Thursday, February 20, 2020

Book Review: Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

Book: Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

This is the book written based on the musical. I keep wondering... did the book or musical come first.. .but it's the musical. Since we'll be seeing this musical in a few weeks, I thought knowing the story beforehand would be helpful. I've had it in the house for over a year, but finally got to it this past month.

It's a story about a kid who is suffering from pretty bad depression and anxiety. His therapist wants him to write encouraging letters to himself, so when the story opens, he is struggling with getting his latest letter written. At school, he finally writes and prints it off, but another dude nabs it from the printer and won't give it back.

This dude, Conner,  just happens to be the brother of the girl he likes... and a dude that is quite the outcast himself. Evan and Conner had a run in at lunch that very day, I can't remember why now, but after that, Conner ended up signing Conner's cast (because he had just broken his arm recently, yeah.)


Turns out that Conner goes home and commits suicide that night. And when they find Evan's letter in his pocket, everyone thinks that Evan was his friend and that he was calling out for help to Evan.

And thus starts a whole crazy thing where Evan continues this charade of actually being Conner's friend. He ends up with a relationship with Conner's whole family, including the sister. He starts a campaign for Conner... and everyone is all on board. And suddenly he is popular and getting seen.

It's like a complete about face. He suddenly feels like someone.

Until it all blows up... and then he's back to facing his problems yet again.

Well, it's such a sad story actually. But I think it's popular because it really says some pretty deep and profound things that kids (all people actually) feel about how they fit and connect in this world. And people relate. And it makes you want to take a look around you and realize that there are people everywhere that feel invisible... and how all we need to do is reach out and be friends. 

I think that's the reason. 

I haven't listened to the music yet to prepare, but I know everyone just loves it so much I look forward to seeing it. I hope it leaves me with a hopeful feeling. I'm a little nervous that I will walk away depressed and sad. I really don't need that, you know.

Have you seen this musical or read the book? I'd love to know your thoughts!

1 comment:

  1. It does seem unusual that the musical came before the book!



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