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Book Review: Dear Evan Hansen By Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Benji Pasek & Steven Levenson

Dear Evan HansenTitle: Dear Evan Hansen
Author: Val Emmich, Justin Paul, Benji Pasek, Steven Levenson
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5 stars




Book Summary:

From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

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 unravelling 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.

Book Review:

I have been a fan of Dear Evan Hansen since I found the musical randomly on Spotify in 2017 but it has only just opened on the West End in London so when this book was announced it is safe to say that I was excited. The book was, therefore, a good read but was definitely a twist in direction after listening to the songs. 

I don't really know what I was expecting from the plot of Evan Hansen especially as I had only listened to the songs and I knew that Evan had anxiety but I didn't realise that was how the plot developed. I think that to some extent that the plot was a little bit surprising and I don't think that I was fully down with it. I just don't really agree with how Evan uses Connor's death but that was the only thing that I disliked. 

As someone with social anxiety, I did connect a lot with Evan's anxiety and did think that it was portrayed quite well in the book and it many respects this was one of my favourite parts of the book. I do feel like I connected to Evan with this, even though he was a little bit annoying at times. Another part that I really liked was seeing the songs in the text and it definitely made the show come to life. 

I think that having read the book, it will be interesting to see how the show differs which I can't wait to see...

The Verdict:


Dear Evan Hansen is a great read for anyone who is waiting for the musical to come near them or someone who just wants to be found.


Have you read Dear Evan Hansen or seen the play? Let me know in the comments below what you thought of it. 

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