Review: The Unexpected Everything, Morgan Matson

I have read and loved almost all of Morgan Matson’s books for now, so obviously I was eager to get into her latest release. Right now in France it’s winter and dead-cold here, and you know, sometimes you just need to read a book that’s set in the summer to warm your heart a little bit. Or maybe I like being not logical and reading books with all the summer feelings while I’m shivering in my scarf that’s as big as my bed covers.



β€œYou have to try. You have to take your chances. Go and attempt and see what happens. And even if you fail – especially if you fail – come back with your experience and your hard-won knowledge and a story you can tell. And then later you can say, without regret or hesitation… ‘Once, I dared to dare greatly”

If you’re looking for someone who clearly knows what she’s doing while she writes, please ask Morgan Matson, because I feel like she understands this whole young adult contemporary vibe very, very well. In that unexpected everything, we get to meet Andie, used to living almost alone since her father’s this big-time politician. Between her group of friends, her love life and her dad’s life colliding with hers, everything will be, as the title suggests, very unexpected. Despite what you might think from that, this is not a plot, but a very character-driven story: we get to see things change, relationships evolve, and characters just as well. If the book is more than 500 pages long, which I have to admit was a bit long for a contemporary, and quite predictable at times, I still didn’t get bored while reading it and I loved getting to know all of the characters I quickly grew attached to.



β€œThe idea that you could rethink the thing you’d always thought you wanted and change your planβ€”it was almost a revolutionary concept. That you could choose what would make you happy, not successful. It was the
opposite of everything I had long believed to be true.”

Something I always look forward to in a contemporary, is meeting the characters, seeing them shaping, evolving, and by the end of the book, feeling like they were my friends all along. I knew I could kind of trust Morgan Matson on that one, because she manages to shape very likeable characters with their quirks and their flaws. As a kind of planner myself – well, I do love when I know where things are going to be honest -, I could relate to Andie’s planning frenzy, and I loved seeing her letting loose a bit as the summer goes, I loved seeing her taking chances on jobs, on people, on things she never would have before. The main character is surrounded by a kind of big cast of friends, but surprisingly – or not too surprisingly, if you know Morgan Matson’s writing -, they all were very-well thought-of, three dimensional: I felt like I knew every friend as much as Andie did, each having their own goals and dreams and heartbreaks.
I obviously need to put here a special mention to the male interest in this story, because he was just SO damn great. He wasn’t your typical male love interest, if you ask me, because there are SO many awkwardness about him, and he was just way too cute. A home-schooled glasses boy writing fantasy. Can this get any better than that?


Β β€œIt’s always a risk. Wherever there is great emotion. because there is power in that. And few people handle power well.”

All of the relationships between the characters felt genuine and unique in their own ways. We all know friendship isn’t quite the same thing with one friend or another, and I loved how we could see this reality in the characters of this story: the closeness, almost twin-like relationship, the relationships with the friends you barely see, the getting to know and befriending someone new, with the awkwardness of a first meeting turning into fist-bumps and private jokes. I loved how Morgan Matson manages to make friendships feel so real in every single one of her books.

Obviously I have to talk about the love interest, and the relationship between the two love birds…and the thing is, it was real. No insta-love here, nothing weird or out of place, nothing that seems quite unreal when it comes to love either. From a first awkward first date to getting to know each other better, from being wary to opening up, from time struggling to actually falling in love, everything felt genuine and just overall SO CUTE, I just LOVED this so much.

Another relationship I need to underline here, is the father-daughter relationship, because as you can expect it from this synopsis, there is a lot of this in that story. I always love when there is a strong family presence, so I was thrilled to get to know Andie’s father a bit more and see them trying to built a relationship a bit awkwardly and trying to get to know each other better. From someone that feels like a shadow in Andie’s life, he grows and changes and evolves alongside Andie, which was very beautiful and heartwarming to read about.


If The Unexpected Everything was a tiny bit long, it still reinforced my conviction: Morgan Matson is one of the queens of young adult contemporary, and if you love the genre, I think you need to read all of her books right now. She makes characters, friendships, love, feel genuine and real, which I love. Moreover, in this story about change, growth and evolution, both in terms of relationships and in characters’ life, The Unexpected Everything was hopeful and had this giddy happy feeling that lots of summer books have.

Final rating:Β  4 drops!

Did you read The Unexpected Everything? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read it? Share your thoughts in comments!

Morgan Matson, The Unexpected Everything, Β Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, May 3rd 2016.

Β goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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 thingβ€”if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

57 thoughts on “Review: The Unexpected Everything, Morgan Matson

  1. Aaah yes, I totally loved this book. It was really fun plus the love intererst and friendship and the dad… it all worked really well, even if it was long. It’s just such a fun ride. I agree–the best part was how complex and lovable each character was (even though some of the subplots, aka the really predictable cheating, weren’t that necessary)

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  2. Ok you’ve done it. You’ve convinced me to buy this book finally and read it. Amazing Review Marie!
    It definitely sounds like something I will love, insta love is a major pet peeve for me so it sounds great that there’s a genuine feel to the couple and a real awkwardness there.

    I’m off to go spend my money now πŸ˜‰

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  3. Oh my gosh, I just love reading your reviews so much, Marie!
    I haven’t read The Unexpected Everything, though I loved Second Chance Summer, so I have a good feeling about her other books! This sounds like a sweet novel, and that everything is done right. I hope to read this in 2017 – thanks for the review, Marie! Wonderful and amazing, as always!

