Librarians Read: Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul is a novelization adapted from a Broadway musical.

In case you missed the buzz, it was nominated for nine Tony awards, ultimately winning six including the 2017 Tony award for Best Musical. Not to mention winning a 2018 Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Dear Evan Hansen is all about fitting in. It is centered on Evan Hansen, a high school senior, who feels like an outsider in his own life. After a tragedy, Evan is involved in a misunderstanding which quickly snowballs from one lie into a web of deception. Along the way, Evan realizes lots of people, including many of his classmates, just want to be seen.

I approached this book with skepticism. Doubting that the author could translate the message and feeling of the performance, in which music is so integral, to the written page. Boy, was I wrong. This book grabbed me. It is messy and heavy and angsty, all aspects familiar to young adults.

For those of you who have seen the musical and are worried the story might be stale, the book includes additional material that was cut from the show which expands on the storyline.

If you are looking for a book about high school with depth and all the feels, I highly recommend taking a heady dive into Dear Evan Hansen. Find it in the Teen section of the HS/Adult fiction.

If you do not have the chance to see the musical, be sure to visit YouTube to check out some performance clips.

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