The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Release: May 3rd 2016
Genre: Contemporary, YA
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?
“But I still found myself returning here and reading this paragraph over again, feeling a little bit like an anthropologist looking at a lost civilization, once really something, but now in ruins and mostly forgotten.”
This novel manages to combine two things, one of which I absolutely love, and one of which I most certainly don't. That is, dogs (for the love part) and the contemporary genre (for the not part).
Seriously, how could you not end up loving this when it's so full of cute scenes with cute dogs who have extremely cute names such as a terrier named Tofu or a Great Pyrenees named Bertie Woofter?! IT WAS SO CUTE. And I love the cover and that it even ACTUALLY features one of the main characters, the above mentioned fluffy white Great Pyrenees Bertie. This cover does a better job of representing its actual characters than 60% of YA covers. I love dogs. They're too pure for this world and just, what did we to deserve dogs?
I also really, really liked the (human) main character, Andie, because I did end up identifying a lot with her and her struggles. Also, she's kind of my name buddy,
which I usually take as a plus point as well. Anyway, not only did I like the MC, the other characters featuring in this novel, and there are quite a few of them, were also very realistically portrayed and for the most part likable. Of course, they were kind of cheesy, but that's what I expect from a fluffy contemporary novel, so no hard feelings there. The only problem I did end up having was the inherent heteronormativity of sorts at play here, like we have a group of four girls who are friends and not one of them is into girls. That was the perfect setup for some wlw shenanigans and I honestly was so hoping that Bri's secret wasn't <spoiler>that she was dating Toby's crush Wyatt (which I'd smelled from a mile away), but rather that she was a lesbian. Or just bi and not interested. OR that the reason why Toby was "cursed" with boys was because she wasn't actually INTO boys. And was actually crushing on a girl, which is why every date failed for her. Something like that would have been awesome.</spoiler>
However, another thing I loved, besides the dogs of course, was the relationships and dynamics between the whole cast. And for the most part, I liked the tentative, slowly rebuilding trust and love between Andie and her father best. For me, it was the core relationship of the book, forget about Andie and Clark. This was so much more important, and I found it way more touching and endearing. And then there's the whole dynamic of the girl foursome between Andie and her friends, which was also peppered with its own quirks and mannerisms, and it worked, for the most part. The bond was there and it was palpable and I really appreciated the truthfully brutal and honest, genuine way of how things had changed and shifted between all of them towards the end. That's life. But yeah, I also really liked Andie and Clark's relationship, they were very cute! I kind of didn't like how fast they were moving at first and I finished the book feeling like something was still missing, like the way they ended up with not a lot of obstacles to overcome felt a bit too easy, but still. It doesn't annoy me too much, to be honest. It's just a mild complaint I have.
So yeah, despite my reservations, I really liked this one. I'm sure it was the dogs. They were, in fact, the reason I did decide to pick it up, though, just wanted to point that out. Did I already mention I love dogs? But anyway, this novel made me laugh, come very close to crying, it made me grin and stay up till 3am to read it. Definitely recommended.
P.S. I love dogs.