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The Unexpected Everything
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The Unexpected Everything

4.1 13
by Morgan Matson
 

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Andie must learn to embrace the beauty in chaos in this New York Times bestselling novel about friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’

Overview

Andie must learn to embrace the beauty in chaos in this New York Times bestselling novel about friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie has her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

Editorial Reviews

B&N Reads
5/3/2016
If you're a contemporary YA romance fan, there's a pretty good chance Morgan Matson has broken your heart somewhere along the line—although in her defense, she's probably put it back together even happy-thumpier than she found it. If there are three things you can count on in Matson's books, it's fraught parental relationships, friendship, and a swoony guy. In her fourth and newest release, The Unexpected Everything, Matson combines all three into her swooniest, dad-angstiest, BFF-iest YA yet, complete with my newest book boyfriend and at least one notable cameo. Read More
April 2016 - Justine Magazine
"Morgan Matson = best friendships + best families + best romances! Her characters come alive through tiny details that make you feel like you've always been best friends. And if you've recently had a disappointment, this book will help you find the hope hiding there. P.S. Clark is bae. Seriously. Hands off."
May 2016 - Seventeen Magazine
“Make The Unexpected Everything your next BFF book club read”
August 2016 - School Library Connection
"Readers will find the friendships healthy and rewarding...Relationships are tested and lessons are learned, but the reading is easy and full of positive messages... Recommended."
Publishers Weekly
02/08/2016
Andie Walker’s plan to spend the summer at a young scholars’ program at Johns Hopkins is upended when her father, a U.S. congressman, becomes engulfed in scandal. Suddenly Dad is always around, trying to act like he’s involved in her life, and Andie’s only job option is dog-walking. On the plus side, staying in Connecticut means spending time with her three best friends. Then she meets and falls for Clark, a cute and slightly geeky boy who hires her to walk his dog, breaking her habit of short-term flings she likes to keep “light, fun, not too serious, and nothing more than kissing.” Matson (Since You’ve Been Gone) makes good use of elements common to many of her novels: new romance, friendship struggles, an easy-to-like protagonist with relatable insecurities, and memorably quirky details (an unfinished painting by Andie’s dead mother, a scavenger hunt, movie marathons with her father). Though Andie’s friend and boyfriend complications feel forced and are resolved without much ado, Matson’s fans will enjoy sinking into this immersive summer read. Ages 12–up. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (May)
March 30, 2016 - Booklist
"Matson...skillfully combines elements of romance, family relationships, friendship, and careers. Over the course of a summer, Andie and her friends are forced to come to terms with trust—never a simple matter—and Matson gives the subject the sensitive treatment it deserves."
VOYA, April 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 1) - Stacey Hayman
After years of practice, Alexandra Walker knows how to perform the role of a good congressman’s daughter, even as her dad’s office comes under scrutiny for alleged misuse of donated funds. Taking a leave of absence while an independent investigation is conducted, Congressman Walker is suddenly free for the summer. When Andie’s summer internship is abruptly canceled, she finds herself at home also. For the first time in five years, after the loss of her mom to ovarian cancer, Andie and her dad will be spending quality time under the same roof. Will they find more to share than awkward silence? Andie’s childhood and young adult years are something most teens are unlikely to have firsthand knowledge about, but the details feel honest enough for readers to be able to connect with her. Creating long-standing friendships for Andie provides a sense of chosen family and support. Serious boyfriends lead to discussion of physical intimacy; by the end of the story, three of these mature high school seniors have had sex but details are not described. This is a perfectly adorable story of a type-A, overachiever whose whole world may have turned upside down but who discovers it was just what she needed to be happy, now and in the future. Teens looking for a good family and friend drama, spiced up with humor and romance, will thank you for suggesting this book. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
04/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—Andie Walker had planned to spend her summer in the Young Scholars Program at Johns Hopkins with other aspiring doctors. Unfortunately, when her politician father gets caught up in a minor financial scandal, the campaign contributor who recommended her for the program pulls his support and Andie is left facing a long summer at home in Connecticut. All of the internships and summer jobs that could have helped bolster her college applications have long since been filled, so Andie takes a job walking dogs to fill her days while her friends give tours at the local museum and manage community theater productions. Andie and her dad haven't spent much time together since her artist mother's death, and navigating their new day-to-day routine is difficult for both of them. And though the teen has long had an ironclad rule about keeping relationships with guys under three weeks, cute, awkward Clark has her rethinking it. The most interesting things tend to happen when plans are upended, and Andie's story is no exception. Though the outcomes will hold few surprises for most readers, it's a genuine pleasure to watch Andie explore her relationships with her father, her friends, and Clark (especially once his delightful secret is revealed) and to see her channel her smarts and ambition into new career goals. VERDICT Recommended for libraries where light realistic fiction is popular.—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
2016-02-17
Seventeen-year-old Andie Walker's life is planned down to the minute, and she likes it that way. Perhaps it's the byproduct of being the daughter of a prominent Connecticut congressman and knowing that there can be no missteps for fear of damaging his career. Or perhaps it's because with her mother dead and her father spending most of his time in Washington, Andie's virtually lived on her own for years. However, when her father finds himself at the center of a political scandal and forced to stay at home until the investigation is complete, Andie's carefully planned summer runs right off the rails. With her acceptance to a prestigious pre-med summer program suddenly revoked, the white teen unexpectedly finds herself jobless, directionless, and alone in a house with a near stranger who decides he wants to play father. While it takes Andie's Type A tendencies a while to adjust, what unfolds is a touchingly sweet story about friendship, loss, family, and love. How nice it is to also find a book that steers clear of clichéd girl drama in favor of portraying long-standing and supportive friendships. Romance fans will find plenty to enjoy, as Andie gradually lets down her guard and risks the messy and unpredictable wonder of first love. A novel best read on a lazy summer day with sand between the toes. (Fiction. 13-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781481404549
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
05/03/2016
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
11,668
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.90(d)
Lexile:
950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Unexpected Everything

