Release date: October 9th 2018
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.
I am a huge fan of the Dear Evan Hansen musical so a novelization of it seemed like a dream come true. It was slightly different from the musical as a lot of the storytelling doesn’t come from songs in the book but it stayed very close to the musical version. I also felt the book stood well on its own, for anyone uninterested in seeing or listening to the musical.
The biggest change was that we got to see a lot of more Connor Murphy’s thoughts as himself, not as Evan’s conscience or imagination. I loved this because it meant we got more insight into Connor, more backstory. The book took everything from the musical and just added to it, shaped it into something more while still respecting the source material.
For anyone not interested in the musical, the book is still a full story on its own. The characters were well developed, the plot was complete, and it was still a huge roller coaster of emotions. It dealt with issues very relevant to today with anxiety, suicide, and depression. I know this review is short but if you know the musical, you know most of the story in his book, and if you don’t know the musical, anything more I say could be a spoiler. I’ll leave it with, this book is definitely worth reading.
*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.