Book club check in: The Unexpected Everything

We hope you’ve all been enjoying our latest book club read, The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson! If you haven’t started it yet, it’s not too late… There’s plenty of time to finish before our live chat next week. For those of you who have been reading along, we told you in our announcement post that we’d be discussing the book up until the end of Chapter 9 today (Psst… It’s also OK if you read ahead!). We’ve been loving the story and the way the author is developing the characters’ relationships—it’s been fun to see how Andie’s summer has started to unfold. We can’t wait to hear what you think, too!

So, in proper Book Club Check In fashion, today we’re posting some discussion questions about the first half of the book to get the conversation going. Go ahead and take a peek below to see our questions and answers, and be sure to leave your answers in the comments. Just remember: If you read ahead, no spoilers please! Now let’s start talking…

Check in to get your questions answered: The Unexpected Everything

Reader Questions:

1. Describe Andie’s relationship with her father in three words. Do you see their relationship change during the first half of the book?

2. When Andie’s acceptance to her medical internship is withdrawn, she is devastated… But she soon finds another job. What lessons do you think Andie learned so far from walking dogs all summer? How do you think it will be better or worse than if she had gone with her original plan of the medical internship?

3. When Andie and Clark go on their first date, the evening pretty much crashes and burns. Why do you think this happened?

4. Do you think that Topher’s character will cause problems for Andie and Clark’s relationship?

5. When Andie goes to Clark’s house to help him take care of Bertie, she discovers that Clark is suffering from a major case of writer’s block. Do you believe that Clark is done writing forever? Or will he finish his third book?

6. Do you think that Andie will return to see the farmhouse by the end of the novel?

7. Friendship is a huge theme throughout the book so far, and it’s clear that Andie relies on her group of friends as one would rely on their family. Do you think Andie’s relationship with Clark will begin to change the group dynamic? How do you think he will find his place within these long-standing friendships?

Check in with us while we read The Unexpected Everything

Our Answers:

1. We would describe Andie’s relationship with her father using the words strained, uncomfortable and distant. It’s awkward reading about their interactions throughout the book! We begin to see a change in Andie’s dad’s parenting up until Chapter 9 because he begins to care about her curfew and whereabouts. But we hope the author has some changes in store for them.

2. When Andie’s summer plan gets turned upside down, we think she begins to learn how to have an open mind. Her job of walking dogs is helping to teach her that she can’t plan everything out perfectly. We think her dog walking job will end up building more character and teaching her to think outside the box more than if her summer internship had gone as planned.

3. Through the author’s character development of Andie, you learn that Andie has been trained her whole life to keep things vague, impersonal and not to get too close to people. We think this is why she struggles with opening up to Clark on their first date. Later on in the story, we see her open up a bit more and go “unscripted.” We have a hunch she’s going to continue to open up even more and really begin to trust Clark.

4. The author seems to be prepping us for a love triangle later in the book… But Topher and Andie’s relationship is definitely more more surface-level than her relationship with Clark. We’re definitely Team Clark at this point in the story.

5. After reading about Andie and Clark’s walk and conversations in Chapter 9, we think Andie might be serving as Clark’s muse. Just as Clark has helped Andie to open up and feel comfortable to talk about her home life, Andie helps Clark brainstorm new ideas for his book with their stories about Marjorie and Karl. We don’t think he’s quite done writing yet and we hope he finds inspiration to finish his third book!

6. It seems like Clark is already helping Andie to reflect and revisit her past, so if she keeps going down this path, she may eventually feel the need to visit her roots and memories at the farmhouse.

7. It seems to us like Clark already fits in pretty well with Andie’s tight-knit friend group. But things can change the closer a couple gets. We love how Clark’s entry into the group gives Tom a guy friend he can get closer to, and we’re hoping that Clark stays a permanent part of the friend group as a whole!

In the spirit of our Q&A today, we also went ahead and asked the author, Morgan Matson, a few fun questions of our own. Take a peek below to get to know a bit about her…

1. What was your first high school job?

I’d been babysitting since middle school, but my first actual, get-a-paycheck job was at a clothing store in my hometown. I didn’t earn ANY money, because I was buying so much with my store discount! They played the same CD on a loop, and whenever I happen to hear one of those songs, I immediately get flashbacks to folding way too many T-shirts.

2. Where is your favorite place to write?

My office at home is pretty great… My desk is by a window, so I can look out if I get bored, and I have a comfy couch if I need to change it up (or take an inspiration nap). And I love being able to work with my dog there!

3. What nail polish color is on your fingers right now?

I have themed nails for The Unexpected Everything! Dogs, emojis, ice cream—pretty much the major themes of the book.

Q&A with the author of this month's book club read, The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

4. Favorite movie of all time?

This is SUCH a hard one, because I’m a huge movie fan. But that being said, I think I could probably watch Sleepless in Seattle forever and never get tired of it. I love that movie.

5. Favorite book of all time?

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. I re-read it at least once a year, and could probably quote passages of it by heart.

6. Do you have any pets of your own? If so, what are their names?

I have one dog! His name is Murphy, and he’s a terrier mix that I rescued two years ago. There would not be as many dogs as there are in The Unexpected Everything without him—he was a big inspiration.

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7. Skittles or M&Ms?

Skittles!

8. Coffee or tea?

Coffee—specifically an iced Starbucks latte (venti, sugar-free vanilla, soy, only two shots) that I HAVE to have every morning.

