Friday, August 5, 2016

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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?

***Non-Spoiler Review***

If I wasn't already a fan of Morgan Matson after reading Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, Since You've Been Gone definitely sealed the deal; it's easily one of my favorite books ever. Which made this book my most anticipated read of the summer.

In true Morgan Matson fashion, The Unexpected Everything was actually everything I expected (except for maybe one little thing, which I'll get to later...). Filled with all you'd want in a YA Contemporary, The Unexpected Everything had an interesting, not-so-average, but definitely relatable heroine struggling to figure out who she is and what she wants; friendship dynamics that revisited some SYBG themes, exploring identity and what it means to be yourself without one another and even how it is adding a boyfriend into the inner circle; and one of my favorite aspects was the relationship (or lack thereof at first) that Andie had and eventually built up with her father throughout the summer. I always love to see family incorporated! Mom and dad are always so underrated.

This book was filled with just the right amount of adventure, fun, quirk, drama, and did I mention romance? Clark, the love interest, is a teenage bookworm's fantasy come true and I enjoyed seeing his and Andie's relationship play out. Usually, a story ends when the couple finally gets together, but I liked reading about them just being and doing what couples and friends do.

Also, if you need any further reason to read this book, as the super adorable cover suggests, there's lots of dogs (and a feisty cat)!


Now, onto other matters... like that one thing I DIDN'T expect. As soon as I finished The Unexpected Everything, I was left feeling happy and satisfied with the ending and the promise the future held for all our main characters. Loose ends were tied, but not in a way that makes it predictable or boring. I felt like everyone was where they were supposed to be. All except one, that is.

Early on in the book we are introduced to Topher, fellow kid of a politician, who Andie has an on-and-off again fling with. He was basically the total opposite of Clark, but not in a bad way per se. Maybe I was supposed to hate him, or not even give him a second thought when we had Clark, but after finishing the book, I kept wondering about Topher. We know that in the end, Alexander Walker opted out of the political life, so Andie got her out, but Topher's still a politician's kid and I can only imagine how his story would unfold if we got to visit him again, especially if it were at a time he experiences some of what Andie did in this book, for the first time. AH SO MUCH POTENTIAL!

So, with these serious thoughts (aka FEELS), I took to Twitter (as fangirls do) to inquire (re: beg) The Morgan Matson herself, for a Topher book/spin-off/story/anything, really.

She let me know I was def a minority in the I Heart Topher club, but I did get a few Twitter replies agreeing with me! Progress!!

Anyway, as the sole member of the club (who is totes open to recruits), I thought I'd make a list of reasons why *I* liked Topher so much and why he stood out to me whenever he got some screen time, making him a character (however minor he might have been) whose story I definitely want more of.

So, a breakdown:
Christopher "Topher" Fitzpatrick

  • Gave Andie her meaningful first kiss (that was actually kinda cute).
  • Has a sort of hookup agreement with Andie that is mutual and he respects & accepts when she turns him down and tells him she has a boyfriend.
  • He understands Andie in a way no one else really does about the pressure and expectations placed on them because of their political figure parents. She even learns how to discreetly drink at parties from him! (Which I guess might not be a plus to some people... but he has her back!)
  • Towards the end of the book, when Andie tries to distract herself from the Clark breakup with a Topher rebound and it doesn't work, she tells him how she feels about Clark, and that's when we get a better glimpse of him: 
"You love him? Topher asked, sounding not cool or dismissive or sarcastic, but for the first time in a long time, genuine. I could hear the hurt in his voice, but also the confusion underneath.
"I sometimes wonder," he finally said, his voice soft and maybe the most genuine I'd ever heard it, all games and stratagems gone, "if maybe in the beginning, I'd just...if we'd actually..." He reached forward and brushed his fingers through the ends of my hair slowly, like he knew that soon he wouldn't be able to do this. "Never mind," he said, shaking his head, some of the briskness coming back into his voice. He looked away from me and adjusted his cuffs, and when he looked back, I could see the little authentic window he'd shown me was now closed. 
 -pgs 461-462, The Unexpected Everything


  • And lastly, my favorite, because I think it is most telling about his character, is Topher's warning to Andie about her dad's appearance at the governor's event. He didn't HAVE to give her a heads up, but he did because whether he understood her or not about caring that much about someone (esp when that someone wasn't him), he had her back anyway even with how things were left, instead of acting like some wounded kicked puppy like most guys would after a rejection.

So when you REALLY look at him, his character layed out like that and NOT next to Clark (who is quite literally the perfect literary boyfriend, especially for Andie), Topher is a pretty upstanding guy, if a little misunderstood and a little (or a lot) private, just the way Andie was in the beginning of her story with her walls and all. I'm also certain Morgan mentioned him being pretty hot too, and well, I AM ALWAYS HERE FOR THAT. 

Now, I will fantasize about the possibility of a Topher story, which kinda sorta makes me wish I wrote fan fiction in the meantime...

1 comment:

  1. Great review! That is awesome interaction with MM re: Topher. I fell so hard for Clark that I honestly didn't think more about Topher but you're right that he wasn't a bad guy and it would be interesting to read more about him!


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