“I could do this. If whole galaxies could change, so could I.”
The Unexpected Everything is the story of Andie Walker’s summer before senior year. She gets an unexpected, job, and unexpected boyfriend, and an unexpected parental presence thanks to her Congressman father being under investigation.
I am going to compare this to This Adventure Ends because they both focus on a group of friends. This Adventure Ends was super cute but I personally found The Unexpected Everything to be much more relatable. We have all had these text conversations with friends.
I loved her friends. I like that they all had their own things and their own space and yet still had time for their lived to intertwine with the others. All high school friendship should be this heathy and supportive. I liked that everything was realistic. All the character act in an age appropriate way. I wasn’t irritated by overly immature character or horrified by overly mature character (horrified because a 17 year old should not think like a 35 year old. Be young while you can!) The conflicts were normal conflicts that everyone is going through day by day. The fights were real and so was the forgiveness. The plotting was a big unrealistic and there was some stretching of credulity with coincidences but I was able to overlook that quite easily.
Clark, the love interest, was definitely worth it. I liked that he was a bit nerdy, a bit socially awkward, and committed to getting to know the real Andie. He is a decent human being and I loved that he managed to integrate with her friendship group. This is an example of a healthy relationship. You bring out good things in the other person and vice versa. Can we have more of this please?
I really liked Andie’s character development. Because of her father’s job and because of her mother’s death she has kept herself a safe distance from the people around her. Even her best friends aren’t always allowed in. She has rigid ideas of herself and her future and it was wonderful to watch her outgrow them and embrace the person she really is and the person that she wants to be. I loved the way that her relationship with her father unfolds. I think that the scenes with the two of them were my favorite in the book.
It was however predictable. There wasn’t one “twist” that I hadn’t called several chapters earlier. If this has been a mystery or if the plot had hinged on these “twists” I would have been super annoyed. As it was I just saw what was coming a mile off. This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t swept up with the plot. I read this in a day and a half and it is over 500 pages so obviously I was invested. I just wasn’t taken by surprise.
The book has a sun drenched feeling to it. It was undeniable modern but there was a slight sense of nostalgia about it. Almost as if an older Andie is narrating the story about “the summer everything changed”. It is the perfect book for summer or for when you want to return to the feeling of summer.
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?