Saturday, May 14, 2016

the unexpected everything: stardust reviews

The Unexpected Everything
 by Morgan Matson



synopsis: 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?

full review under the cut! 

Morgan Matson has done it again! I now officially adore all four of her books, and I could not be happier with The Unexpected Everything, which now may be my number one favorite? Only time will tell, of course, if this book will eventually eclipse my love for Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, but it came pretty darn close, I think. I just love authors like Morgan Matson (and Emery Lord, and Jenny Han, who are similar and who I also adore), because while the books that they write are amazing and realistic contemporaries that deal with serious issues, they also have this strain of optimism and hope in them that I kind of love. Like, even when bad things are happening, I think these books are saying bad situations ≠ a bad life. I think that's why books like this make me feel so good when I read them, and why I always end up devouring them in less than a day. I like the fact that they make me feel hopeful.

The stars of this novel are relatable and lovable, even in their flaws. So many different types of relationships are explored in this novel, and as the mechanics of all of them were revealed, I just fell more and more in love with the characters. Because, for all of the outside forces in this novel, the core of it are the people, and the fact that they're so easy to connect with made this a warm and fuzzy read for me. There's complicated friendship dynamics, with girls who are 100% there for each other, but have to decide when to put themselves first, long-term relationships and how those are made to work, fledgling relationships and moving past the honeymoon stage, and parent-child relationships, especially how to fix them. All of these work together to create a believable world, in which the characters have multi-faceted lives and problems, and this is where you get pulled into the story. 

Basically, this book is about Andie, the daughter of a famous congressman, who has always kept her life 100% together. There isn't anything she isn't in control of, and there isn't a situation that she can't spin in her favor. But when her ultra competitive internship falls through, leaving her idle with the entire summer stretching in front of her, she is forced to go with the flow for the first time in her life. That's not to mention the fact that her father is embroiled in political scandal and is now living, full-time, at home for the first time in five years. Over the course of the summer, Andie has to learn to embrace the unexpected like she never has before, and let things come as they may, good or bad. 

Andie is a great main character. She's determined and organized and on top of everything, but this can hurt as much as it can help her, and it was fun getting to see her learn to let her hair down a little bit. I loved seeing her find something, in dogwalking, that she loved not because it furthered her academic or career goals, but just because she truly enjoyed doing it. I also loved that she let her walls down so completely around Clark, and she didn't try to fight her feelings for him for too long, just enough to make it interesting. Her relationship with her dad might've been my favorite, after the initial bumps in the road, they were melting my heart with some truly adorable father-daughter moments. (the John Wayne marathons were KILLING ME!) In the end, seeing the world through Andie's eyes for five-hundred pages just felt like having a conversation with a friend, one where you talk about boys and parents and friend drama, but end up being happier for talking about it. She is definitely a voice that I would love to hear again. 

Now, for maybe the best part about this book! GIRL! SQUAD! I know I talk about this a lot, but if you give me a fun girl squad, then 10/10 times I will rate your book five+++ stars. This is one of the main reasons that I love The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord so much. In The Unexpected Everything, I got that same excited feeling that I got while reading TSOMAY. Andie, Palmer, Bri, and Toby are a friend group that I would pack up and move into, if I could. I loved all of the moments when it was just the four of them, hanging out and having each other's backs. The portrayal of these friendships is so important to me, even and especially when they hit hard times near the end of the novel. For the most part, everything is good, but when lying and secrets come into view, that is when friendships become unhealthy, and I liked seeing these girls deal with their own decisions. The ending was a little bittersweet for these girls, but ultimately really like reality, so I ended up really loving it anyways. The fun summer girls times were some of my favorite bits of this novel, and I would happily read another 200 pages of just those scenes.

Now, my favorite Morgan Matson boy yet. CLARK!!! *heart eyes emoji- Toby style* (also, can we talk about how Morgan Matson names her boy protagonists after like 1930's movie stars, and I LOVE IT? Clark, Frank, Roger and Henry.... swoony names for swoony boys... I see you morgan!) ANYWAYS! Clark is so adorable and sweet, right from the start. I loved how he was really nervous and awkward around Andie at first, but once they both allow some of their walls to come down, they click in a way that just works. I was positively giddy to see their relationship develop within the first 100-150 pages, and then go on for the remainder of the book, for better or worse. My complaint with contemporary romance, if I have one, is usually that the book feels too short. That the main characters get together in the last ten pages and then we don't get to see any more of them. Sometimes, this is okay for me, especially with a slow burn type of romance, but sometimes it gets on my nerves. I think we need more books like this, that show relationships growing and changing, and people compromising to make them work, not just getting together and the book ending. I absolutely loved Clark and Andie's relationship in this book, I thought they were so well-balanced and good for each other, and I loved that Clark was a fantasy writer?? That was unexpected and I loved it! He was just so cute, and his bromance with Tom was making me giggle, and I just loved how there was no buts about it: Andie knew how he felt and he didn't have to act all macho and try to hide his feelings. Where is my Clark McCallister???

Anyways, I've rambled on enough, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for sweet, empowering, realistic contemporary, and Morgan Matson is the master of it. I can truly say that these books make me feel good, and I think that everyone could find something to love in them. Awesome friendships, fun characters, a sweet romance, and SO MANY DOGS! What more could you ask for in a summer read?



  1. Great review! I also loved Clark and Andie's squad so much -- you are right, this is such a great summer read! ♥

    my review

  2. I have a question. Did you catch the reference to SYBG in this book? I couldn't, but wanted to know what it was.

    1. Yes! Okay so during the scavenger hunt, Andie and Toby go into Captain Pizza and they talk to Dawn and Emily from SYBG! :)


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