Dear Evan Hansenby 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.
Elle is an American teen who is down on her luck. This isn’t the bad grade, missed curfew, wrecked a car kind of luck. It is the non-present dad, mom in jail, living in foster care, life is tough – kind of a break. But like a fairy tale, Elle is given the opportunity to move to Tokyo to live with her wealthy hotel tycoon father.
Elle navigates culture shock and tries to discover what her place is in an unfamiliar country, as a student in her elite international school, and as a member of a new family. While encountering different expectations, cultural practices, and traditions, Elle struggles to reconcile her past with her present. Given the opportunity to reinvent herself, Elle finds a place among the popular group where she has to choose whether she will stay true to herself.
I found the characters entertaining and at the end of the book I wanted to know more about their stories. Currently, though this is just a standalone novel.
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is relevant not only to the members of an international student body but to anyone who has moved to a new place and had to figure out how to fit in. Find it in the Teen section of the HS/Adult fiction.