Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: May 1, 2016
Format: Paperback ($AU 19.99)
Source: Publisher
Pages: 519
Goodreads || Book Depository

“It didn’t seem possible that after years of being beyond careful, watching all the tiniest details and trying never to make a mistake, we’d ended up here anyway…”

Before the scandal, Andie had important plans. And zero of them involved walking an insane amount of dogs, being in the same house as her dad or hanging out with Clark. Now there’s a whole summer stretching out in front of Andie without a plan. And Andie always sticks to the plan.

But here’s the thing – if everything’s always mapped out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?


5 stars

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I absolutely loved this book. I have loved every single one of Morgan Matson’s books and this one didn’t disappoint at all. It’s not my favourite of her books – Second Chance Summer was just so amazing in every single way that it’ll be hard to top – but The Unexpected Everything was so relatable and adorable that you can’t help cuddling the book to your chest as you flail around on your bed (literally me when I finished the book).

This book is about Andie, the daughter of a Congressman, who has had her whole summer planned out to perfection. But things start to fall apart when her father finds himself in the middle of a big scandal. Andie’s plans fall to pieces and her summer is completely turned on its head. Now she finds herself walking dogs as a summer job and bumping into her previously absent dad around the house. But soon, she finds herself changing in ways she couldn’t have imagined and forging new relationships she probably never envisioned having.

“You have to take your chances. Go and attempt and see what happens. And even if you fail – especially if you fail – come back with your experience and your hard-won knowledge and a story you can tell. And then later you can say, without regret or hesitation… ‘Once, I dared to dare greatly.'”

I absolutely loved the plot of this book. It has Morgan Matson’s trademark blend of family, friendship and romance. The different aspects of this book were so nicely balanced and I never felt like any one aspect was taking over the book. There is probably a little more romance in this novel compared to her three previous novels, but it was still nicely balanced with the friendship, family and coming-of-age elements. I did find the first 150 pages or so to be a little bit too slow-paced and it felt a little draggy, especially considering that the book is over 500 pages long. But the rest of the book was much faster-paced and I sped through it. By the time I reached the end, I wanted it to keep going on and on forever.

The characters in this book were wonderful and really relatable. Morgan Matson is so great at developing characters that are easy to connect with and relate to. I loved Andie and thought she was a great main character but I have to say that Clark was my favourite. He was so awkward and cute at the beginning! But what I loved most was how complex and multifaceted his character was. He’s awkward at times but he’s definitely not the shy, nerdy and inexperienced type. I also loved that he was an author of fantasy novels and that he’s got lots of fans who are mad at him for not releasing his next book soon enough, as well as fans who send him fandom merch that he takes great pride in wearing/using. It all just spoke to my heart. I love Clark so much!

I really loved the relationships that were in this book. Andie’s relationship with her father was rocky at the start of the book but I really enjoyed seeing how they mended their relationship slowly and really made the effort to spend time together. Their father and daughter bonding activities were so fun to read about. I loved that they bonded with each other over Clark’s books and that he really made the effort to try to get to know Clark for Andie’s sake. It was just really heartwarming to read about. I also enjoyed how he was there to help out when she needed help. It was just an amazing relationship to witness and I could have done with even more of it. And of course I highly enjoyed Andie and Clark’s relationship. They were so well-suited and such a compatible couple. I loved the dynamic of their relationship and how he always gave her the chance to properly express herself and never let her hide from her own feelings. They were just wonderful together and their romance is probably my favourite out of the four that Morgan Matson has written. And it wasn’t only Andie and Clark’s relationship that I enjoyed, I also absolutely loved Palmer and Tom’s relationship and how awesome they were together too.

And finally, how could I not mention the dogs in this review? If you’re a lover of dogs, there is no way that you won’t fall in love with this book. This novel is so full of puppy-goodness that you’ll find yourself stroking the images on the cover and rereading paragraphs about the dogs over and over. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!


13 thoughts on “Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

  1. Nick says:

    Yay Jenna! I’m so happy you loved this one as much as I did. Knowing you were a Matson fan though, I was definitely expecting you to love it.
    I so agree with everything you said though. I love how she handles relationships and how she balances them all out. And the dogs! ❤ Those scenes with Bert were my favorite. This is definitely a book I'll be re-reading multiple times myself.
    Lovely review, Jenna! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      I want to reread all of Morgan Matson’s books at some point this year! They’ve all been so wonderful and have included some of my favourite romances of all time. And of course, the dogs are wonderful! I loved Murphy in Second Chance Summer but Bert gives him a run for his money 😀


  2. Lois says:

    I am so happy that this book lived up to your expectations. I can’t wait for my copy to arrive now. I always say this but I just love how Morgan Matson seems to find that perfect balance between all the relationships presented in the story. I am so excited to meet the characters and it seems like Clark might just become the favourite Matson guy, he’s an author as well so he has that going for him already haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ksenia says:

    Everyone loves this book. I’m looking forward to read it, though I haven’t realized it’s over 500 pages long. Both Andie and Clark sound like amazing characters. Wonderful review, Jenna!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    You know that I usually ignore most contemporary reads, but I’ve been seeing this book around so much that I am intrigued. It sounds so sweet and the perfect heartwarming reads. Plus, doggies! I would own all the doggies if I didn’t live in an apartment D:!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    YESSSS I knew you would love this book as much as I did, Jenna! How cute were Andie and Clark, I just loved her A type personality coupled with his beta male personality. I loved how he saw the deep part of who she was as a person. And Andie and her father’s relationship just felt so real and realistic. I definitely related to her best friends as well, because that’s what I had when I was younger and even the falling out is what happened. Anyway, great review Jenna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      Yes! I love how the friendship aspects were done. It was so realistic at the end and I completely understand why things had turned out the way they did. Ahhh Morgan Matson can do no wrong! Can’t wait for her next book to come out. Hopefully the wait isn’t too long.


  6. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    So this summer I plan to read all the books you’ve been recommending. I am going to finally read some Morgan Matson and Huntley Fitzpatrick. Starting with My Life Next Door and Since You’ve Been Gone (since that’s the only Matson book I won right now). However, I’ve hard pretty fantastic things about this one so I’ll pick it up one day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      YAY! Can’t wait for you to read My Life Next Door! I love that book soooooo much! Since You’ve Been Gone is a great one to start with. It was the first Matson book I read as well. But her books are actually best read in publication order because she drops little easter eggs in all of her books. So excited to hear your thoughts on these books!

      Liked by 1 person

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