I desperately hoped this would be all I had heard from reviews of the Broadway play, but sadly, it was not. As a disclaimer, I have not seen the play, but have heard the basic premise. I was excited to read this novel and to place it in my classroom library (which I still intend to do); however, the way the story of Evan Hansen unfolded, I just felt was too overdramatized and offered little help, with plenty of excuses and rationale for making mistakes with dire consequences.The basic premise of the novel centers on our main character, Evan Hansen, who suffers from a myriad of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. His feelings of helplessness and an inability to make friends isolates him in the story, and we go along with him as he tries to interact in a world where he feels in danger. A letter that he wrote to himself, meant to share with his therapist, gets into the hands of a young man who has picked on Evan. Later that night, the young man commits suicide and the family believes the letter he had, that Evan wrote, was actually written by their son TO Evan. This is the pivotal moment in the story where Evan fails to clear up this mix-up and goes along with their understanding.The premise to this point was pretty good, and I felt great empathy for Evan. The thing I found disconcerting and strange, however, was the lying that continued throughout the novel. I needed to understand more about this compulsion to hide or cover up the truth. In a lot of ways, it just seemed unclear and was pawned off as being part of his mental health issues that drove him. As someone who has family member with some of these mental health issues, I can't say that his reactions felt familiar to me or felt authentic. In fact, I simply felt that this was speaking to the core of Evan and not to those suffering from these mental health problems. It is to this issue, being Evan's character and not his illnesses that I struggled with. In some ways, I felt the novel was trying to suppose that it is natural for those with mental health issues to make HUGE mistakes, when in reality, they might do that, but that is not a "norm" across the board.Overall, I just couldn't get behind the story. The rushed ending, the shallow "fixes," and the resolutions in the end all left me feeling overwhelmingly negative toward Evan and all those who brushed aside his actions. I didn't expect for Evan to be strung up for his mistakes, rather, I wanted a more honest narrative that didn't place all of his actions on the shoulders of his mental health issues. I was left feeling empty, not truly understanding what helped him to change, nor how he went from the struggling teen at the beginning of the novel to the somewhat insightful young man at the end. Evan just needed a bit more development to make sense.