Chapter ONE


I flexed my feet in my too-tight shoes and made myself stand up straight, trying to ignore the rapid-fire clicking of the cameras going off all around me. It was still really hot out—despite the fact it was getting close to five—but I was wearing a knee-length tweed skirt and a white button-down shirt. My hair had been blown out and curled, and I was wearing pearl earrings and a light application of makeup. It was not the way I would normally have looked on a Wednesday afternoon in early June, but this was anything but an ordinary Wednesday.

“Thank you all so much for coming today,” my father said from behind the podium that was currently in the middle of our front porch. He shuffled his papers for a second before taking a deep breath and going into his prepared speech, the one I now knew by heart, since Peter Wright, his chief of staff and main strategist, had made me listen to it over and over until I could do so with absolutely no change in my expression, like all of this was old news to me by now, and nothing my dad was saying would catch me by surprise.

For a moment, as the now-familiar words started to wash over me, I just blinked at the podium. Where exactly had it come from? Did Peter travel around with spare ones in the back of his SUV?

“. . . regret that the people of Connecticut might have lost any of their trust in me,” my dad said, snapping me back to the present moment. I fixed my eyes on him again, hoping that my face hadn’t betrayed anything other than a supportive daughter standing by her father. If it had, this story, which was already dominating the twenty-four-hour news channels and had spilled onto the networks, would just keep getting bigger.

It wasn’t like I didn’t understand why. A prominent congressman, one of the stars of the party, is suddenly caught up in a scandal that threatens to upend not only his career but the next national election—the headlines practically wrote themselves. If it had been someone else, I would have looked at the round-the-clock coverage and shrugged, figuring it was to be expected. But now that it was happening here—my front yard, my porch, my father—that certainty was totally gone.

My eyes drifted to the wall of reporters and photographers in front of me, the news cameras pointed toward us, the relentless sound of shutters clicking, all of it letting me know every moment was being captured. The press knew when there was blood in the water. It was evident enough by the fact that our front lawn was now packed and news trucks lined the block. They’d been here ever since the story broke, but until a few hours ago, they’d been kept from getting near our house by the guard at the entrance to Stanwich Woods, the planned community we lived in in Stanwich, Connecticut. Since normally this job consisted of waving in residents while reading magazines, I had a feeling whoever was working was not thrilled that they now had to fend off national media teams.

The headlines and news reports had been inescapable, all of them leading with the fact that my father had once been tapped as the vice presidential candidate before withdrawing five years earlier. Everyone brought up that he’d been widely considered to be a strong candidate for the VP spot again in the next national election, or even higher. Reporters commented on the story with barely concealed glee, and the segments and headlines were each worse than the last one. Rising Congressman Falls to Earth. Congressional Corruption Brings Party’s Star Low. Walker Trips Himself Up. I’d been around the press practically my whole life—but it had never felt like this.

My father, Representative Alexander Walker, had been a member of Congress since I was three. He’d been a public defender before that, but I had no recollection of it—of a time when there weren’t voters to court and messages to craft and districts to analyze. Some of my friends’ fathers had jobs that they did and then left the office and forgot about, but that had never been my dad. His work was his life, which meant it was mine, too.

It hadn’t been so bad when I was a kid, but in the last few years things had changed. I’d always been part of the Alex Walker brand—the daughter of a diligent single father who worked hard for the people of Connecticut—but now I was also a potential liability. Countless examples of politicians’ kids who’d tanked, or at least threatened to damage, their parents’ careers were laid out for me as cautionary tales and clear examples of what I was not supposed to do. I would not say anything offensive, or anything that could be interpreted as such, in a public forum or in earshot of the media. I would not be photographed doing or wearing anything even mildly controversial. I had the same social media accounts as everyone else, but mine were regulated by a series of interns and I wasn’t allowed to post to them without permission. I’d had a week of media training when I was thirteen, and after that I’d never strayed too far from the message, from the words that were vetted and scripted and written for me. I didn’t cause my dad, or his team, any trouble if I could help it.

It wasn’t like I never did anything that made waves—I’d once, without thinking, ordered my regular latte on a campaign stop, and his staff had had a two-hour meeting about it. Then they’d had a one-hour meeting with me, complete with an agenda labeled ALEXANDRA, despite the fact that nobody who actually knew me ever called me by my real name. I was Andie, and had been since I was little and couldn’t quite manage the four-syllable name my parents had landed me with. “Andra” was the best I could manage at two, which turned into Andie, and fifteen years later, here I still was. 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.

