The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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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?

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Published May 3, 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Format: e-book; 519 pages
Young Adult/Romance
Also By This Author: Amy & Roger’s Epic DetourSecond Chance SummerSince You’ve Been Gone
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥

I know I’ve mentioned this before on my blog, but Morgan Matson is one of my favorite contemporary Young Adult authors. So I was stoked when I found out that Tiff at Mostly YA Lit was hosting a Morgan Matson event to celebrate the release of The Unexpected Everything! She’s already posted some pretty rad interviews, quizzes, and giveaways, so hop over to her blog to check them out! But first, here’s my own review of The Unexpected Everything as well as a fun little dare I was challenged to this week.

Thoughts:

Another heartwarming book by Morgan Matson! I just love how she writes coming-of-age stories and makes you laugh, cry, and feel every awkward situation along with her characters. I never have a hard time connecting with the characters in Morgan Matson’s books; they’re quirky, goofy, loyal, and fittingly enough they’re always trying to deal with the unexpected.

Andie Walker has everything planned. She’s going to be pre-med, she’s attending an esteemed college program the summer before her senior year, and her father is a well-known politician so even all of her social media posts are planned ahead of time. But suddenly all of her plans have fallen through and Andie finds herself hired as a dog walker, spending a lot of unexpected (and meaningful) time with her father after his campaign is marred by scandal, and crushing on a socially-awkward fantasy-nerd who challenges all of her preconceived notions of her typical summer fling.

Clark and Andie’s relationship was great! Morgan Matson sure knows how to create cute nerds (there’s one in each of her books). But my favorite part of this book was the relationships between Andie and her three best friends. During the entire book, this tight-knit group of BFFs is the only constant in Andie’s life, until suddenly it’s not. For me that was the best part of Andie’s journey. It made me reflect on my own relationships with former and current friends of mine. Besides unexpected circumstances, reconciliation is always a theme in Morgan Matson’s books and there’s something so powerful and deep about how it resonates with me.

Read This Book If…

…you love books that are centered on friendships.
…you appreciate characters who make mistakes and reconcile relationships.
…you enjoy contemporary YA romances.
…you’re looking for a fun, swoony, & touching book to read this summer!

“I could do this. If whole galaxies could change, so could I.”

The Unexpectedly Epic Dare Challenge!

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This week I was challenged to an #UnexpectedlyEpic dare as part of the Morgan Matson event being held by Tiff at Mostly YA Lit.

Here was my dare:

Reply to 5 different people on any social media platform using only lyrics from Taylor Swift songs.

My initial reaction:

This is silly…
AND
I don’t know enough Taylor Swift songs!

Game plan:

Listen to every T-Swift song and read all of her lyrics, which means I analyzed* them and tried to be prepared for situations on social media where I could sneakily insert some Taylor Swift lyrics into the conversation. (*Yes, I’m aware that I’m a nerd. Can you tell that I was an English major in college who actually enjoyed research papers?)

Results:

  1. Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.06.05 PM
    This was the easiest one to do. I actually think about my favorite web series Green Gables Fables whenever I hear Taylor Swift’s “Everything Has Changed,” but I couldn’t find a good post on tumblr to post those lyrics to. So instead I saw this gif set from one of my favorite episodes (when Gilbert is being a super encouraging friend to Anne) and reblogged it with lyrics from “Stay Beautiful.”
  2. Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 9.59.15 PM
    Ok, I realized after I did this one that I was only supposed to use lyrics, but I wanted to be really encouraging to my friend Shakira so that’s why I added the last part after the lyrics from “Ours” :) This was probably my favorite part of the dare, realizing that doing something silly like quoting Taylor Swift lyrics could actually be uplifting to someone.
  3. Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.10.26 PM
    Of course I had to find a way to quote Taylor Swift lyrics to Morgan Matson! She included “Stay Stay Stay” on this playlist for her Michigan book tour and when I looked up the lyrics I saw that they really fit with Andie and Clark’s relationship.
  4. Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 11.01.07 PM
    Hahaha! This one was the hardest one to post. One of my guy friends was chaperoning Prom and I immediately knew that I could find some dance-related lyric to comment with. I was trying to avoid “Shake it Off” but hey, it fit pretty well.
  5. Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.46.50 PM
    My best friend Jae actually really dislikes Taylor Swift, so I wanted to post lyrics to one of her posts just to be funny :) But in all honesty these lyrics from “Never Grow Up” made me want to cuddle with my baby and this is a great picture Jae took of him.

