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YA Review: Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

Title: Dear Evan Hansen
Author: Val Emmich
Year Published: 2018

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 357
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): When a letter that was never meant to be seen drawn high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, Evan is given the chance of a lifetime to belong. He just has to pretend that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents have taken him in like he's their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his "closest friend."As Evan gets pulled deeper into the family's swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer incapacitated by anxiety or hiding from the disappointment in his mother's eyes, this new Evan has a purpose. And confidence. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face-to-face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

Review: All I had heard about this book was how much everyone loved the musical so I felt a bit of pressure to love the book. I didn't even know what this book was about when I started reading it, but boy is it good.

Evan is one of those characters that just sits with the reader. He is so needy, so alone, so like many people who aren't sure of their place in the world. His working mom really needs to spend more time with him, but can't seem to take time away from work or school. The one guy Evan does spend time with can't possibly provide what Evan needs: love and attention. And the girl Evan likes doesn't know he exists.

Then Connor dies and everything changes. Evan finds purpose, a family, friends, and a girl. What could possibly go wrong? This is when Evan begins to shine and sees how his life could really be; how he could feel every day.

This book tackles suicide, love, friendship, and truth. And it's well done.

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