Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Narrator(s): Bailey Carr
Series: n/a
Length: 16 hrs 43 mins
Publisher: Audible Studios, Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Source: purchased audiobook, galley received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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?

We haven't done a joint review in ages, but we love getting together to chat about MoMa books or just cute contemporaries in general, so here we are.

What made us read this/initial thoughts:

April: I immediately purchased this because it's a MoMa. Say no more. I'm not sure what it is about her books, but I can't get enough. She has a way of balancing the deep subjects with the fun and weightlessness every contemp should have. I adore her her books.

Jen: April kind of forced this one on me. I had a review copy, but the closer to release it got, the less I realized I actually wanted to read this book anymore. And I told April this. So, after she listened and loved it, she bought me an audiobook copy, too, essentially forcing me to read it so I could love it, too. It was cute as expected but also not what I expected, which kind of worked for me.

The Story:

Jen: So, I read scandal in the synopsis and assumed it was some gross love affair and I was all set to hate Andie's dad. And he was kind of douche at the beginning, but I loved what became of their relationship. And I love that the scandal changed all of Andie's summer plans, thereby changing HER. I did not like her character at the onset of the story.

April: I'm with Jen. When I read scandal in the synopsis, I assumed the same thing. I was glad it was not, but I would have been okay either way. Andie's summer plans pretty much go to shit because of her fathers misfortune, and that's just what she needs because she's very up tight early on.

The Characters:

April: Andie grew on me. I didn't love her starting off. She made me sooo mad, but I understand why she was the way she was. By the end of the story, I loved her. I enjoyed all the side characters as well.

Jen: As usual, MoMa's characters are well-fleshed out, like people you might actually meet on the street. Andie was kind of the opposite of Emily from Since You've Been Gone in that she had a great group of friends and her love interest was the one without.

The Friendships:

April: Ahh, I loved the friendships in this book. I had a group of girls I was close with in High School. Some I'm still close with, others not so much. I know that if texting had been a thing while I was in school, the text chains would have been our thing. Maybe not at girly though. I loved the crap that goes down towards the end.. no spoilers, but I felt a realness in it all. Been there, seen that kinda thing.

Jen: I've never had a group of really close friends, just one or two at a time, so it was nice seeing what that might have been like. Though it did seem like a lot of work. All those text chains! Of course, when I was in high school, cell phones were still relatively new and the iPhone definitely didn't exist, lol. But I also liked that this group of friends wasn't portrayed as perfect, that they had their ups and downs and that sometimes, there's just no coming back from a mistake.

The Romance:

Jen: It might be more what Clark does than who he is, but he might be my favorite MoMa love interest yet. And I loved that, for once, I got to see the romance actually last over the course of the book. Sure, there's that tension that leads to problems and the inevitable happy ending, but usually all of that happens late in a book and the characters aren't really together before that. This was truly a sweet summer romance.

April: I loved Clark. Like Jen, I liked what he did, but also, physically, he's described to be the perfect guy for me. He has officially shot up to the top of my book boyfriend list. He's just over all a swell guy and I've always fell for the nice ones.

The Family:

April: Andie's relationship with her father isn't so great starting out. He's actually a bit of a dick. I mean, how do you not know what's going on in your child's life?  But do to unexpected circumstances, they begin to find each other again and that was one of my favorite things about this story. <3

Jen: It's pretty much just Andie and her dad and though that's through no fault of their own, it's still not really a sob story. They've moved past it and pretty much past each other, too. Which is kind of sad, but thing's take a turn for the better with Andie's dad having to take a step back from politics due to the scandal. I actually liked their interactions by the end of the book.

That End of Summer Feeling:

April: Everything about this story screams "Summer Feeling".  There are no twists and turns, it's just a fun summer book. A bit predictable, but like Jen says below, most contemporaries are. I think that's what makes them good summer books. When I'm laying out by the pool or on the beach, I don't want anything that's gonna make me think to hard. Just a good fun entertaining read.

Jen: Not gonna lie, The Unexpected Everything was, well, a little expected and predictable. But most contemporaries are for me, so I try not to hold that against the book. The book did leave me with that perfect summer feeling, that anything's possible and every day promises something new, so it gets bonus points for that.

The Narrator:

April: I have never listened to Bailey Carr, but I loved how she Narrated TUE. Her voice fit Andie's Character to perfection.

Jen: This was my first time listening to Bailey Carr, but I thought she did an adorable job with TUE. In fact, I searched her on Audible and added some more of her audiobooks to my wishlist. ;) She was just the embodiment of Andie and how I pictured her sounding.


April: I loved it so much. Sometimes you just need a cute book to listen too. I had just come back from vacation, and TUE got me through the week following, which is always rough when you have to go back to work. I'm so happy Jen decided to listen to it too, even though I forced her. haha. She's usually the one pushing books on me! :) I knew that she would at least like TUE, and I just adore reviewing books with her.

Jen: TUE was adorable and very much a MoMa book. I'm very glad April made me read/listen to it, too. I would have missed out on a very cute story otherwise. That April is one smart cookie and maybe she knows me better than I know myself sometimes. :D

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan's three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW "Flying Start" book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize. It has since been published in five different languages and six different countries.

In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2014.

Find Morgan:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TumblrGoodreads


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