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. But not because of anything I’d done—or even anything my dad had done, according to the version of events Peter had been giving the media ever since this broke. But this was happening because someone in his office had (allegedly) taken charitable contributions that were intended for my dad’s foundation and funneled them into his reelection campaign fund. Apparently, when it was discovered during an audit that my dad’s foundation was nearly bankrupt, people began asking questions. Which had led to this, to today, much more quickly than I could get my head around.

Two weeks ago my life had been normal. My dad had been in D.C., working as usual, I’d been finishing up the school year, hanging out with my friends, and planning how to break up with my boyfriend, Zach (by the lockers, right after his graduation, quick and fast, like ripping off a Band-Aid). Two weeks ago my life had been going to plan. And now there was a podium on the porch.

I let my eyes fall for just a second to a spot on the lawn where a thick cable was laid out, flattening the grass. A month ago my dad and I had shot promo photos and ads there for his fall campaign, my dad in a jacket but no tie, me in a skirt and cashmere sweater. There had been fake fall leaves scattered over the grass, turning May into October. I hadn’t asked if these had been purchased, or if some intern had had to make them, because I really hadn’t wanted to know the answer.

We’d been shooting all day, first stills, then video, my dad and I walking across the lawn together, like this was totally normal. As if we ever got dressed up to walk across the lawn and have a chat, just for fun. As we were nearing the end of the day, the director had looked at the two of us and sighed. “Don’t you guys have a dog or something?”

My dad had been on his BlackBerry as usual, not even hearing this, and it had fallen to me to give him a smile and say, “No dog. Just the two of us.” And he’d nodded and said something to the guy holding the silver disk that bounced light onto us, and we’d moved on, into the next setup, projecting the image of a small, happy family once again.

Now, though, I didn’t know if those mailers or ads, complete with my dad’s campaign slogan—“Toward the Future”—would ever be used. From where I was standing on the porch, it wasn’t looking so good.

“I will say again that I had no knowledge whatsoever of this misuse of funds,” my dad said, snapping me back to the present moment. His voice was getting low and serious, and I could practically sense the press grow still, like they knew they were getting what they’d come for. “But the fact is, this violation of campaign finance regulations originated in my office. And since it was an office under my control and my leadership, I must take responsibility. As you know, I’ve asked for an independent investigation, one that can get to the bottom of how this occurred. I’ve directed my staff to cooperate to the fullest extent. And while the investigation is ongoing—”

Here my dad drew in a breath and rubbed his wedding ring with his thumb, his nervous tic. Apparently, he’d lost four the first year he and my mother were married, and so she’d bought him a crazy-expensive one in the hope that he might hold on to it. He had, but ever since, he’d been absently checking for its existence. The press sometimes commented on the fact that he was still wearing it, five years later, but I had a feeling today that would not be one of the questions shouted at him from our lawn. There were much bigger headline-generating fish to fry.

“While the investigation is ongoing, I will be taking a leave of absence. I feel that I cannot serve my district or my state effectively while this is being investigated. I will be donating my salary to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.”

I hadn’t heard about the charity—it wasn’t in the last draft of the speech Peter read to me, and I tried not to let any surprise pass over my face. But I couldn’t help wondering if it had been a last-minute addition, or if this was just something they hadn’t thought I needed to know.

“I will be taking this time away from Congress to reflect on any actions that might have brought me here and to spend time with my family.” My father glanced over at me, and I gave him the smile that Peter had made me rehearse that morning. It was supposed to be supportive, encouraging, and kind, but couldn’t be too happy. I had no idea if it came off or not, but all I could think as my dad turned back to the press was how strange this all was—this bizarre theater we were performing for the national press on our front porch. “I will not be taking any questions at this time. Thank you very much for your attention.”

He turned away from the podium as the reporters on our lawn started yelling questions. As we’d practiced, I walked toward my dad, and he put his arm around my shoulders as someone pulled the front door open from the inside. I glanced back to see Peter stepping smoothly up to the podium, answering the shouted questions my dad had walked away from.

The second we were inside, my dad dropped his arm and I took a step away. The door was firmly shut behind us by one of the interns who’d arrived with Peter last week. The intern nodded at my dad, then hustled out of the foyer, fast. Most of the interns—I never bothered to learn their names unless they were particularly cute—had been avoiding him since the story broke, not meeting his eye, clearly not sure how to behave. Usually, they were unshakable, following his every move, trying to prove themselves invaluable, the better to get a job later. But now, it was like my dad was radioactive, and just being around him might damage their future job prospects.

“Thanks,” my dad said after clearing his throat. “I know that can’t have been easy for you.”

It was only years of practice and ingrained media training that kept me from rolling my eyes. As though my dad had ever cared about what was easy for me. “It was fine.”

My dad nodded, and silence fell between us. I realized with a start that we were alone—no Peter, no constantly buzzing BlackBerry. I tried for a moment to remember the last time it had been just me and my dad, together in a way that hadn’t been staged for the cameras, engineered to appear casual. After a moment I realized it had probably been December, my dad and I driving together to a post-holiday charity event. He’d tried to ask me about my classes, until it became painfully clear to both of us that he had no idea what they were. We’d given up after a few minutes and listened to the news on the radio for the rest of the drive.

