TJ Burns — June 26, 2016
I absolutely loved The Unexpected Everything, which I have to say was most… unexpected.
What I first thought was going to be a rather superficial high-school story turned out to be a rather complex story, involving three parallel, but interconnected, story lines. The first story line involves Andie’s group of friends: a group of four tightly-knit girls, and one attached-on boyfriend. The second is the romance (and I guess you could include the summer job) and the third is the dysfunctional relationship between Andie and her father.
At first I couldn’t really get into Andie’s friends and their social lives. I was annoyed with the texts and superficial conversational topics.
But as the story progressed, I began to appreciate the dynamics. The four girls are substantially different enough (in looks and personality). Andie, ambitious, beautiful, has never had a lasting relationship (more than 3 weeks), and wants to be a doctor. Bri, tall, Indian ancestry, beyond beautiful, a bit more serious and less outspoken (compared to Toby), doesn’t have a boyfriend, but gets hit on a lot, and is a bit aloof. Toby, shorter, curvy figure, has wavy/thick blondish hair, has no boyfriend, but wants one, doesn’t get hit on very often, and is kind of silly/funny/entertaining. Palmer, brown hair, average looks, average personality (doesn’t seem to stand out), is stable, has her head on her shoulders and feet on the ground, and has a steady boyfriend.
They’ve been friends forever, but events that take place in this story put their friendship to the test.
Andie’s dysfunctional relationship with her father:
The dynamics between Andie and her father, considering the circumstances they face and have faced, is really interesting. At the beginning I was so angry and frustrated with Andie’s father’s behavior! First he ignores his daughter for years, then he is so absorbed in his own self-pity that he doesn’t even notice that Andie’s world has yet again come crashing down upon her.
Andie’s father’s lack of parenting skills leads me to respect Andie even more. Andie has basically raised herself, and now her ability to quickly switch gears, not get caught up in self pity, but to go for a Plan B, even though Plan B is a huge step down in her mind, greatly impressed me.
Andie has no real concept of what being in a relationship means. Her dad has not (at least in recent years) given her any good example of what commitment and healthy relationships look like. Three-week-long relationships prove that Andie is not finding what she needs/wants. Although, I don’t think she really has a grasp of what she really needs or wants. She needs something new.
Clark is sweet, shy, smart, and clever. And he likes books, you know, the ones about dragons and curses… 😉
Both Andie and Clark are living rather sheltered lives, so they definitely could broaden each others’ horizons!
The Unexpected Everything has so much of unexpected… well, everything. The three story lines were intertwined throughout and come to a satisfying and climax, which includes some expected, and some unexpected aspects. I laughed out loud throughout and was generally surprised with how much I ended up liking this story. 4.5 Stars
Published May 3rd 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
TJ Burns Goodreads Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1585168768
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