Today I’m hosting a blog tour for Morgan Matson and her adorable dog central book, The Unexpected Everything! I’ve got a review of the book, a guest post from Morgan about her childhood dog, and of course, a giveaway of the book. I hope you enjoy the ride!The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's on May 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone comes a feel-good story of 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’s got 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?
If there’s anything that I can trust Morgan Matson to deliver, it would be a strong focus on friendship. In The Unexpected Everything, Andie has a group of four best friends, each with their own quirks, personalities and worries. They spend a lot of time together, chatting on their group chat and catching up at their local diner. These girls couldn’t be closer and their friendship felt genuine and realistic. They really cared about one another and understood each other’s worries.
But as with any other friendship, things are going to come between them in life – boys, secrets, jealousy and struggles. It’s hard to maintain a friendship when you drift apart, and that was dealt with realistically in The Unexpected Everything.
My friends had been the one thing I could always count on, and with everything else beginning to spin out of my control, I needed us to stay together.
As Andie gets wrapped up in hew new job, romance and spending time with her father, her friends become the least of her worries. I was frustrated with Andie, with how she couldn’t see the developing problems with her friends when I could see what was happening from a mile away. Because she’s quite controlling and can’t really deal with unexpected circumstances well, she encourages her friend to keep a secret from the other friends. Andie has an OCD personality, and although she acted pretty selfishly at times, she felt realistically flawed. I was frustrated with her, but I could understand where she was coming from.
Aside from the friendship, the other focus of The Unexpected Everything was on family. It was refreshing seeing the reverse of the absent parent syndrome – Andie and her father have to spend more time together when he experiences an issue with his political career. While awkward at the start, I loved seeing their bond grow and how they became more concerned with each other’s lives. It was heart warming seeing her father get involved with her friends, romance and life. The father-daughter relationship was developed really well which is something we don’t see much in YA books.
But under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have been walking dogs in a fancy dress. I wouldn’t have been spinning out, with no idea of what I was going to do with my summer. And until I figured it out, I knew I shouldn’t be flirting with random dog owners, no matter how cute they were.
The romance was another aspect that I found realistic. While the two had some pretty awkward moments and an awful first date, they brought out the best of each other. Clark gives Andie stability and the belief that mistakes can happen, and Andie gives him friendship and inspiration. It was refreshing to see attraction turn into friendship and then a romance, and I liked how it wasn’t perfect at the start but slowly evolved out of common interest.
I loved Clark’s introverted personality and how he’s a fantasy author who struggles with writer’s block. He’s a thinker who connects with people on an intellectual level, and helps Andie come out of her perfectionist shell. It’s refreshing having a beta male as a love interest and Clark was absolutely swoon-worthy.
Being a dog person, it was also entertaining following Andie with her casual job as a dog walker. The furballs were absolutely adorable, especially the Great Pyrenees dog Bertie.
Everything in The Unexpected Everything felt realistic, from the imperfect relationship, to the friendship dramas and the bond in a father-daughter relationship. It’s a book about taking risks and going out of your comfort zone and just going with the flow, because you’re not sure where life will take you. I loved how relatable the story was and it is the perfect summer contemporary.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Guest Post by Morgan Matson: Murphy, The Unexpected Dog
I grew up with a dog (a little white ball of energy – a bichon frise) named Friskie. I named her (in my
defense, I was seven at the time). I love dogs and had always imagined that at some point, when I was enough of an adult to handle it, I would get a dog of my own. In 2012, I wrote Second Chance Summer and wanted there to be a dog in it. Because of a plot point, the dog’s name had to also be something that could work as a last name. I chose Murphy somewhat arbitrarily (it was between that and Hudson) and I did the mental equivalent of a coin toss to get there.
In writing about the dog in SCS, I was drawing on my own experiences growing up with a dog, but the dog was also there because I was starting to really want one of my own.
The book came out in 2012, and my tumblr from that year was basically just pictures of dogs.
I started to get serious about getting a dog by the end of 2013. I had rented a house with a yard, I was reading dog books, I was posting ever more pictures to tumblr. I started going to rescue websites and adoption fairs. I was pretty sure about what I wanted – a dog like the kind I grew up with, goofy and high-energy.