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  4. I agree that it was too long! I love Morgan Matson and I still very much enjoyed the book, especially the little snippets that made me hope she would pull a Rainbow Rowell, but this did not make it the top of my Matson book love list. HOWEVER, the love interest is my favourite so far! I was just swooning all day long.

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      1. You’re welcome! I’m good, Marie! It probably has been forever. πŸ˜‚ I definitely miss blogging. Ever since I started getting my first two books ready for publication, it’s like I have zero time to do anything. One day I’m writing, the next I’m making book trailers or talking to a publicist. It’s been super crazy lately. Only one more month until the first pub date. Valentine’s Day is the second pub date. I’ll probably be pretty busy most of 2017 with everything. I’m trying to write some posts and reviews for in between all the madness. πŸ™‚ How are you doing? Any winter vacations for you?

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      2. It has been forever. But I am thrilled to hear everything’s working out like you wanted it to, with your books being published, this is a dream coming true! That’s so incredible, really, and I hope you’re enjoying every single second of it, even if it has to be a very busy time πŸ™‚
        I’m okay I guess, I have a week off work between Christmas and New Year’s, looking forward to it haha.

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      3. Yes, it’s been ages. I’ve been such a slacker with my blog lately. I haven’t had much time and the deadlines are killing me. πŸ˜‚ Thanks, Marie! πŸ™‚ I’m enjoying it but I had no idea it would be this stressful. I’ve had anxiety for the past month, and I doubt it’s going away anytime soon. πŸ˜‚ Oh, that sounds nice. Enjoy your vacation. Have you had any time to fit in some writing? That always seems to help me decompress.

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      4. OH well I hope you’ll manage to do it all, but I am sure you will. Take a breath once in a while and remember that you are publishing BOOKS. That has to be quite an awesome thought to have πŸ™‚
        Thank you! Not really, no. I’m too tired on the evenings to do any writing, I do try to write a little on the weekends, but…I think I won’t see the end of that ‘book’ (not sure it’s a book as much as a mess of a story but well) ’til a couple more months πŸ˜‚

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  5. Great review for this book Marie. ❀ I read Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson and then never picked up any of her other books for some reason, though I love your idea of reading summer YA contemporaries in winter though! πŸ˜€
    I'm definitely going to be adding more of her books onto my to-read list for next year though, starting with The Unexpected Everything. I've yet to see a bad review for this one. πŸ™‚

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  6. “We all know friendship isn’t quite the same thing with one friend or another” THIS IS SO TRUE ❀ I love how the most important friendships I have made are all so different but just as strong. Wow, 500 pages for the genre is big indeed! I love that she explored the father/daughter relationship! Great review Sweechie!

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  7. WASN”T THE ENDING SO BITTERSWEET?? I wished Toby didn’t have to leave, but then Clark ❀ ❀ <3<3 (Boyfriend goals) (mainly, except obviously my boyfriend would be real) (okay this is off topic, who cares about my non existent bf). I agree that while this was long for a contemporary, with the characters it kind of worked. And I never felt like the plot was really lacking either. Great review, Marie; I loved hearing your thoughts πŸ™‚

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  8. Great review, Marie! Glad to see you enjoyed this book! I so agree, Morgan Matson is one of the best YA contemporary authors out there. I love all her books so far. I still need to read Second Chance Summer though, I hope to get to it soon πŸ™‚
    I agree with all your points: I loved the love interest, he was so cute and awkward ❀ And the development of all the characters and their relationships felt so real: the friendships and the relationship with her dad. It was a bit long for a contemporary, but I didn't mind because I couldn't stop reading πŸ™‚

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  9. I remember seeing this book around so much after it first released and being curious but not thinking much of it but now I’m thinking I’ll have to add it to my list for next year. I haven’t picked up a Morgan Matson book before but this one seems to have everything I love in YA contemporaries. Plus, any book that showcases friendships realistically and has a great family presence is one that I need to read. Great review, Marie!

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    1. Ohh really? Wel if you love YA contemporaries, I can only advise you to read Morgan Matson’s books, ALL OF THEM haha. She’s one of my favorite. All of her characters are so real, and she does a great job with friendships and family relationships as well, especially in The Unexpected Everything. I hope you’ll love it! Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

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  10. I agree with CW, I love reading your writing in general! You have such a fun and accessible style that’s always a pleasure to read. I have not read The Unexpected Everything, but have seen it quite a lot around social media and Twitter, so I am familiar with the concept. Your review was wonderful, thoughtful, and so detailed as usual. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. πŸ™‚

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    1. Oh, thank you so, so much, this means so much to me ❀ ❀ I am always afraid to ramble too much or make no sense especially in my reviews, I am glad that's not the case ahah. Thank you so much! ❀ I hope you'll have lovely holidays, and a great Christmas if you're celebrating πŸ™‚


  11. I absolutely love your review and this book! Morgan Matson is under appreciated I think in this genre, but all of her books are so amazing! I could not agree more when you said that she has a skill of making each character three dimensional, and my favorite part of this book (besides the love interest) was her friendships because each one was unique yet real, and something I could want. Thank you so much!

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