Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
ashley | For as much as I read and how much I think I have my thumb on the literary pulse, every now and then I come across a wildly popular author that everyone raves about, but I have never heard of nor read anything by. That’s what happened when Simon & Schuster Canada sent me an advance copy of The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I’ve never read anything by Matson, but everything I read about her praises her books and writing. I was hoping this would be just the kind of introduction I needed to make me a fellow fan.
I was a little worried that this would read a lot like a teen book. And while there’s a ton of focus on boys and crushes, the voice holds a sense of maturity that quickly made me forget these girls were in high school. I also really liked how real the characters were. Andie was a congressman’s daughter and basically grew up molded to act a certain way, but she still took off with her friends, she still had a few drinks at parties, she was still a real teenager. Perhaps a bit more reserved than some, but she still tried to live her life. I really liked this balance and really liked each of the girl’s characters. It made it really easy to be pulled into the story.
That’s what this was, a very easy story. It recaps a summer where all plans are thrown to the wind and a group of friends have to struggle and figure things out as they come of age and start to grow up. First loves, first heartbreaks, first harsh doses of reality. Matson writes about these things in a very relatable way, making this a really easy and light read. I also really like how in the end, not everything was tied up with a perfect little bow. It realistically showed the ebb and flow of friendships and romance and adolescence.
It is, however, rather lengthy and I wonder if it couldn’t have been shortened down just a tad to avoid prolonging the ending you know is going to happen eventually. You don’t need a road map with this; everything is almost exactly what you would expect, but that is what makes it relatable. You know it’s going to speak to someone and maybe help someone make sense of the crazy growing up process and as this book shows, we can all use a little help from our friends.
As for whether I can be considered a Matson fan now, I definitely enjoyed the read and I’d like to read few other books by her to get a real feel for things. I may not be the right demographic for this but it does carry a sense of nostalgia that I can always appreciate.
may 3, 2016