Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review - Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Steven Levenson and Benj Pasek

Title: Dear Evan Hansen
Author: Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Steven Levenson and Benj Pasek
Pages: 368
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 9th October 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

Dear Evan Hansen,
Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...
When a letter that was never meant to be seen draws high school senior Evan Hansen into the Murphy family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong.
He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell. That the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore. And Connor's wealthy parents have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his 'closest friend'.
As Evan gets pulled deeper into their family, he knows that what he's doing may not be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be? 
No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose.
He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. But when everything is in danger of unravelling, he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children's and NetGalley*

Evan Hansen doesn't fit in at school and he doesn't really have any friends. He takes pills to help with his anxiety and sees a therapist who asks Evan to write letters to himself.
When events lead to the parents of one of Evan's schoolmates thinking that one of Evan's letters is actually a suicide note from their son addressed to Evan, he can't bring himself to correct them. Things start spiralling out of control and Evan finds himself in the middle of a web of lies.
Can Evan keep living a lie?
Will the truth come out?

Dear Evan Hansen is based on the musical of the same name, which I didn't know much going into the book.
Evan was a likeable and relatable protagonist, but there were a few times when I wanted to reach into the pages and shake him for making the things worse.
The plot was interesting and I could easily believe how a lie could blow up to something so big.
I felt myself cringing as the lie progressed, because, inevitably, at some point the truth would come out and Evan would be in big trouble.
I liked the writing style but there were a couple of times where I had to re-read a sentence because I thought I'd missed something.
I'm interested in listening to the musical soundtrack.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.

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