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Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel

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

Narrated by Ben Levi Ross

Unabridged — 8 hours, 7 minutes

Val Emmich

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Overview

From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the hit Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore—even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.



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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Taylor Trudon

It may be impossible not to find pieces of yourself reflected in Evan's loneliness and yearning to be accepted…The book, of course, can't offer the glamour and theatrics (or the music!) of Broadway, but it still captures the heartbreaking experience of searching for connection. Evan's character may have been born for the stage, but his earnestness and relatability sing through the book's pages.

Publishers Weekly

07/09/2018
Plenty of books have been adapted into theater, but this novel inverts the formula, drawing on a Tony Award–winning musical for its empathetic story. Evan Hansen is a lonely, anxiety-ridden teenager whose therapist suggests he write an affirmative note to himself every day. When one of Evan’s letters falls into the hands of a classmate who later commits suicide, the boy’s parents mistakenly believe that Evan was his best friend. Evan struggles with correcting the misperception, which succors the dead boy’s parents and brings Evan popularity when a speech he gives, about how every life matters, goes viral. Alongside the show’s creators, actor and writer Emmich (The Reminders) is well suited to the task of taking Evan’s tortured conscience from stage to page, offering a particularly authentic first-person narration about family dynamics, the importance of kindness, and the horrors of not fitting in at high school. The timely plotline, about how one innocent lie can spin out of control with the help of the internet, makes this a must-read for teens and those who care about them. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jeff Kleinman, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)

From the Publisher

Even in book form, Evan Hansen's story sings. Required reading, especially for anyone who's ever needed to be found.—Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat

Today is going to be an amazing day, and here's why: because you're holding this book. The exact opposite of meh, DEAR EVAN HANSEN is a powerful exploration of grief and depression and the many ways we're present (or not) for those around us without always knowing it.—David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite, Mosquitoland, and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel is a terrific reinvention of an already brilliant piece of art. It's real and it's definitely going to speak to readers of all ages.—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and A Spark of Light

Yep, the hit musical will make you cry just as much in book form.—Entertainment Weekly

[A] particularly authentic first-person narration about family dynamics, the importance of kindness, and the horrors of not fitting in at high school.... A must-read.—Publishers Weekly

An unpredictable and endearing take on some classic themes.—School Library Journal

Compelling and deeply emotional.—Shelf Awareness

School Library Journal - Audio

05/01/2019

Gr 7 UP—Evan Hansen is a "shoulder shrug" of a high school senior, taking medication (somewhat as prescribed) for anxiety, and following his therapist's instructions to deliver pep talks in the form of letters to himself. Those familiar with the Tony Award–winning musical know what comes next: a letter left on a printer falls into the wrong hands. When Evan's barely-even-acquaintance Connor takes his own life, the letter is found, and people assume the two were secretly close friends. Further complications include Evan's crush on Connor's sister, Connor's welcoming and heartbroken parents, and faked emails that take on a life of their own. Evan knows he should put the brakes on the deception, but somehow the time is never right, and he barrels on ahead. Connor adds information in some chapters, speaking in the first person after his death. Narrators Ben Levi Ross and Mike Faist, as Evan and Connor, are convincingly teenage, though they sound quite similar. Mallory Bechtel sings occasionally as Zoe. VERDICT Evan's angst-ridden, often wry narrative is spot on for older teens, and explores the ideas of finding your community and contributing to it. Consider for high school libraries, especially where there is interest in the musical. Connor's ability to communicate and observe after death is counter to the reality of suicide, and may warrant a heads-up to school counselors.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX

School Library Journal

09/01/2018
Gr 9 Up–A novelization of the Tony award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. Evan Hansen, deeply lonely, anxious, and invisible to his peers, finds himself accidentally associated with the suicide of a classmate. The web of lies and truths and growth that comes from the original mistake changes Evan's life and many lives around his. Emmich, in collaboration with the playwright and song-writing team of the original musical, has pulled off a very successful translation from stage to page, helped by the fact that the core themes are classic YA material—heartfelt, morally ambiguous without being morally impossible, and tuning into the small connections and discoveries between teens. VERDICT An unpredictable and endearing take on some classic themes, this novel will especially appeal to fans of the show but will also be easily accessible to new audiences.—Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library

Kirkus Reviews

2018-07-17

Emmich (The Reminders, 2017) joins the team behind the Tony-winning musical to create this novel adaptation.

Awkward high school senior Evan Hansen has zero friends and a debilitating mixture of depression and anxiety. As a coping mechanism, his therapist assigns him to write letters to himself to reframe his thinking. When one of those letters is found on the body of Connor Murphy, a loner classmate and brother of Evan's crush, Zoe, the Murphys assume that Connor addressed a suicide note to Evan and that the boys were secretly friends. Evan does nothing to dissuade this notion, and soon his lies build as he experiences belonging and acceptance for the first time. But as his anxiety winds ever tighter and others notice loopholes in his story, Evan begins to unravel as he fears exposure. Evan's first-person narration is simultaneously sympathetic and frustrating, female characters feel underdeveloped, and the story's representation of mental health issues is at times underwhelming. Inserted interludes of Connor's ghostly first-person, post-death perspective provide marginal insight into his character, although it is here that readers learn of Connor's fluid sexuality. Whether or not they've seen or listened to the musical, many readers will latch on to the story's message that "no one deserves to be forgotten." Evan presents as white, and other major characters are African-American and Latinx.

Without the rich music and stage performance it's a middling story with themes better handled elsewhere; impeccably timed for the musical's national tour, however, teens will clamor to read it. (Fiction. 14-18)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173773906
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 11/15/2019
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews