Dear Evan Hansen Review
Holy moly shmoly, it's been a bit since I have written on here, and I am back with another book review (which I didn't post about for almost a year and then came here for back-to-back ones). I have been more active on my NetGalley account which is this wonderful service where you can request ARC's (Advanced reader copies) in exchange for a proper review. While I always try and write my thoughts out on my Goodread's review, I feel like the publishers deserve a blog post when it comes to the fact that I was hand-picked to read a book before it hits the general public!
I was thrilled and a little surprised to receive "Dear Evan Hansen"! I feel like this is a lot of people's most anticipated releases of the year, and I know that there are loads of people that are utterly obsessed with the musical. I knew that it was a musical of course (I try to keep up-to-date on the shows that are causing the most buzz on Broadway and the West End), but I did not know much about what it was about other than a boy that struggled with anxiety. I am hoping that the fact that I didn't know anything about the musical and still truly enjoyed the book will help others to know that they should pick it up even if they don't know much about it. I will say that it will be interesting to see what proper fans think of it as well, though!
This YA adaption is the perfect way to expand this story to more audiences. I think YA was an amazing choice for this book because it makes it more accessible to the kids that probably need to hear the story most, but it is also easy enough for people outside of that age range to pick it up and explore.YA has a very particular tone to it that makes getting sucked into a story easier, and also go by exceptionally quicker. I read this book before bed for 30 minutes for a week and got through in that time (AKA this is an excellent book for people that want a story that packs a punch, but don't have barely any free time).
In short- I gave "Dear Evan Hansen" 4 stars because it was an excellent book that I think a lot of people will relate to and that was really well-written as well. I had a few issues with certain tropes and the way things were finalised with the writing, but overall I have no issues saying that I would recommend this book to others.
I don't know how well others know this story, so I wanted to talk about the actual plot points down here for the people that want to go into it blind. This book is about a boy named Evan who is a loner in every sense of the word and struggles with a crippling sense of anxiety. One thing that his therapist asks him to do in order to work through his anxiety is to write a letter to himself outlining what is happening in his life. A boy named Connor, who has a reputation as a bully at the school (and has done some questionable acts that coincide with this rumor) gets ahold of this letter that Evan wrote. Coincidentally, the letter is in his pocket on the day that he commits suicide, and because of that, an onslaught of actions happen.
Evan, who is not good in social situations at the best of times, is suddenly faced with attention and the knowledge that he could do some good for a grieving family by assuring them that there son had a friend to confide in before he took his own life. But as we all know from many a story, lies welcome more lies, and lies are never the answer. It is a heartbreaking and truthful tale about mental illness and high school and everything in between.