Published May 2016
I totally gave into the bookstagram hype on this book. There were several contributing factors to jumping aboard the hype train, and I shall list them below:
- This may be one of the more photogenic books I have encountered. Every single picture this book is featured in is beautiful.
- Dogs. Wow. Look at all these dogs! I love dogs, and there are dogs all over this cover so can I assume this book is about dogs!?
- I haven’t read a summer contemporary for as long as I can remember, and this seems like a perfect read to kick off the summer!
Once I started The Unexpected Everything, it took me a whopping 2 ½ days to finish it. Being an adult and working a full time job, I think this says a lot about how addictive this story is!
Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.
Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.
So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.
Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?
Even with Andie’s family circumstances, I found her to be one of the more relatable main characters that I have come across in YA fiction recently. Usually with these young contemporary reads, I have a hard time enjoying the story because I am so distracted by how young the characters are. Andie and her group of friends are 17-18, and they act 17-18, which I found so refreshing.
Another really great aspect of The Unexpected Everything, was the lack of romanticizing of teenage life. Teenagers drink, curse, have sex… starting younger and younger it seems. I loved that Andie had drawn her boundaries very clearly with her previous boyfriends, and given a younger audience a good example to look up to, maybe without realizing it.
The only complaint that I have, and honestly, it is not really a complaint, is that the book was really long. Like, it was probably the longest contemporary book that I have ever read. There were probably some aspects of the story that could have been trimmed up a bit to streamline the overall plot, but I liked the extra nonsense. I loved reading about Andie and her friends. I loved the side plots of the story. (But really, I am seriously so jealous of that friend group, I thought it was perfect.) This is a book that expands more on the idea of a summer love, and plays off of the insecurities and uncertainties of late teenage years. I remember experiencing all of those tumultuous feelings: the boys, the friends, the colleges… and I think that is why I enjoyed The Unexpected Everything so much. It is one of the rare YA books that made me wish I was a teenager again.