I glanced up and saw our reflection in the hall mirror, a little startled to see us standing next to each other. I always wanted to think I looked like my mother, and I had when I was little. But I was looking more and more like my dad every year—the proof was being reflected right in front of me. We had the same freckly skin, same thick auburn hair (more brown than red, except in the light), same thick dark brows that I was constantly having to tweeze into submission, same blue eyes and dark eyelashes. I was even tall like him, and lanky, whereas my mother had been petite and curvy, with curly blond hair and green eyes. I looked away from the mirror and took a step back, and when I looked up again, it was just my dad reflected back, which felt better—not like the two of us were being forced into a frame together.

“So,” my dad said, reaching into his suit jacket pocket—undoubtedly for his BlackBerry. He stopped after a second, though, and dropped his hand, when he must have remembered it wasn’t there. Peter had confiscated it so that it wouldn’t go off during the press conference. He’d taken my cell phone too, which even I had to admit was a good idea—my three best friends had a tendency to start epic text threads, and even if my phone had been on silent, its buzzing would have been distracting and probably would have spawned a story of its own—This press conference is like sooooo boring! Texting daughter can’t even pay attention as Walker’s career hits the skids. My dad stuck his hands in his pockets and cleared his throat again. “So. Andie. About this summer. I—uh . . .”

“I won’t be here,” I reminded him, and even saying the words, I could feel relief flooding through me. “My program starts the day after tomorrow.” My dad nodded, his brow furrowed, which meant he had no idea what I was talking about but didn’t want to tell me that, just wanted to look concerned and engaged. I’d been watching him do it with opponents and voters for years, and tried not to let myself be surprised that he hadn’t remembered. “The Young Scholars Program,” I clarified, knowing telling him was the simplest path out of this. “It’s at Johns Hopkins.”

“Ah,” my dad said, his brow clearing, and I saw he actually was remembering, not just pretending to remember while waiting for Peter to whisper something in his ear. “Of course. That’s right.”

The program at Johns Hopkins was one of the best in the country, designed for high school students who were planning to be pre-med in college. My friend Toby insisted on calling it pre-pre-med-med, and the fact that I kept telling her not to only seemed to be making the name stick. You stayed on campus in the dorms, took advanced math and science classes, and got to shadow interns and residents on their hospital rotations. I’d known I wanted to be a doctor since I could remember. I had a story I told to reporters about my dad giving me a toy stethoscope for Christmas when I was five that actually wasn’t true, but I’d said it enough now that it felt true. When I was applying to the program, I was confident I’d get in based on my grades—I did well in all my subjects, but I did great in math and science; I always had. And it didn’t hurt that one of my dad’s biggest supporters was Dr. Daniel Rizzoli, who was the former provost of Johns Hopkins. When he’d handed me my letter of recommendation, handwritten on heavy, cream-colored paper, I’d known I was in.

I’d been looking forward to it all year, but with everything that had been happening, I was practically counting down the minutes. My dad could stay here and sort things out on his own, and hopefully by the time I came back in August, things would be settled. But either way, in two days this would no longer be my problem. In forty-eight hours I would be gone. I would be in a dorm room in Baltimore, meeting my new roommate, Gina Flores, in person for the first time, and hoping that her tendency to never use exclamation points in any of her texts or e-mails was a weird quirk and not actually indicative of her personality. I would be reading over my syllabus for the millionth time and getting my books from the campus bookstore. I would hopefully have met someone cute at orientation already, halfway to my summer crush. But I would not be here, which was the most important thing.

“Are you all set with everything?” my dad asked, and I wondered if this sounded as strange to him as it did to me, like he was reading badly written lines he hadn’t fully memorized. “I mean . . . do you need a ride?”

“I’m fine,” I said quickly. The last thing I needed was to have my dad drive me onto campus trailed by a CNN news truck. “Palmer’s driving me. It’s all arranged.” Palmer Alden—one of my three best friends—loved any opportunity for a road trip, and when she’d seen me looking into buses and car services, she’d jumped into action and started planning our route, complete with mixes and snack stops. Her boyfriend, Tom, was coming as well, mostly because he insisted, since there was a rumor that Hairspray was going to be our school musical next year, and he wanted to do some “method research.”

“Oh, good,” my dad said. Peter must have finished answering a question, because suddenly the shouts of the press outside got louder. I winced slightly and took a step away from the door.

“Well,” I said, tipping my head toward the kitchen. My phone was in there, I was pretty sure. Not that I even really needed to check it, but I wanted this to be over. The whole day had been strange enough, and we didn’t need to keep adding to it by trying to have the world’s most awkward conversation. “I’m going to . . .”

“Right,” my dad said, his hand reaching toward his suit jacket again, out of habit, before he caught himself halfway and dropped it. “And I should . . .” The sentence trailed off, and my dad glanced around the entryway, looking lost. I felt a sudden flash of sympathy for him. After all, my dad always had something to do. He was beyond busy, his day scheduled to the minute sometimes, always in the center of a group of staff and handlers and interns and assistants. He ran his team; he was respected and powerful and in control. And now he was standing in our foyer without his BlackBerry, while the press tore him apart just a few feet away.

But even as I felt bad for him, I knew there wasn’t anything I could do or say. My dad and I fixed our own problems—we took care of them ourselves, didn’t share them with each other, and that was just the way it went. I gave him a quick smile, then started toward the kitchen.

“Andie,” my dad said when I was nearly to the kitchen door. “I . . .” He looked at me for a moment before putting his hands in his pockets and dropping his gaze to the wooden floors, which seemed impervious to scratching, looking as brand-new as the day I’d first seen this house, like nobody actually lived here at all. “Thank you for standing up there with me. I know it was hard. And I promise I won’t ask you to do that again.”

