still didn’t mean I wanted to look awful in front of him, though. He was sitting across from Matt Collins, who was saying something that made Frank laugh, and I turned my back on them.”
I’m so, so happy and I reallywant to reread it now.

“We’re doing a scavenger hunt, and we need something that has a business slogan with a pun,” I explained.
“Ah,” Dawn said, turning to Emily. “So you’re trying to check items off a list?” she asked, nudging her. “What’s that like?”
“Ignore my friend,” Emily said to us, rolling her eyes. “She’s inhaled too many pizza fumes today.”
I've missed them so much, why didn't I reread it before picking this up???

And the references to Matson's other books didn’t stop there, I was extremely giddy when all her characters randomly (and not so randomly) showed up. There were so many references and it made my heart lighter and my cheeks hurt from smiling too much. Thank you, thank you ,thank you.

And then when Andie finished Clark’s second book, I was cry-laughing over the texts she sent to her dad:

And then it gets even better:
“Palmer and Tom both looked at Clark. “What did you do?” she asked.
“He killed Tamsin,” I said, glowering at him, while across the table from me, Palmer’s jaw dropped.
“You what?” she gasped.
“Fictionally,” Clark explained hurriedly. “It’s not like she was a real person.”
“Clearly not, to you,” I huffed.
“You bastard,” Tom said, now glaring at Clark as well.
“Wait, why are you upset?” Clark asked, sounding baffled.
“Because it’s all coming back to me now,” he said, shaking his head at Clark. “Really, how could you have done that?”
I absolutely love them.
The texts in this book were spectacular. Morgan has something special in each of her books, and this one did not miss out!

And speaking of Andie’s friends, I was amazed with how well all their friendships were written. Their group dynamics were pretty much all I could think about. It was both complex and lighthearted at times, especially with Bri and Toby—it was so great reading about such a close friendship. And even when they took a break, I was really glad for it. I could really relate to them and am extremely grateful that Morgan Matson ended it in that way.

“Do you know how horrible I’ve felt over the last two weeks?” Toby asked, turning to look at all of us. “It’s been the worst time of my life. And I couldn’t even talk to my best friend about it, since it was her fault.”
“I felt the same way—” Bri started, but Toby talked over her.
“I realized I don’t know who I am if I’m not your friend,” she said. “Like I have no idea at all. And that’s a problem.”
“So that’s it?” Bri asked, and I could hear the fear beneath her words. “We’re done?”
“Yes,” Toby said, her voice cracking. “I can’t do this anymore. I’m done.”
I was definitely crushed, but this was something so real that I couldn’t help but agree.

“I didn’t know what my life looked like if we weren’t all still friends. It was a reality I couldn’t even fully grasp. For the last five years, it had been the four of us, what I had always believed to be an unshakable unit. The thought of not having them—the thought of some reality I might have to accept where I didn’t have them—was making me feel like I wanted to scream, cry, and throw up, all at the same time.”
Those parts really hit home for me.

“And it was Maya’s words, coupled with severe boredom and loneliness, that led me to reach for my phone and scroll through my contacts until I got to Topher.
ME:
Hey. You around?
TOPHER:
It’s about time.”
So I have to mention it because it’s gonna really bother me if I don’t, but I absolutely hated Topher. I almost forgot that I did because we hadn’t focused on him for a while but the hate came back so quickly. Especially when he contacted her while she was with Clark. Topher just gave off a bad feeling.

"I could feel it happening, this pattern we always fell back into, but for some reason it didn’t feel like it normally did. It was feeling more like the time Bri accidentally took my shoes after a sleepover and I had to wear hers all day, aware with every step of how they didn’t fit me right.”
This description is so specific, yet weirdly relatable and accurate. How does Morgan do it??

She clearly has a talent for writing incredible friendships:
“You know you can always come by.” Palmer nodded and took a breath. But before she could speak, I jumped in. “I really, really messed up,” I said. “I’m so sorry.”
“I know it was coming from a good place,” Palmer said, shaking her head. “But—”
“I know,” I said. “I was trying to control everything, because the thought of not having you guys . . .” I let out a shaky breath. “But I shouldn’t have interfered like that.”
Palmer nodded. “I know you were trying to help, in your own, very not helpful way,” she said, and I smiled. “But I overreacted. And I’m sorry, Andie.”
I really liked that we got some closure with those two. And there was a short roadtrip towards the end, which I’m all for. (I really want to reread Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour.)