I went to a rescue in January of 2014. I had gone looking for the dog I saw on their website – a curly haired dog that reminded me of the dog from my childhood. But when I met that dog, we didn’t click. She was really unfriendly, and so I prepared to go. Then the woman running the rescue asked me, “Do you want to take a look at Murphy?”
I just stared at her, and she pointed out a yellow-white terrier, shaggy and running around. I don’t believe in signs, but this maybe felt like one. I played with him for hours and then took him home that night. Just on a fostering basis. Just for a few days.
Now, over two years later, my Murphy is sleeping next to me as I write this. He was nothing like the dog that I thought I wanted. He’s not goofy or high-energy. He sheds. He doesn’t have curly hair. He’s almost totally silent – I’ve heard him bark maybe five times in two years. But he’s sweet and very mellow, but also loves to go on walks and hikes. Basically, Murphy wants to be where you are, which was why he was by my side the whole way as I wrote The Unexpected Everything.
It was because of Murphy that there is a huge dog subplot in the book. Andie, the main character, gets a job as a dog walker and has one regular dog, Bertie, who she walks every day (he’s the big white fluffy dog on the cover). I wouldn’t have written Bertie, or any of the other dogs in the book, without the experience of owning Murphy. I know there was a time when he wasn’t my dog, but with every month that gets harder to remember.
The dogs are one of my favorite part of The Unexpected Everything – I have Murphy to thank for it.
Giveaway – Australians only
I’m giving away a copy of The Unexpected Everything to a lucky reader of Happy Indulgence (fake entries will be disqualified – I can tell)! Winner will be notified by email and will need to respond within 48 hours. Giveaway ends 8 May 2016.
Thanks Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me this book for review and inviting us to be a part of this amazing blog tour!
Follow the blog tour below!
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Heard alot of good things about this book cant wait to read it!! Im excited to read more about Andie and am a lover of all Morgan Matson books especially Amy and Rogers epic detour
So I feel ashamed that I have yet to read any Morgan Matson, but I've heard her characters and friendships are written perfectly. I do have Since You've Been Gone on my physical TBR, and now that it's summer I think it'll be a perfect read. Also, I love the AU cover of The Unexpected Everything! Your ARC was so cute as well. Thank you for sharing this review with us! ^.^
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[…] Morgan Matson talked what inspired her to write about dogs in The Unexpected Everything. […]
Awww that's a shame, I hope you pick it up at some time because Since You Been Gone is one of my favourite contemporaries! It was done so well, and I hope you enjoy this one too.
They are definitely very relatable and realistic! Contemporary usually isn't my thing but I enjoyed this one so much. Hope you give the books a shot!
I haven't read a Morgan Matson book since 2012 and that's sad considering I used to think of her as a fave author. I have Since You've Been Gone on my shelf, but I never got to it because a slump interfered and I haven't picked it up since. It's decided, this will be the year I rediscover MM. As for why I'm excited about TUE, it was talked about at a recent book event and it just sounds like a sweet, heartfelt book that will tug on the heartstrings and remind me why I'm such a fan of the author 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway, guys!
I can't wait to pick up this book. I'm so jealous you get to pre-read it so early. She seems to have that summer/beach reads cornered. I need to read her Second Chance Summer – stat.
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Thanks Joy, I hope you enjoy it because I know not a lot of YA contemporaries are your thing! I am looking forward to reading that one too because Jenna loved it.
This book seriously sounds so adorable! And I know Morgan Matson can write really cute boos. I love the AUS cover too, all the puppies! Glad to hear it's realistic but still a lovely summer read! Great review, Jeann!
I absolutely loved it Cyn! I think I should up my rating from just a 4 now that I think about it. I know, I love both US and UK covers, super cute!
Strong focus on friendship? I love it.
Focus on family? This book is my cup of tea.
Realistic romance with awkward moments? Sign me up!
Wonderful review, Jeann!