9. E-readers or hard copies?

Hard copies! I love an e-reader when I travel, but there’s just something about reading a hard copy that I’ll never give up.

10. Beach or mountains?

Beach!

Now it’s your turn to answer the discussion questions Team LC answered above. Leave your responses in the comments below and feel free to get the conversation going with your fellow LC.com readers!

After you answer the questions from today’s Q&A, keep reading… We’ll be finishing the book on Wednesday, June 22nd at and holding our live Twitter chat for the whole book that day at 4pm PST. We will post a reminder that morning. Can’t wait!

XO Team LC

This book club was proudly sponsored by…

Photos: Jessi Burrone for LaurenConrad.com
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  • I need to get into a new book. May try this!

    xo Jessica

    My Style Vita

  • This makes me wish I were already reading this book! I’m going to start reading it for sure. Her mani is adorable too btw <3

    xo Azu

    http://www.raven-locks.blogspot.com

  • Ellen Zhao

    I have already started reading this book!

    Ellen Zhao

    • Rachael Qian

      Ellen, do you recommend it? I’ve been looking for a good book to start reading on.

      Rachael Qian

      • Sienna Yu

        yea Rachael, it’s really good! I recommend it, don’t know about Ellen.

        Sienna Yu

        sienna yu

        • Ellen Zhao

          mhm, I generally agree with Sienna. It’s pretty good! 🙂 I think you’d like it, Rachael.

          Ellen Zhao

  • Katey Rossie

    Hi everyone! I posted my answers to the discussion questions on my blog!

    Check it out here:
    https://readwritedesignkt.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/lc-book-club-the-unexpected-everything-discussion-1/

    I’m really loving the book so far! Yay!

  • Jamie B.

    Awesome book so far! I’m actually listening to the audio book off my kindle while I drive everyday. I find myself laughing out loud. Especially the whole Toby emoji’s bet, ha!

    1. Awkward, sad, and disappointing
    2. Whatever she would have learned at her medical internship would have been way different then what she is learning now. But I think she is learning about the simpler things in life and not just about getting into college.
    3. Andy wants to keep everything light and fun when it comes to boys. She doesn’t know what a real relationship is.
    4. I hope Topher doesn’t cause any problems with Andy and Clark! But I think he might.
    5. I hope this book will have a happy ending with Clark finishing his book series.
    6. yes
    7. I think Clark will fit it nicely with Andy’s friends.

  • Samantha Ashley

    I am in love with this book! Its so wonderful, and heart warming. Cannot wait to finish it.

    1. Disheartening, incomplete, and unfortunate

    2. I think it will help Andie realize that there are more then one direct path or plan to your future and getting entirely of course can be beneficial for yourself.

    3. Andie likes to plan every thing out in a specific way, and in this scenario she doesn’t want to get hurt, she wants her three week safe relationship, and Clark seems to see that she doesn’t want to be bothered getting to know him and that is when it becomes a clear crash and burn date.

    4. He has too… doesn’t he? Why else put him in the book if not to come back and stir up trouble a little bit? I would rather he didn’t, but I secretly would like to see him do so just to see how Andie and Clark push through it.

    5. I think he will most definitely finish his book or at least start writing again.

    6. I don’t know, she has been away for so long, I don’t see her making her own effort to go but if someone maybe pushed her then its possible.

    7. I don’t think it will harm the relationships those four girls have together, they seem to be unstoppable. I hope Clark gets along with them and finds his own grove within their group!

    Cannot wait to finish reading this book 🙂 !! I really don’t know what to expect!

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  • Vinnie

    Apologies for doing this so late! I finally read thru Chapter 9.

    1) Uninformed, confused, job-restricted.

    But it is improving. Andie’s father had taken a hands-on approach to their relationship by the end of Chapter 9.

    2) Andie learned that she can make the most out of any situation that does not go anywhere close to how it was planned. She also learned how to share more about herself on her date and post-date with Clark so that she can open up to the possibility of having an intimate relationship with a person outside of her circle of friends.

    I don’t know if Andie walking the dogs for the summer is better or worse than if she was doing the internship. She could learn about interacting with people anywhere, but she could not have gotten the valuable work-and-college-related experience of the internship with her dog-walking job. Still, she would not have met Clark, a kid who is around her age and already is successful in his field without going to college, if her summer had gone as she had planned it.

    3) Again, Andie and Clark’s date didn’t go well because Andy didn’t want to open up to him even a little bit. There’s only so much you can do without going in-depth.

    4) The only problems Topher can cause in Andie and Clark’s relationship are the ones they allow to happen. If it gets serious between them, then Andie would obviously have to put some distance between she and Topher. But if Andie and Clark aren’t exclusive, he can’t really protest the arrangement that she and Topher have.

    5) Clark will eventually recover from his writer’s block. Andie is already helping him do so when she comes up with story scenarios for Clark to complete while they’re walking together.

    6) Andie will return to the farmhouse, possibly with her father, so that she can make peace with having lost her mother.

    7) Andie’s relationship with Clark will indeed change the dynamic of the group’s friendship since she never really had an intimate relationship with a guy for an extrnded period of time. Clark seems like a laid-back guy, and her friends seem to be okay with whatever makes Andie happy, so they most likely will get along.

    The book has been great so far and I’m very interested to see how everything goes!

    Thanks, Lauren!

    -Vinnie-