I just love how Morgan Matson weaves both friends and family in her books.
The situation with her dad started out rocky, but thanks to a supply of great movies and the warm weather, they started to bond— which, of course, melted my heart. I adore close families in books.

And I'm pretty happy with that ending, even if it was a bit cheesy. I can't wait to read more of Matson's future books, and hopefully reread her old ones.

4.5 stars

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Unexpected Everything, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*
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The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer read. I forgot we were still in April for a couple of hours.

Seventeen-year-old Andie, daughter of a congressman, is a dog walker.

Well, she didn’t plan on spending her summer running after dogs and making sure these fluffy buddies get their everyday amount of sun and exercise. Hell, she had a secure spot for a pre-med internship… before her letter of recommendation was withdrawn. Now she doesn’t know what to do—and since the best places are already taken, all that was left for her was a position as a dog walker. The joy.

She didn’t expect much from that job, especially not to meet a cute geek-looking guy who goes by the name of Clark. Like superman. But the thing is… Andie doesn’t date seriously. She’s all about having fun and isn’t ready let a guy infiltrate her heart and personal life. They’re awkward together. They don’t know how to behave in each other’s company. It’s adorable.

I only read one book by this author – though a ‘did not finish’ doesn’t quite count, does it? – and that was Since You've Been Gone. I quickly realized that I was the black sheep, not being able to enjoy it like everyone else. Except, I’m the type of human being who believes in second chances, so I let myself be hyped up about this new contemporary novel.

You know a story is enthralling, therefore worth finishing, when you can’t help yourself from peeking at it even during the most inappropriate moments. When someone’s talking to you, it’s clearly impolite to turn on your tablet and read a few sentences of Andie’s life, isn’t it? Well, my mind didn’t register that during those moments. I wanted to be as connected as possible to the story—book. Summer reads are usually the ones that put us in a high-spirited and sentimental mood; the sun, the beach, the romance, the warm weather, the joyful atmosphere and blather all provoke those sentiments.

I find that, nowadays, contemporary young adult novels rarely reach five hundred pages, let alone exceed that amount. To be honest, it’s rare for me to not start losing interest in those monster books after the first hundred pages. To keep me interested, the said books have to contain 1 - real unforced humor, 2 – a relatable or entertaining heroine, 3 – three-dimensional secondary characters and 4 – a diverse series of events.

This book is slow and five hundred thirty pages long, I’m not going to lie and pretend otherwise. It is what it is: a detailed account of Andie’s unexpected summer. Some parts are humorous, others more serious, most of them lent but the majority captivating. Andie and Clark make one hell of a diverting team. Do not fear, romance is not the only thing you will get out of it. It is also a story of family reunion. She and her politically invested dad are not the closest of pairs.

For five years, he distanced himself from Andie and Andie never could mend the hole created in her heart. But now that he decided to take a break from anything politics-related, he’s determined to make amends for his lack of presence around his daughter. Those scenes are sweet. A father acting shyly around his own daughter may seem incongruous, but it’s reality for many people in this world. Personally, I found their renewed connection extremely sweet and was glad for the added theme of family by the author. It’s a favorite theme of mine.

… But the book doesn’t deserve five stars. The main reason why it doesn’t is because of its unrealistic quality. Contemporaries can simply exist for our entertainment, period, but I could feel the author wanting to make this book as realistic as possible. It didn’t work. Not exactly. We do feel pulled in by Andie and enjoy following her ‘summer adventures’ but at the end of the day, we know that this isn’t imaginable and that it could never be us in Andie’s place. I prefer my contemporaries as close to real life as possible, but if you don’t mind a series of unrealistic coincidences, you’ll probably love this even more than I did.

Regardless, I’m so glad I gave Morgan Matson a second chance.
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4.5/5 stars

This is probably my least favorite Morgan Matson book so far, which isn't saying much because I still LOVED IT.
Lots of the elements were even more true to life than her other books, which is something I really appreciated. I loved the friendship and family and romance elements all coming together in one book and really melding well.
Clark is the absolute definition of precious cinnamon roll to good for this world, too pure. HE EMBODIES THE MEME.
The further out I get from this book the more I love it, so I'll probably be rereading it again in May for #MonthOfMatson

Reread for month of matson 2017

I still stand by pretty much everything I said. I LOVE Clark and I love the relationship Andie forms with her dad. Toby annoyed me more this time, but I overall liked the story so much.
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17838528-the-unexpected-everything

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