Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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?
Since reading Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson has pretty much gotten on my auto-buy author list. Especially when her covers turn out to be LITERALLY CUTE AS PUPPIES – LIKE, WITH ACTUAL PUPPIES. I mean, I couldn’t picture a book more fluffy and all about summer fun times – and that’s exactly what this book was. It was DELIGHTFUL.
The Unexpected Everything is about Andie, the daughter of a Congressman, who has always been about intense future plans living up to the stringent ideals that her dad’s job kind of foists upon her. So her plan for the summer was to do a pre-med camp, until a scandal in her father’s office gets her admission revoked. Now for basically the first time ever, she’s stuck operating without a plan. She gets a dog walking job – possibly the lowest thing she thought she could resort to but grows to truly love it. And she gets to experience the freedom and fun of summertime without stressing about how it all looks on her resumé.
Primarily, the happy fun times that Andie experiences involve Clark. Holy crap guys. I have found a new book boyfriend, and he is raising the bar on the rest of them. I loved Clark from the instant he turned up with his geeky sci-fi shirts and his clear nerves and embarrassment around Andie. He is TOTALLY adorable. I loved how he just didn’t conform to any of Andie’s expectations. She doesn’t really do relationships longer than 3 weeks and is used to it always being shallow “let’s-get-to-the-making-out” stuff. Clark is so not about that. After an awkward first date, he makes her lower her guard and I was shipping it SO HARD. And it turns out he’s a WRITER. The scenes where they tell stories together were seriously some of my favorite in YA romance ever. And the end? Freaking. Gold.
There’s also a surprisingly touching father-daughter relationship in this book. If you know me, you know that’s my jam. But honestly, they put tears in my eyes. Andie and her dad start off basically estranged from each other – him having mostly lived in DC for the past 5 years since her mother passed and she being used to basically having free reign on how she lives her life. But with both of them home for the summer, they are confronted with the uncomfortable distance between them and start to really get to know each other again – slowly but surely. There were so many adorable moments, with them geeking out about Clark’s books together, having their movie marathons, doing the scavenger hunt together… So feelsy. It makes me want to fly over to my dad and give him a great big hug.
And the friendship in this is pretty ace as well. You can tell that Andie’s best friends have really become her family. They have this understanding of each other that’s so thorough and heartfelt. All of their adventures and conversations are a blast. One particular highlight is the aforementioned scavenger hunt that Palmer arranges. That scene just encompassed the glory and happiness of summers in high school and I was basically reading it with the biggest grin ever.
Now you may think it sounds like this book doesn’t have too much of a plot, and you’re not wrong. In fact, with this book being over 500 pages, it’s almost surprising how engaging, compelling, and addictive it is to read despite the fact that there’s no one big central conflict or story arc. It really just captures that glory of summertime. But that is the reason why this doesn’t quite get the perfect rating. And when everything falls apart about 70 pages from the end? That just felt weird and made me unnecessarily antsy. But whatever, the ending was great, partially unexpected, but truly realistic.