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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  • “If she sits next to me in this small booth, I may have to…”
  • EW talks YA: Reviews of a bittersweet gay rom-com, the Dear Evan Hansen novel, and more
  • I just really wanna buy Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel as well as Gmorning, Gnight by @Lin_Manuel .. But I'm on a book…
  • “I’m left with a loneliness so overpowering it threatens to…”
  • My professor oddly enough recommended the book with no indication she even seen the musical. I'm kinda curious if…
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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • Was great to listen to the book after seeing the show; I wonder how it might change the show if you read the book first?
    • I went into Dear Evan Hansen not knowing much about it. I'd heard of the hit Broadway musical, and the book sounded interesting, so I picked it up. I found the book very gripping at first, and I was quickly sucked into the story. But about halfway through, I began to feel very uncomfortable.The premise is an intriguing one: Evan Hansen, a teen suffering from severe anxiety, gets involved with the family of a dead classmate after a (tragi-) comedy of errors leads the family to think he was their trouble late son's secret best friend. He gets sucked into their lives and then doesn't want to leave. He becomes a more confident person and sheds his anxiety. But everything he's doing is a lie, and I just couldn't get past that.It's a mistake that causes the Murphy family to think Evan was their son's secret friend, but after that, Evan works hard to maintain the lie. He fakes emails, spins elaborate stories about the dead kid, and worms his way into the family's lives, all the while telling himself he's helping them. There were so many points at which he could have told the truth or backed away, but he doesn't and it made me really dislike his character.I thought the book was pretty well written, but since the whole premise really bothered me, I think this book just wasn't for me. The concept probably works very differently on stage and maybe the issues I have with the book wouldn't be as much of an issue.
    • I wondered for a long time how I would review this wonderful novel, and after lots of slaving over the decision, I have concluded that:We are Miguel supporters first and people second
    • As a theater lover who lives on the West Coast I was saddened when I could not get to New York prior to Ben Platt leaving the show. While the touring company will be coming to the West Coast I didn't want to wait to know exactly what the storyline was all about. I have listened to the Original Cast Recording over and over again and while love the music it is hard to see the story line.After reading Dear Evan Hansen the novel. I finally get and understand the story. It is a well thought out and very well presented plot. Far more intricate than I had even imagined.There are a couple of places where the authors actually used the song lyrics to move the novel along. Most notably when Zoe is singing"I Will Sing No Requiem." I truly wish that all the song lyrics from all the songs were made a part of the novel. Songs are used in musicals to move the story along in a special way. It could work equally as well in the novel.
    • So this book follows Evan, a high school senior who has horrible social anxiety. Under the direction of his therapist, he writes a letter to himself each day that starts out with:Dear Evan Hansen,Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...-- A letter ends up in the wrong hands --But things don't go so well for Evan one day when one of those letters to himself ends up in the wrong hands. And, it just so happens that this particular classmate commits suicide with a copy of Evan's letter in his pocket.Now the letter in question was a rather dark letter, a letter detailing Evan's doubts, depression and his particularly somber view on life at the time it was written.-- Evan meets the parents…and tells a lie --What results is a series of misunderstandings due to one simple lie. We then follow Evan along with the deceased student's parents on a heart-wrenching journey through grief and mental health.You see, Evan knew that the student's parents were hurting deeply, so he chose to tell one little white lie because at the time, he felt it was the right thing to do. It was a simple lie — a lie meant to help rather than to hurt.-- And the lie grows….and grows--But this lie grew and grew and grew, spiraling out of control until it became a social media sensation. It turned into a story that Evan couldn't put away and ignore. It became…almost a mythology that was way past the point of going away on its own — it becomes a story that Evan can no longer escape from.Because of this and his strong urge not to cause the student's parents any more pain or take away their hope, Evan tells even more lies to keep the story going, and he gets in deeper and deeper and deeper.-- Thrust into the Spotlight --This book also portrayed in a somewhat frightening way, the power that social media plays in our lives and how it has the capacity to cause real harm as well as promote healing.So because of this misunderstanding and Evan's lie, Evan, a boy who preferred to move through his day unnoticed and invisible, is suddenly thrust in the spotlight. Now on the positive side, he does find acceptance among his peers and for the first time, is propelled forward with a new purpose.On the negative side, this new world of Evan's is about to unravel and come crashing down, and there's not a damn thing he can do about it.-- My Verdict --I ended up enjoying this book — although I don't feel "enjoying" is the proper word to use about a book whose subject deals with the aftermath of a suicide. Let's me just say that it was a compelling read and was very disturbing and heartbreaking at times.The story dealt with some very tough topics such as suicide, bullying, isolation, mental health, loneliness and lying but it didn't do so in an After-School-Special hit-you-over-the-head kind of way. Rather, the topics were handled with dignity rather than in a cringy, in-your-face way.Though…I will say that the situation that Evan found itself in made me cringe on several occasions, but it was a cringe of embarrassment for Evan rather than because the tone of the book was preachy.All in all, I felt that this was a powerful well-told story that illustrated wonderfully the ups and downs of life in high school and how the course of our life can change from one simple decision, for good or for ill. Recommended!A big thank you to Net Galley for providing me with an advance reader copy of this book!This review originally appeared on my book review blog at