DEAR EVAN HANSEN: THE NOVEL

by Val Emmich with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

When one of Evan's letters to himself is accidentally found on a suicide victim, the victim's family assumes that he was a close friend.

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4 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

  • I just really wanna buy Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel as well as Gmorning, Gnight by @Lin_Manuel .. But I'm on a book… https://t.co/dem8vYvfsp
  • EW talks YA: Reviews of a bittersweet gay rom-com, the Dear Evan Hansen novel, and more https://t.co/I054Kd1zRy
  • “If she sits next to me in this small booth, I may have to…” https://t.co/6Wo00xs5S7
  • My professor oddly enough recommended the book with no indication she even seen the musical. I'm kinda curious if… https://t.co/1dnfKDwABH
  • “I’m left with a loneliness so overpowering it threatens to…” https://t.co/6Wo00xs5S7
  • 25 positive comments

    9 neutral comments

    11 negative comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • DEH fanboys and girls, those who have or haven't yet seen the show, and those who don't care about musicals at all -- this book will satisfy them all. NO SPOILERS in this review, just a rundown of what I loved and didn't love.I'm a person who can't tolerate sloppy or clichéd prose, and YA literature is rife with it. This book is a happy exception. It's very well written and briskly plotted, with well-drawn characters I could easily picture in my own mind. The high-quality writing is the best part of the book, and in my opinion the most important part of any fiction book.Evan Hansen, the protagonist, is a bundle of neuroses, self-doubt, and self-loathing. For me, that got tiring after a bit, but I'm no longer a teenager. It might be that if I were 16 or 17 I'd feel a lot more empathy. Even so, Evan is likable enough to sympathize with, despite his many incredibly obvious blunders and history of awful decision-making. The ancillary characters are all vivid and well fleshed out, mostly representing high school "types" we all know well. I did feel that, in terms of character development, the adults are more sketched-out than thoroughly explored. I think this is true to the teenage mind, though, which conceives of adults as somewhat mysterious and capricious, and EH is a teen speaking in the first person, so it's appropriate.I haven't seen the show or heard the cast album, but after reading the book, I looked up the plot of the show. It appears that there is an important character added in this book that helps flesh out Connor's story. And Connor's story is left somewhat ambiguous; we're teased with a was-he-or-wasn't-he question that's never answered. That left me a little frustrated, because it felt a bit like the writer backed off a potentially controversial character trait by leaving it open. But that's a minor flaw. Overall, I was very surprised at how much I, a grown adult with no particular interest in YA fiction, enjoyed the writing, the characters, and the experience of reading the book.FOR PARENTS -- no spoilers of plot, but a couple notes on content, so don't read on if you don't want to know any more.There is a suicide in the book. It's not described and there's nothing graphic, but the aftermath reverberates throughout the story. So this may not be a great book for younger kids struggling with self-harm and depression. There is also a relentless emphasis on Evan's mental health struggles. If your child suffers from panic, social anxiety, or depression, I'd suggest you read the book yourself and decide whether your kid will feel empathy and relief at reading about others fighting the same battles, or whether the content might trigger more morbid feelings.
    • Very well written
    • I love all things Dear Evan Hansen! This book is amazing!
    • Product came timely and was great!
    • I am eagerly awaiting the tour of Dear Evan Hansen to come to Atlanta, so I thought it would be great to read the book and get ahead f it. I knew the play by reputation, but didn't know the plot too well.I was served best by having no spoilers, and letting the book unfold naturally. For that reason, I'd advice you to avoid spoilers. I will say this story is a classic trope of "main characters tells a lie that snowballs on itself until he has to reveal the lie". Story is as old, but instead of playing the lie for comedy, you genuinely empathize with Evan Hansen and want to help him figure out how to unravel it. I finished the book in less than 4 hours, and frankly, had a hard time putting it down because it is an engrossing story.The book can be triggering for some - it deals with some heavy issues such as drug abuse and suicide, but is a compelling narrative.After reading the book, I listened to the soundtrack, and the book instantly lost a star. Wow - the soundtrack is so rich, and brings life to some of the characters (like the parents and Zoe) that were totally missing from the novel. Frankly the soundtrack made me realize the book was missing so much that was present in the play. I suspect the authors are amazing playwrights and so-so authors. There are also some narrative choices that work well (the social media feeds) and others that fall flat (the italicized voice of the deceased).As a companion to the play, I heartily recommend this book. Especially if you can't see the play live, reading the book AND listening to the soundtrack should allow you to understand the fuss over this amazing story. But the book itself need the music to really have the emotional punch the play can deliver.