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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  • I just really wanna buy Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel as well as Gmorning, Gnight by @Lin_Manuel .. But I'm on a book…
  • “If she sits next to me in this small booth, I may have to…”
  • “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…
  • EW talks YA: Reviews of a bittersweet gay rom-com, the Dear Evan Hansen novel, and more
  • 25 positive comments

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    11 negative comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • 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.
    • Product came timely and was great!
    • I bought for my son who saw the play he read the book in one shot and loved it!
    • I actually discovered this musical when I saw the book listed on NetGalley. I know, that’s weird and backward, and I have to stop living in a cave (a cave filled with books?), but that’s how it happened. I saw a YA book based on the “hit Broadway musical” and thought, I need to check this out. So, I headed over to Amazon for a quick listen—and instantly fell in love with the music.So, I went into this book loving the musical and knowing the basic storyline (since I read a synopsis to fill in the gaps between songs). I wasn’t sure how the book would hold up, but I have to say it did pretty darn well. I love the addition of Carter’s perspective, especially. We finally get to see his side of the story and not just the picture that’s painted for us by others. And, of course, we get a deeper look into Evan’s perspective as well. This is the type of character who I might be tempted to really dislike—he does a myriad of horrible, unlikable things—but being inside his head, I found myself feeling sympathy instead of distaste. I love that his actions are never condoned—the overall message of the book is not that what he did (lying to the family of a kid who committed suicide) is alright—but we see why he felt trapped in the moment and then couldn’t quite dig himself out. He makes a LOT of bad decisions along the way, but I knew that going in, which probably helped. I will say that the book lacked some of the emotional impact of the musical (you just can’t replicate that heightened emotion that you get in song), and I missed the true connection to the moms that I get with the musical (since I’m a mom, I can completely relate to that feeling that you’re doing everything wrong and you have no idea how to make life better for your kids). Still, I was overall really pleased with this version of the story, and I highly recommend it to teens, who so often feel alone.***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (and then ended up buying my own copy). No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
    • I don't know what I can say about this - I am in absolute love with the novel. I have not seen the play, and only listened to the soundtrack after reading the book (I didn't want any spoilers). For those saying that they could not get hooked and had to actually close the book - I'm really not sure if you're reading it properly. The book goes into such great depths to personalize each of the characters that you feel like you're transported into the book and you're a classmate with Evan, or at times, actually him. Feeling what he's feeling, going with the emotions (the good, the bad, and the ugly).The book takes you on a journey that revolves around a lie (yes, a big one), and continues to build up until it reaches its breaking point. I had been waiting for what I dubbed "the drop" from when the lie was first spewed. And I kept reading with interest with where the story was going to go next...was it going to be found? Towards the end of the novel, that's where I let loose of all my emotions while reading...I released all of my emotions the same time Evan did. I wiped away tears from my eyes as I tried to read the last few chapters and as it all came to an end.What I will say is to make sure you read the "Epilogue" as well. There are a lot of loose ends that are tied that there helps put each of the character's - Evan, Jared, Zoe, the Murphys, etc. - stories to a complete close.If I could rate this more than five stars, I would. I would, without a shadow of a doubt, definitely recommend this to anyone that has been struggling or has struggled with mental health, feeling connected with anyone, or that just wants to read an amazing story for the fall (or any time of year).Don't trust in the negative reviews.