“I wish that everything was different. I wish that I was a part of something. I wish that anything I said mattered, to anyone. I mean, let’s face it: would anybody even notice if I disappeared tomorrow?”
Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
Review by: Ivy
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Evan Hansen starts off his first day of senior year with a broken arm and the letter to himself: the injury the result of falling out of a tree, the letter an assignment from his therapist. When fellow loner and school freak Connor Murphy lashes out and takes his letter, Evan doesn’t worry about it.
Until he learns that his cheesy “Dear Evan Hansen” letter was found in Connor’s pocket when he killed himself. Connor’s family assumes it’s a suicide note addressed to his “only friend,” and thus prompts a spiral of lies that only began as Evan’s attempt to help a grieving family.
Weirdly enough, I never got super into the Dear Evan Hansen musical. Believe me, I’m a big musical theatre guy, but I guess I just kinda… missed the boat on this one? So, reading the novelization, first of all, taught me what the actual plot of the show was, and second of all, made me understand why this story meant so much to everyone.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was about mental health, but also the bonds between people, and what telling “the truth” means. In my opinion, truth is the main theme. Dear Evan Hansen explores the difference between telling a lie for yourself and telling a lie to help someone else. A worthwhile read, especially for fans of the musical. Rating: 4/5
For Fans Of: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger
- “To the ground I fall. I can never stay aloft too long. Not when there’s an ugly and heavy truth always dragging me back down.”
- “You’re born and you keep getting older and grayer and sicker, and no matter what efforts you make to reverse the process, you die, every single time. To repeat: worse, worse, worse, and then death. I have a long way to go before the worst. This is only the beginning.”
- “Fantasies always sound good, but they’re no help when reality comes and shoves you to the ground. When it trips up your tongue and traps the right words in your head. When it leaves you to eat lunch by yourself.”
- “Burning is the right way to paint it. You feel yourself getting so hot, day after day. Hotter and hotter. It gets to be too much. Even for stars. At some point they fizzle out or explode. Cease to be. But if you’re looking up at the sky, you don’t see it that way. You think those stars are still there. Some aren’t. Some are already gone. Long gone. I guess, now, so am I.”