A memory flashed before me, fast, just a collection of images and feelings. Another press conference five years earlier, my mother, her hands on my shoulders, squeezing them tight as I tried not to flinch while the flashes went off in my eyes. The way she’d leaned down to whisper to me right before, when we were standing behind the doors of my dad’s congressional offices, the synthetic hair of her wig tickling my cheek, so unlike the soft curls I used to wind around my finger whenever she would let me. “Remember,” she’d said, her voice low and meant only for me, “if things get too dramatic, what are you going to do?”

“Mom,” I’d said, trying not to smile, but fighting it with every millimeter. “I’m not.”

“You are,” she said, straightening my dress, then my headband. She tugged on the end of her hair and arched an eyebrow at me. “If things are going badly and we need a distraction, just reach up and yank it off. They’ll forget all about what they were asking your dad.”

“Stop,” I said, but I was smiling then; I couldn’t help it. She leaned down closer to me, and I felt my smile falter as I could see just how thin she was, her skin yellowing underneath the makeup she’d carefully applied. How I could see the veins in her face, the ones that we must all have—but on the rest of us they were hidden, not exposed where they shouldn’t be.

How the press conference had gone on longer than they’d expected, how my mother had left me to go stand with my dad when he started talking about her. It had all been about her, after all—the reason he was pulling his name from consideration for vice president, despite the fact that it was going to be him, everyone knew that. It was supposed to be him. How hard I’d fought not to cry, standing alone, knowing even then that if I did, that would be the story, the picture on the front page. And when it was over, how my dad had given me a hug and promised me that was that, and I’d never have to go through another one of those again.

“Really,” I said now, my voice coming out sharper than I’d expected. My dad blinked at me, and I held his gaze for a moment, wondering if he even remembered the last time we’d done this, or if they all blended together, just another promise he’d made that he couldn’t actually keep. “Because I’ve heard that before.”

I didn’t want to see if he understood what I meant. I wasn’t sure I could take another fake furrowed brow, not about something like this. So I just gave him a nod and headed into the kitchen, walking twice as fast as usual, ready to put all of this far behind me, and suddenly feeling, for the very first time, that nobody gave rats the credit they deserved for abandoning the sinking ships. They were the smart ones, getting out while they still could. After all, they saw the way things were going, and they were just looking out for themselves. And so was I.

PALMER

Andie!! How are you doing?

BRI

You looked great on CNN.

TOBY

Totally great. Did you do that thing with the curling iron? Remember, the thing you promised months ago to teach me?

BRI

Toby.

TOBY

What? I’m trying to say she looked good. And that I would like to as well.

PALMER

How are you holding up?

In the safety of my own room, I looked down at my phone and felt myself really smile for what I was certain was the first time that day. I could see Peter had been right to keep my phone away from me—it looked like these texts had started right around the time my dad’s speech was wrapping up.

I crossed over to my bed, phone in hand. We’d been in this house five years, but my room hadn’t changed a whole lot since the day we’d moved in. It had been professionally decorated, but by someone who clearly didn’t know they were designing for a middle schooler. It was all taupes and beiges and subtle patterns, everything matching, like a bedroom suite had just been picked whole out of a catalog. After all this time, it still sometimes felt like I was sleeping in a hotel. I had my makeup and jewelry organized on my dresser, framed pictures of my friends, and clothes folded on the chair in the corner, but aside from that, there was very little that marked this room as mine. I flopped down onto the bed, kicking my shoes off and settling back against the throw pillows, getting comfortable, since these text chains could go on for hours.

I glanced down at the last text, Palmer’s, and hesitated, my hand over the keypad. I leaned closer to the window that was above my bed—it was open slightly, and I could hear voices drifting up to me. I looked out and saw the press conference had wrapped up. People were wandering around the lawn, and there was no sign of either Peter or the podium.

I turned my back on everything that was happening outside, hoping that maybe the next time I looked, everyone would be gone, the flattened grass the last reminder of what had taken place there only a few hours before.

ME

I’m fine.

PALMER

Really?

BRI

REALLY?

TOBY

?

ME

Totally fine. The press conference was a pain,

but it’s my dad’s issue, not mine.

BRI

Hm.

ME

What?

TOBY

She’s saying she doesn’t believe you.

PALMER

How can you tell?

BRI

No, Toby’s right. I don’t. But we can discuss it later.

ME

There’s nothing to discuss

BRI

Yes there is

TOBY

And when we discuss it, why don’t you also show me

the curling iron thing?

PALMER

Toby, I thought we were going to be supportive.

TOBY

I AM being supportive! I even tried to drive over

and be there for Andie, but the guard at the

gate wouldn’t let me in.

ME

He wouldn’t let you in?

TOBY

No! Something about needing to be on a list,

national security, I don’t know.

ME

Sorry, T. This should be back to normal as

soon as all the press is gone

TOBY

Well, I was offended. He knows me, after all.

We go way back, me and Ronnie.

PALMER

His name’s Earl.

TOBY

Oh.

PALMER

But anyway!

We’re going out tonight.

ME

We are?

BRI

We are. We voted, and it’s a necessity.

TOBY

Absolutely. That’s what I tried to tell Ronnie.

PALMER

Earl.

