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“There was a piece of me that wanted him to say that he’d been over there. That maybe he went all the time when he was back, and since I had never asked him, I never knew. It would be some kind of proof, at least, that he thought about my mother occasionally, that he remembered the life we’d all had there together,” Andie. —The Unexpected Everything
The Unexpected Everything
by Morgan Matson
Andie has her life carefully planned out, beginning with this summer. She is going to attend John Hopkins University’s prestigious young scholars program, giving her a one-way ticket to one of the best colleges in the country for pre-med. This all changes when a scandal rocks her world and she must deal with her father, ranking Congressman Alexander Walker, being home for the first time in five years.
Her summer plans quickly change as she finds out that her crucial benefactor removed his letter of recommendation from her young scholars application due to her father’s circumstance. Now she’s stuck walking dogs all summer, leaving a tragic gap in her transcript.
Much to her surprise, her summer takes a turn for the better and her life is irrevocably changed by the adventures that ensue. She finds herself having the best three months of her life as she spends time with her friends, grows closer to her formerly distant father, and meets Clark, a cute teenage author. Her unexpected summer leads her to discover her true self and what’s important in life.
The Unexpected Everything is a delightful read that makes audiences yearn for those warm summer days spent with friends. This book is satisfying like drinking lemonade on a porch on a hot July day. The characters are endearing and their little charms will draw readers into this cute, though slightly predictable tale. The Unexpected Everything is a romance novel in which the main characters discuss sex. The abundance of sexual content may not be appropriate for some readers. For readers ready for a steamy romance, this enjoyable book is well worth the read.
- Andie is perpetually in cycles of dating boys for three weeks. She develops a crush, dates them, and then sets them free. Her friends nickname her a “serial heartbreaker.” Her dates are “a formality before we got to the making out part at the end.”
- Toby believes that she is cursed to never have a boyfriend and constantly begs her friends to be her “wingwomen.”
- At a party, Andie sees two people, “standing in the shadows of the living room, talking close, only minutes away from starting to hook up.”
- Andie makes out with the same guy, Topher, at parties when they are both available. They never go beyond making out because Andie continually says that she is not comfortable with that. “Sometimes making out with Topher was like quenching a thirst, and sometimes it made me thirstier.”
- Andie describes the diner as a place where she’d “made out with guys in the darkness of the parking lot, guys who tasted like milkshakes and French fries. And it was where we’d all gathered the morning after Palmer slept with Tom for the first time.”
- Palmer is upset that being a stage manager, “means watching your boyfriend macking on some random college freshman.”
- Bri thinks Andie saying, “I’ve got dogs to walk” sounds “vaguely dirty.”
- After getting asked out by Clark, Andie “found my eyes drifting down to his mouth. By the end of tonight, we might have kissed.”
- When Clark and Andie hold hands for the first time, Clark’s hand, “sent a spark through me that I felt all the way in my toes.”
- On her kissing philosophy, Andie says, “Normally, I kissed first. I liked to take matters into my own hands, squash that moment, and get right into the make-out session.”
- Make-out scenes between Andie and Clark are described in vivid detail. “We lingered there, our lips brushing gently. And then he raised his hand and cupped it under my chin, drawing me closer toward him, and we started kissing for real.”
- In the world of Clark’s novels, an elder says, “Believing that such a thing—just a kiss—has ever, for even a second, existed in this world.”
- During a pool party, Palmer and Tom make out on the diving board.
- Over the course of her relationship with Clark, Andie’s “formerly rigid boundaries—just kissing and nothing more—had gotten a little fuzzier… everything was just feeling so good and so right that I was having more and more trouble remembering why I’d decided that was all I could do… And as I started to care very little for anything that wasn’t the two of us, alone in the darkness, it fell to Clark to pick up the slack.”
- Before a scavenger hunt, Clark, “pulled me [Andie] in close to him, dipping me into a Hollywood-style kiss.” He then takes her keys to try to have an advantage in the competition.
