Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich (A Review)

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Genre: Ya, Contemporary.
Year Of Publication: October 9th  2018.
Publisher:  Penguin Uk.
Pages: Hardback,368 pages
ISBN:  9780241361894
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Dear Evan Hansen,
Today is going to be a good day and here’s why. 

“A Letter He never Meant to write. 

A lie never meant to tell. 

A life he never dreamed he could have.”

Inspired by the Tony Award winning Broadway Musical, Dear Evan Hanson is a story about Evan, a senior at high school. Evan is a kid who suffers from extreme anxiety and is basically a loner without any friends. And his therapist has given him an assignment to write a letters to himself each day. Letters that were never supposed to be seen by anyone but when one of them fall in the hand of someone, a boy who later commits suicide and things spiral out of control and he finds himself in an impossible situation which becomes worse and worse day by day.

Evan was  pretty much the poster boy character of a teenage boy who is mostly an outcast. His anxiety doesn’t help him much either. He spends his time in his high school mostly being invisible and never being seen. But when his letter finds its way with a boy who has committed suicide, and he is thought to be his best friend by his parent because of it, things take a big turn. He finds that he is suddenly popular and in a middle of a mental health awareness campaign. And now he is finding himself VISIBLE.

Evan due to his anxiety and lack of people skills never finds the courage to correct the parents or anyone else for that matter and the lie becomes bigger and bigger as the book goes on. And it kinda did bother me because he goes above and beyond to invent stories, and at some point it should have become too much shouldn’t it, before it was too late.

I must say i wasn’t a DEH fan before reading this book. I watched the play/ listened to the sound track as I read the book. Like i would alternate between reading a chunk of the book and then watching the play. I would say in some parts the play was better and in some parts the book bought something different to the plate.

The book did provide a little more insight to the story more scenes and things. I also really liked the Connor chapter and what they added to the story. We got to see his side and it was a really nice touch.

But the soundtrack for the play and so many lyrics did make the play  better for me. Songs like You will be found And Waving Through a Window are so precious. I know a lot of lyrics found their way woven into the book in small parts but the full impact of the lyrics is amazing!!!!!

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?
‘Cause I’m tap, tap, tapping on the glass
I’m waving through a window
I try to speak, but nobody can hear
So I wait around for an answer to appear
While I’m watch, watch, watching people pass
I’m waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see, is anybody waving back at me?
We start with stars in our eyes
We start believing that we belong
But every sun doesn’t rise
And no one tells you where you went wrong

My advice is to also listen to the sound track along with it. It just makes it so much more amazing, and definitely a new fun experience.

This book/play is/was trying to create awareness about mental health and has a lot of things to talk about and i really liked that part of it. And it just beautifully tells human emotions and story in lyrics and also is empowering and hope giving.

My only problem is with the ending like the whole book builds up to so much and in the end the the climax is only just one chapter. And its just over in two seconds and to me its not satisfying.

Also i know Evan is struggling and has things to deal with but it does not account for most of the things he does in this book. ALL THE LYING, and he is so bad to his mom. Also he has like no other personal interests at all than the big piles of lies. I mean this book could have made him a more well rounded character who is more than just a  loner, who has no hobbies and isn’t just constantly lying. Or has something else going on than the lying melodrama.

Because of these points i think the book was just missing something, where the plays is just a play and kinda makes up for it because of the sound track and the words/lyrics that are in the song portraying emotions, the book kinda fell flat a bit for me because it had the power to expand and make the characters more three dimensional. I mean look what it did for Connor that what i exactly needed it to do with Evan too. To him have a side, a mind with thought about things other than just the mess. But it just didn’t.

But I truly did loved the message and themes behind this book, how mental health is so important in this day and age, and that certain characters were able to find peace, grow maybe not in a process i would agree with none the less they persisted. I also believe the overall awareness this book brought to mental health is so important and cannot be ignored. Pair this book with the sound track and yes it will be an amazing experience.

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found 

So let the sun come streaming in
Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found


Thank you penguin platform for my arc.

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3 thoughts on “Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich (A Review)

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