BRI

There’s a party. We’re all going.

We think you need it after everything that’s happened.

I turned and looked out the window again, at the press corps that weren’t leaving nearly as quickly as I wanted them to. There were now reporters lined up in front of the house, cameras pointed at them, no doubt recapping what had just occurred. It didn’t seem like I was going to be leaving unnoticed any time soon.

ME

I’m not so sure that’s going to happen, guys.

TOBY

PALMER

No, it totally will!

BRI

Don’t worry

PALMER

We figured it out.

ME

But the press are still all over this place.

We’d need a way to get me out of here unseen. . . .

Don’t know how that’s possible.

TOBY

Andie, RELAX. We have a plan.

I looked down at that sentence, feeling a tiny stab of nervousness. The fact that nobody would tell me what exactly this plan was had me concerned. Especially if Toby was the brains behind it. I moved a little closer to my window, still trying to keep myself out of sight, and pushed it open more. There must have been a reporter doing her recap practically right beneath me, because suddenly I could hear it crystal clear, her miked voice traveling straight up to me.

“The last time the congressman was the focus of this much attention was five years ago, when, due to his wife’s failing health, he withdrew his name abruptly from Governor Matthew Laughlin’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, despite the fact he was seen as the front-runner for the VP slot. His wife, Molly Walker, died from ovarian cancer six weeks later. It’s unclear what this latest upset means for the congressman’s future—”

I slammed the window, shutting out the reporter on the lawn, and picked up my phone again.

ME

A party actually sounds great.

Let’s do it.

Meet the Author

Morgan Matson is a New York Times bestselling author. She received her MFA in writing for children from the New School and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which was also recognized as an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, won the California State Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at MorganMatson.com.