Reactions:

Originally I thought this was going to be a really silly dare, and it was silly, but it was also a bit eye-opening for me. While it was fun to make a fool of myself online, I also realized that there’s more to Taylor Swift songs than love at first sight and heartbreak. As I was listening to a playlist on YouTube I found this video of Taylor Swift sending Christmas presents to some of her biggest fans (and in one case she even surprise-visited a fan). I thought it was incredibly thoughtful and sweet and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me want to cry.

Thank you to whoever gave me this dare! I enjoyed listening to Taylor Swift on repeat & being challenged to do something silly :)

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End of the Year Bookish Survey

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Number Of Books You Read: 48
Number of Re-Reads: 6
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult (26)best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2015? Not including rereads (which rules out Harry Potter and Persuasion), I’d have to say The Martian.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Legend by Marie Lu. I really didn’t connect with this book at all.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2015? I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I liked Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith since her books tend to be hits or misses for me.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2015? Either The Martian or The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

5. Best series you started in 2015? I finally started The Lunar Chronicles (still waiting to read Winter)!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015? Emery Lord!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I don’t typically read those types of supernatural novels, so I was surprised at how quickly I got into this one.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? It’s not action-packed, but the book I had the hardest time putting down was Me Before You.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Persuasion or Open Road Summer.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015? I really love this new edition of Anne of Avonlea.

11. Most memorable character of 2015? Mark Watney from The Martian.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015? Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015? Again, Me Before You.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? Cinder by Marissa Meyer or The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015? “You’re stronger than you believe. Don’t let your fear own you. Own yourself.” – The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I read this book early in the year and this quote stuck with me for a few months. I would recite it to myself whenever I was going through a scary or challenging situation.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015? Shortest: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde; Longest: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most: Me Before You.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR: Aidan and Clare from Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between ALTHOUGH Matt and Reagan from Open Road Summer are also up there!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: John Worthing and Algernon Montcrieff’s brotherly jests and rivalry in The Importance of Being Earnest was really fun to read.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (previously read North and South).

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: The Martian! I read so many good reviews last year and in 2014 that this quickly became a Must-Read for me.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015? Probably Thorne from Cress. He’s like a cross between Flynn Rider and Han Solo <3

23. Best 2015 debut you read? I didn’t read any 2015 debuts (I don’t usually read debuts until at least a year later, like Open Road Summer for example).

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Probably the futuristic sci-fi world in The Lunar Chronicles.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Open Road Summer by Emery Lord.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014? I cried about three times during the last few chapters of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014? The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman was pretty unique.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I didn’t like this book, even though I know it’s a classic sci-fi novel that a lot of readers enjoy. I enjoyed the world building and some of the more action-packed chapters, but I felt like this book would never end and maybe it was the narrator (I listened to the audiobook version), but by the end I was so annoyed and ready to be done with Ender’s Game.

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? I made a new online friend this year whom I was actually able to meet a few months ago! I really enjoy reading Alise’s reviews on Read.Write.Repeat and I’m so happy to be friends with another NC blogger :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? Probably my review for Wives and Daughters because it includes a clip of the ending to the miniseries :)

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? Where I’ve Been, where I discussed depression and pregnancy. It was a post that took me months to contemplate and write, but it meant so much to receive support and encouragement from my friends and readers.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? The Broke and the Bookish’s Annual Secret Santa event is one of my favorite bookish events!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014? Getting over my months-long reading slump. I went THREE MONTHS without reading a book or writing a review. It was one of the most depressing times of my life, and it’s mostly attributed to early pregnancy hormones.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I’d Want With Me On a Desert Island

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? This post about Classic Alice, a literary-inspired web series.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Fandom bookmarks and jewelry! This year I’m also contemplating signing up for an OwlCrate or Fandom of the Month Club subscription.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? I didn’t set any reading challenges for 2015, but I was able to read almost 50 books, which is impressive considering I went through a 3-month reading drought.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016? I just started reading Winter by Marissa Meyer so I can finally finish The Lunar Chronicles series.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)? The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? I think Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira. It’s been on my To-Read list for a couple of months now.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016? Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross by Katie Finn.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016? Read and review all the ARCs that have been piling up on my Kindle. It’s a weight on my shoulders and I feel like I can’t enjoy books that I’ve purchased until I review the ones I needed to last year.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I haven’t read any 2016 releases yet! Any recommendations for me?