And thank you for your guest post, Morgan! It’s always interesting to have a look behind the scene; and the story you’ve shared is adorable.
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Absolutely, I think you will absolutely love this book Ksenia! So many fantastic and heart warming moments in this one!
Great review and guest post! I love my fur babies and am currently helping my boyfriend wean four puppies. There are 8 and his sister and her husband has the other four. I love my cats, but there's just something about a dog that you can't find in other pets. Thanks for sharing!
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Thank you Lekeisha! Wooow 8 puppies, that would be super cute! I completely agree, they're just so loyal and playful. I can't wait until I own my own dog sometime lool.
YES I loved this one (although like you, I could tell what was going to happen with Bri about fifty bazillion miles away…kind of annoyed with that subplot actually. I hate how girls fight over guys, it's so dumb).
BUT ALSO I love Morgan Matson's post about Murphy <3 <3 I'm a cat person but I love animals of all kinds.
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Yeah, it was a pretty annoying subplot but I've actually been faced with a pretty similar situation in my life before (not the fighting over one guy but the rest of it) so I still found it relatable, despite the reason around it. Yesss I love Murphy, so cute!
I love it when pets are part of the cast. I personally don't have any, allergies, but I love it when I see them in books. They're great sources of comedic relief sometimes too
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I know, I love dogs so it was absolutely adorable for this one! Yeah, the dog here was so cute and I love how he was the reason the couple bonded.
Okay so The Unexpected Everything has been my most anticipated contemporary book of the year and this review has me sold. I trust Morgan Matson to always deliver the good and I am so excited to get my hands on the book. I say this all the time but I love that there's a balance between the relationships explored and that the romance doesn't completely dominate the story. I also love that Andie is a realistically flawed character because it makes the journey that more realistic and relatable.
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Yesss I'm so glad to hear that because this book is absolutely fantastic. I'm looking forward to you picking it up and learning about Andie and the relationships here as well! Enjoy, Lois!
I'm not looking —- I'm about to pick this book up and I can't freaking wait to get stuck into it! I binged all of her other books last year and I loved them!
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Yesss I can't wait for you to LOVE it Emma! I need to read her other books too!
Yayyy I can't wait to read this one!! I absolutely ADORED Since You've Been Gone, and I'm loving the sound of the love interest being a fantasy author. I relate to that.
Yesss I LOVED Since You've Been Gone too! I think you'll like this one too Cait!
Focuses on friendships and family? Shocking! 😀 I love that, though, especially the friendships. And what a cute pup!
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I know right, when does that happen in a book lol. The puppy is adorable!
I've read all of Morgan Matson's books and loved each of them, so I can't wait to read this one too. I always enjoy the relationships she portrays – not just romances but great friendships too. 🙂
Awesome review and guest post! Thanks for sharing!
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In that case I think you'd absolutely love this one too! I need to pick up Second Chance Summer and the Epic Detour one. The relationships are done so well and realistically!
I started Since You've Been Gone but I've been putting it on hold because I'm currently binge reading The Raven Cycle XD But this book sounds really fun, so I might read it for Summer. And the story about Murphy is really cute and hearwarming<3 I'm not really an animal person, but I'd love to have a dog one day!
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Ohhhh I need to binge read Raven Cycle too! I'm looking forward to it, because I'm so scared I'll stumble upon TRK spoilers! It is a really perfect summer read Tasya, and I loved hearing about Murphy too. Dogs are adorable!
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this or not because I'm not normally a contemporary fan unless it's a thriller or horror, but the cover alone makes me want to pick it up, haha. I know how much everyone adores Morgan and I've been hearing a lot of good things about this so I'm going to add it to my TBR. It's really good to know you enjoyed it! And it's comforting to hear that it's relatable!
Also, thanks for the giveaway 🙂
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No problems! Good much with it. I'm not big on contemporary either but this one was really realistic and relatable. Thank you!
I haven't read any of Morgan Matson's books yet but I've heard only good things. I've been eyeing this one since I found out about it. I'm so happy to hear that it's realistic and relatable because sometimes YA, especially contemporary YA can be a little unrealistic.
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