I was looking for something light to read over the last few days while I haven’t been feeling amazingly. My go-to genre of thrillers doesn’t quite work for that, because they are often dark, disturbed, and require a lot of attention! The Unexpected Everything is a contemporary young adult novel that definitely fit the bill!
Andie is the daughter of a politician, who has recently faced a political scandal. This ends up affecting her plans for her summer. Andie has always wanted to go to medical school, so she planned her summer internships accordingly, however after her dad’s scandal, her acceptance to her internships are withdrawn. She still needs something that she can use on her college applications, so she ends up taking a job as a dog walker.
The book was really cute, but overall it was WAY too long. The first 85% of the book everything is happy and fine, so there’s not a lot happening. Andie meets a boy through work named Clark, who was my favorite character in the book. He’s sort of nerdy and wears tee-shirts that feature themes from Star Wars, Doctor Who, etc. And he’s a fantasy writer, which is so cool, considering he’s 19. On top of navigating her feelings and her relationship with Clark, she also spends a lot of time with her group of friends, and is dealing with the emotions she’s never dealt with after the death of her mother. There really is nothing additional happening in that 85%. No conflict at all! It was like rainbows and sunshine the entire time! I kept wondering where the book was going, if there’d ever be a plot, and when there’d be some sort of issue (there has to be one, right?!).
I have really mixed feelings about it, because part of me was wondering “what’s the plot?”, I was enjoying it. It was light and fun, and didn’t require serious focus or attention on my part. Obviously, being a YA book where the main character lost her mother, she has to deal with her feelings about it and finally open up to her dad, especially considering they don’t talk much. She also has to deal with the fact that she never opens up in relationships, but now she’s met someone she really has feelings for and has to navigate this unexplored territory. That made the book pretty predictable.
The conflict does come toward the end of the book, but it felt like the author wrote 400+ pages and then went “oh crap, I forgot to add problems!” and then threw it in, which I didn’t love. I would have rather it happened halfway through the book so I felt like there was something the characters were working toward, or some end goal in sight.
Overall, I liked the book but I wished it was shorter. It was a really fluffy summer book, but I found myself getting bored through parts of it because literally nothing was happening. I’ve heard good things about this author, so I think I’ll probably still check out some of her other work. I’m rating The Unexpected Everything 3.5 stars.