Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Unexpected Everything

Andie’s father is a congressman, well he was until scandal hits and he takes a break for summer. She’s not that concerned until her coveted medical placement is cancelled last minute. Possibly because of the scandal. With all her summer plans cancelled, and her dad suddenly at home, Andie is at a loss and desperate for something useful to put on her resume. The only vacancy she finds is far from perfect yet it might be just the thing she needs.

The Unexpected Everything is the saga of one summer amongst friends. Whilst told from Andie's point of view, there are several threads making this a longer than usual YA, but still thoroughly enjoyable.

I can't think of a better summer job than dog-walking and Bertie is adorable. When he gets sick, I just couldn't stop reading. The job also comes with a boy, one who Andie thinks is cute. Her relationships tend to last no more than three weeks and that’s how she likes it. No commitments, no feelings hurt, and she could do with a cute boy for the summer.

Theoretical crushes could remain perfect and flawless, because you never actually had to find out what that person was really like or deal with the weird way they chewed or anything.

Actually, I can see Andie rubbing a reader the wrong way for a lot of the book, but it’s one of those stories where she comes to realise how others see her, how the way she has been living her life up to now might not be as perfect as she thinks. And you can’t blame her friends too much when they fall out with her.

One of the aspects I liked the most was the relationship between Andie and her father. She’s always thought of him, aware that how she presents herself reflects upon him in the all too intrusive media. Her choices in life have been geared towards being the perfect daughter, not addressing her own happiness. The two have been strangers to each other for so long, and he struggles to find the balance of being a parent to her and being a friend.

In the end it was decided that when there was press around, I could no longer order five-dollar iced sugar-free vanilla soy lattes - they didn't want me to seem like a rich kid, throwing her money around while the people of Connecticut struggled to put food on the table. They also didn't want to offend the dairy lobby.

I liked the fact that Andie had no idea about any of the geek references that came up, that she was capable of a relationship with someone who has different interests. Because that happens all the time if real life, but fiction would have us needing to be in love with all the same things. Obviously it's set in America, but don't read too much into the publisher having a massive house! It doesn’t quite fit in with the average publishing salary.

I don’t think the snippets of the fictional fantasy novel in the book were all that well done, although I did like the final one, which did relate to the central story. It’s not one where I’ll be hoping for a spin-off book anyway.

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Book Source: Purchased

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