Book Review Of “Dear Evan Hansen” By Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Ben J. Pasek, and Justin Paul @TheNovl @littlebrownyr @littlebrown

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 by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a 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–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, 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 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 tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and 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. (From Goodreads)

Thank you to The Novl #Partner #TheNovelBookSquad for gifting me this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I rate this book a 4 out of 5 Stars.

If you would have told me that this book was based on a Broadway play, I never would have guessed. Honestly I would have thought it’d be the other way around. I am a super fan of Val Emmich, he writes incredibly well, and pulls at every heart string you have.

I appreciated all the topics broached in this book, mental health, sexual orientation, first loves, drug use, bullying, all of which I love seeing in a good YA book. Teens tend to follow pop culture trends more than the advice of their own parents. So if a book could help my daughter feel more comfortable with her mental health, or her sexual orientation, than I’d so for it. So when I come across a book like this, I want to see it succeeded.

Once I started D.E.H. I was pretty much sucked in from the start. There is something so endearing about Emmich’s story telling process. His emotions are very apparent, you can tell what he was feeling from mind onto the pages. This book will show you how fast a lie, even one with the best of intentions can spiral wildly out of control, and when you know the difference between right and wrong, how long do you let the lie go? When do you tell the truth, even though it’s going to break the hearts of EVERYONE you care for and love?

I felt for Evan, I felt for his mom, As a mom myself, when my kids hurt, I hurt, when my kids are bullied, I want to go stop said Bully. I want to fight every fight for them, I want them to have the best life, but then it comes to a time where I have to stand back, and let them be, just as Evans mom does. So for me, I read this with my mom instincts, but also because there are some very strong similarities between Evan, Connor, and my daughter, so I felt like this book really just resonated with me. A very visceral reaction to this book. I loved it, and I am so glad that I got to read it early, because I was having a very hard time waiting for it!

I appreciated that the kids in the book seemed like kids I’d see roaming any high-schools halls. They were portrayed very realistically, and very age appropriate. I also appreciated this was a borderline clean read, so it can be safe for young readers and adult readers alike. It flowed well, and was a very quick read, I read my copy within 12 hours of starting. There was something very addictive about this story. I wanted to see what happened with Evan’s lie, and because of that I feel like I flew through the pages to see how it all ended.

This book is out Oct. 2nd I will include some helpful links below.

Maybe someday everything will feel like a distant memory. Maybe I’ll find a way to carry around the past without it weighing me down. Maybe, one day, I can look in the mirror and see something less ugly.

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