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The Unexpected Everything 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I absolutely loved this book! You could relate to the characters and the plot was never really dull. I would definitely recommend this book!
Anonymous 18 days ago
SCHSReader1 7 months ago
The Unexpected Everything Andie is a politician's daughter, her dad isn’t like other dads, they are distant.Her best friends are Palmer, Bri, and Toby. Her mom is dead from Ovarian Cancer. She lives with her dad in Connecticut. Alexandra in a good girl who gets good grades. The summer before her junior year of high school she was getting ready to attend the best pre-med program for high school students. The program put her in a good rack for college, that also means a great career track. When a huge scandal hits the press and her senator dad is involved. Plus when something goes wrong with the program, she has to rethink her summer. Have you ever been so into a book you just read and read until it’s over, then this is the book for you. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read or a book just for fun. This boom is also great if you love adventures, emojis,dogs, friendships, and very heartwarming. Another great book by Morgan Matson is Since You’ve Been Gone, I have personally read this book and loved it. If you like The Unexpected Everything you will definitely like Since You’ve Been Gone.
BookPrincessBlog 8 months ago
The Unexpected Everything is about a girl named Andie. Her dad is a congressman whose campaign has just gotten under hot water for possible shady dealings, and Andie is more than ready to escape for the summer to her pre-med program far, far away from her absentee father. Until the floor - or should I say internship - is pulled out from underneath her and she's stuck at home for the summer with no summer job prospects (man, these kids were on top of it - I just sat at home and read in the safety of my living room). The only thing that is left is...dog walking, le gasp! But Andie is soon about to realize that this summer - while unexpected - might be giving her everything she didn't know she was missing. Okay, guys and gals, this story was adorable...and a lot realer than what I was expecting. It got me close to feeling like I might even shed a tear for it - which...okay, I can't even remember the last time I cried for a book. This book was laugh out loud funny at times, emotional, and heart-warming - everything a great contemporary should be. The characters were great. Can you tell you just how much I loved Andie's friend group? They were all individual, real characters, and it seemed like they were people I knew. There was a lot of people in this novel - much more than normal - but Matson paid special attention to making sure to make them all dynamic beings that I could pull out of a crowd. I definitely could see where all of these characters were coming from, and I loved especially Andie, Clark, Andie's dad, and Tom. I don't know why, but I found Tom hilarious. The romance was adorable as well. I loved Clark, and I loved how real he felt. It wasn't instalove - it took time and effort for both of them to get to where they got. It felt natural, and I definitely felt the feels for them. The only real issue that I had for this book was the amount of plots going on. There was a lot. I mean, a lot, a lot. You had the romance between Andie and Clark, the dog-walking situation, Andie and her dad, her dad's campaign problems, Andie and her mom issues, Toby and Wyatt, Wyatt and other issue, Clark and his writing block issues, do I really want to go into pre-med thoughts, Topher, and more. I mean, that's a lot going on for a contemporary - and it showed with over 400 pages. Don't get me wrong - I really enjoyed this book and these plots. But I might have enjoyed it a bit more if I had a few were cut down or the length of the novel. At some point, I just kept asking myself, when is this book going to be done? Again, it wasn't that I wasn't enjoying it, I just felt like it needed to end with what I know and feel about contemps. Other than that, this book was pretty much perfect. I enjoyed it immensely. I loved the romance, I loved the feels, I loved the depth and realness of the characters, I loved the emotions it brought, and I loved the storylines. It is a great read - and not just for summer. If you want a good contemp romance, look no further because this book is it. I just wish it had been a tad shorter - and it would have all the stars from me. Still, I definitely recommend you read it. This Book Princess is definitely glad she did. Check out more of my thoughts: https://bookprincessreviews.wordpress.com/
18876111 10 months ago
I did not expect to like this book, but I loved it. It was out of my comfort zone, I've read contemporaries before, but not really much contemporary romance. At first, I found Andie annoying, and the book slow. However as the book progressed, it became more fast past and I found Andie to be more likable. I loved how the romance wasn't insta-love, loved how Andie and her father were able to build a stronger father/daughter relationship, and how the events that occurred strengthened the relationships/friendships of all the characters. I also loved how there were stories within the story.
BoundlessBookaholic More than 1 year ago
Another good Morgan book! Clark was super adorable! I loved that he wasn't some smooth talking, confident guy. It made me love him more. Hello new book boyfriend!! There were parts I didn't love though. The friendship was kind of iffy at times. The pace was a little slow in parts. And I kind of wanted to slap some people for being super dense. I also think it could have been a shorter book by a bit. But overall it was pretty good. 3.5 stars.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
I love Morgan Matson, but sadly I didn't love this book. I just liked it. And I feel kind of bad about that. I know a lot of people loved it. I have put off posting my review for this book for 3 weeks because I wasn't sure what to say about it. I am going to break it down into the good and the bad I think instead of writing a more traditional review. WHAT I LIKED Clark Oh, my. This boy was amazing! He is a nerdy t-shirt wearing fantasy write at age 20 (right?). I mean, super adorable! I loved him, and I loved how having him as a character gave Morgan a chance to talk about the writing process. It was so interesting. He was just the perfect boyfriend. Serious crush material here. Congressman Walker Andie's dad plays a huge role in this book, which is always nice to see in YA. Other than one scene where he was a little over-the-top with trying to parent Andie, I really liked him character. He is still struggling with the loss of Andie's mom 5 years later, and now he's had a huge career set back. I love that he embraced that and gets more involved with Andie's life. Also, it was interesting to read about and think about how having a congressman for a father would affect Andie growing up. Summer Time I love summer stories. It makes the plot so much easier (and enjoyable) to not have to deal with characters being in school all day. Also, it time boxed the story, which is always nice. Friends Andie has a great group of friends. They have some serious drama, but it was fun to read about their crew and all of the craziness they got up to. Payton's boyfriend Tom and Clark were seriously cute together. I loved how easily Clark fitted into the group. And I loved the scavenger hunt and the crazy text chains and the challenge to have one girl only text using emojis all summer long. So fun! WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE Andie I gotta say it. Andie was so annoying! She was superficial and only interested in surface relationships. I know she suffered when her mom died, but I just couldn't like her. And she doesn't read...seriously?! No. Just no. Sorry. Pacing Ugh. This book was just way too long. The introduction took forever, and then even when the story got going, it dragged way too much. It could have been told in 300 pages instead of 500 pages. There was way too much detail about everything. Lack of Plot Nothing really interesting happened. I know Morgan Matson's books are all character-driven, but the others have had some overarching plot that held my interest. This book just kind of dragged on and on. I need more than just a love story to hold my attention. Dogs I am not a dog person at all, so that part of the plot didn't interest me. Although there were not as many dog bits as I'd been expecting based on other bloggers' review. So that was kind of good I guess. http://www.momsradius.com/2016/06/book-review-unexpected-everything-ya.html
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
I wasn’t sure what to think about this book at first. While the characters were great: believable, quirky and adorable; the plot line wasn’t exactly engaging. For the better part of the book, the reader is just following Andie around on her aimless summer, hanging out with her friends and walking dogs with her while she tries to figure out her feelings for Clark. In short nothing was happening. But then I realized that was the point. Matson was setting up the story so that the reader could really connect with Andie and her friends and feel almost as if you were one of the group. And they are a pretty amazing group of people. By the time she stumbles upon a secret Bri is keeping that threatens to destroy the tight knit group of friends and jeopardizes her relationship with Clark, as a reader you are so invested in the story that you can’t believe what is happening. In the end, I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t one I raced through but one that slowly grew on me and hooked me in the long run.