- Clark and Andie’s relationship becomes very serious. When they decide to watch a movie, they wouldn’t actually watch it. “Even if there were a movie playing, it would simply be in the background, a pretense for fooling around.”
- In one instance, Andie and Clark are passionately making out and it escalates. “He leaned down to kiss me, and I kissed him back, and then we were kiss-walking across the room, until we fell down onto the bed together, and then there was only his lips and his hands and our breath, falling into a rhythm until I couldn’t think about anything except him, and us, and now.” They don’t actually have sex in this scene or any scene in the book.
- Clark and Andie block off a certain date on which they decide to have sex. There is much anticipation as each prepares in their own separate ways, but the night is called off when they get into a fight.
- Andie walks in on her two friends, Wyatt and Bri, making out with each other. This was a dramatic revelation as Bri’s best friend, Toby, had a huge crush on Wyatt. This event is the stimulus for the destruction of their friend group as they know it. It is later revealed that Wyatt and Bri were “hooking up.”
- When Andie reconnects with Topher after breaking up with Clark, she forgets her former policy and slips her hand under his shirt. Topher goes along with it, which makes her realize that she is in love with Clark.
- In the final scene, Andie and Clark reunite in a bookshop. “Clark was picking me up, and I wrapped my legs around his waist and we kissed, and it was like I was blocking out the commotion all around us.”
- When Wyatt greets Tom, he always hits him in the back. Tom always says that “it hurts.”
- Andie’s parents met when her dad was a public defender and her mom was a police sketch artist. They bonded over the sketch of a murderer they nicknamed “Stabby Bob.”
- In Clark’s books, the main character, Tamsin, dies “a terrible death in the highest tower.”
- When on top of a roof, Bri kicks Toby’s legs in a petty argument. Palmer throws a Sprite bottle at them to stop their bickering and to keep them from falling off.
- In a fictional story that Andie and Clark make up in a silly game, the main characters kill each other.
Drugs and Alcohol
- At a party as a freshman, Andie was, “drinking a beer from a red Solo cup, like an idiot.”
- Following the prom, Toby and Wyatt “tipsily made out.”
- At parties, Andie brings a soda bottle and fills it with “anything but brandy.” “It was the only way I let myself drink at parties.”
- At a party, “the kitchen counter was covered with bottles and mixers and a half-filled blender, and through the open doors to the patio, I could see a keg. The people who always headed to the edges of people’s yards to smoke were smoking.”
- Palmer is described as being amazing at “manly stuff” and had been “the one who taught us how to tap a keg, pack a bowl, and play quarters, beirut, and beer pong.”
- At a place called the Orchard, teenagers congregate to party and drink alcohol because it is on the border of two towns and neither side’s police force wants to interfere. The characters go here often and drink. It is described as having “someone selling overpriced keg beer or cans from a cooler that never seemed to get very cold.”
- After Wyatt has had beer, he annoyingly plays acoustic guitar.
- During an argument with her father, Andie “could feel the anger coursing through me like a drug.”
- At a party, the host was, “telling people that the party was over and to either help him clean up or get the hell out.”
- Toby says, “This Dr. Rizzoli guy sounds like a dick.”
- Andie thinks a dog is saying, “get the hell away from me and the girl with the leash.”
- Profanity is used a few times throughout the book. This includes “goddamn,” “shit,” “damn,” and “heck.”
- While watching play rehearsal, Andie asks Palmer, “What the hell was going on.”
- “Oh God,” “Oh my god,” “god,” “thank god,” and “swear to god” are said frequently as curses.
- Andie’s father asks her, “Where the hell have you been?”
- In an excerpt from Clark’s book, “Tamsin cursed under her breath.”
- When Andie talks about the seriousness of her relationship, Toby says, “I didn’t read anything about hell freezing over today.”
- Andie calls Bri’s cat a “jerk” and Clark’s dog “stupid.”
- A vocal warm-up that the actors in the play practice makes a reference to ghosts.
- Clark writes fantasy novels that have magic spells, dragons, and curses.
by Morgan Filgas