BooksWonderland More than 1 year ago
ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE READS! OMG, OMG, I LOVED THIS BOOK AND I REFUSED TO EVEN LOOK AWAY FOR A SECOND!
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
When I heard Morgan Matson had another book coming out, I knew I had to read it. After reading her last couple books, I've always said that Matson was the Queen of YA Realistic Fiction, And with this book she solidified it in my mind! Andi's summer was not going the way she had planned it. It started with her father getting it trouble and everything went downhill after that. But then, after the summer started going on, Andi sees that she really enjoyed "the unexpected." The main thing I loved about this book was the emojis. I know that's stupid and I know it my date the book later on, but still, I loved that they were there. It was a perfect way to mix technology and Andi's world. I also felt like it would be the perfect way to entice those of the technology age to read some if they were reluctant readers. It was a very cute idea Matson. Secondly, I LOVED all the details. Matson has a way of writing to make it seem as if you were there with them. She tells you what the food they're eating smells like and what it tastes like, and other little details about what the characters are doing. I admit, sometimes in 500+ page contemporary romance books I feel like too much fluff is a bad thing, but in this one that was not the case. I didn't even realize that there was so much fluff. It just seemed to flow and I loved it. I also LOVED Clark. He was so cute and adorable and his profession? OMG Let me love you! I've never read a book where the character held that kind of job, Especially around that age. I thought that was kind of cool. And then I loved his awkwardness and romantic nature. He was so cute and I loved him. And then put the two of them together and I just fell in love with the story. The romance was very cute and I loved seeing it. Last but certainly not least, I really enjoyed seeing the womance and their group of friends. They all were so close and Matson made them and their friendship seem so real. Everything they did and everything they laughed about was something that reminded me of my friends. I had half a mind to take their adventures to use with my friends. Also, going along with the other characters, it was pretty nice to see some of Matson's old characters and The Orchard included in this book! I was glad to see them and even more glad to see they were doing ok. This summery book will definitely make you want to re-read it as soon as you turn the last page!
Seoling More than 1 year ago
I was so so so excited to see that Morgan Matson had a book coming out this year. After binge-reading Since You've Been Gone, Second Chance Summer, and Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, I had nothing but high expectations in regards to this upcoming novel. What I love about Matson is that she writes standalone novels. There's no pressure to scream at her to get the next book. I can get the entire story in this one book and I can experience the typical wave of intense emotions in one sitting (or in the span of a day because I never take more than a day to read a book I'm really enjoying - life and work just happens to get in the way). I’ll say that this story was unique and had characters with different backgrounds that I have never really experienced. Matson is very well known for her down-to-earth contemporaries that are gripping in her storytelling and is always a bit of a nice break from the usual fantasy/adventure stories that I typically read. I will begin by saying that when I started reading, I was not as interested as I thought I was going to be when beginning the story. Let’s be honest, I really wanted to get to all the real romance that I love reading in Matson’s novels - but I knew I was going to have to work for it and read about Andie’s background story and her relationship with both her family and her network of friends (which I was super envious of because it’s been a long time since I’ve had a real ‘group’ of friends). I was not so interested in her relationship with her father, but knew that it was going to be a big deal for Andie’s character journey and the parent/child relationships Matson writes always makes me a little angsty so I was prepared to be taken aback and have an unadulterated longing to give my dad a hug and tell him that I love him. And I was right. However, I was pretty surprised at how quickly Andie’s relationship with her father was resolved. I kept looking at the progress of my book and thought, “it’s only halfway through”, but there had to be something that would falter the rebuilding of it all. I loved the outcome it all, though - that in little ways her father was able to connect with her once again and they would share little bits of each other about when Andie was younger and her mother was still with them. And low and behold, by the end of the novel, I was wishing that I could hug my dad. I’m not necessarily close with him and wish I could talk to him the way that Andie and her father talk, granted - it was instigated by the most heartbreaking altercation that I could never imagine going through with my dad. I was pretty satisfied with the meaning behind Andie’s friendships. To be honest, there were some interactions that really annoyed me and made me want to bypass, typically the moments where they would talk back and forth and I would get so confused with who was talking that I just wanted to flip the page as soon as I could. I chalk this reaction up to the fact that it was early in the book and by the time I got to a particular fallout between two of the characters, I was invested in wanting to know what would become of all of them. I love that Matson uses this opportunity to show that there may be friends that you keep forever, but there are also ones that you may lose along the way. THERE WERE JUST SO MANY coming-of-age elements that really surprised me.
nancy More than 1 year ago
excellent follow up to Since You've Been Gone
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Andie and her father haven't been close since the death of her mother five years ago. Spending a summer in the same house as her father while he is not working is unthinkable. Unfortunately, when Andie's internship opportunity disappears thanks to her father's political scandal, a summer with her father is also a harsh reality. Andie has her best friends Bri, Toby, and Palmer (and even Palmer's long-time boyfriend) to keep her company during the summer. Which is great. But finding a way to her internship would be better. Instead, through a series of mishaps and surprises, Andie becomes a reluctant dogwalker and starts scoping out a cute boy named Clark as her potential summer romance. But with her first unplanned summer in a long time, Andie soon learns that you can't plan for the best things in life in The Unexpected Everything (2016) by Morgan Matson. The Unexpected Everything is Matson's standalone follow-up to Since You've Been Gone. (Set in the same Connecticut town, readers of Matson's earlier novel will also recognize a few character cameos.) Matson once again evokes the lazy and timeless feel of a summer adventure in her latest novel. Andie is a driven heroine with a singular focus on her future. Raised in her father's world of politics, it's hard for Andie to connect or foster genuine interactions--something that she has learned first-hand is quite simple to fake with the right cues. Over the course of this meandering novel, Matson explores Andie's character and her growth as she begins to understand that there is more to life than having a master plan. Andie is a very different character in a lot of ways. She's savvy and jaded. She's unapologetic about chasing superficial romances that seem easy and safe. Andie spends a lot of The Unexpected Everything keeping people (and readers) at a remove while she tries to protect herself from loss or heartbreak. While it's understandable when the loss of her mother is a physical presence for much of the story, it also makes it difficult to connect with Andie. It makes it even harder to be invested in her story as the book nears five hundred pages. A thin plot makes the novel feel even longer as do heavily broadcasted plot twists. Fans of Matson will be happy to return to her familiar and evocative writing. A sweet romance and solid female friendships make The Unexpected Everything a lengthy but mostly enjoyable read filled with summer fun and thoughtful characters. Possible Pairings: Never, Always, Sometimes by Adi Alsaid, The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life by Tara Altebrando, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan, Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales, Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith