Book Review: Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich


Title: Dear Evan Hansen

Author: Val Emmich

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: October 9, 2018


From the show’s creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit 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.


I’ve heard great things about the musical, since I haven’t seen it yet, I decided to read the novel version instead.

Evan Hansen is a boy who suffers from anxiety. He’s tries to thrive in school even though he’s a nobody. One incident made him famous and became known as the dead guy’s “secret” best friend.

The story may have started out slow, but I think it was needed to establish all the complex relationships in the story. This was a character driven story (which I loved). I really liked the parts where the thoughts of Connor were being shown, because these chapters made me understand Connor more. My favorite character would have to be Jared. He may have been a bad influence at first, but he proved to be more than that.

A story about dealing with grief, forming an unlikely friendship, and finding hope. An important and inspiring read.

Favorite Quotes:

“The choices always seem to be fight or flight, but I typically end up somewhere in between, doing exactly neither.”

“I just wish that life, for once, for a day or even a few hours, would go smoothly.”

“That’s what happens when people leave, I think. When they’re gone, you don’t have to be reminded of all the bad things. They can just stay the way you want them forever. Perfect.”

“Sometimes you keep wishing for something to happen, and then, after so many times not getting the thing you wished for, you stop wishing, and that’s when it suddenly happens.”

Soundtrack: Leaves by Ben & Ben (I decided to choose a song that’s not from the musical as a soundtrack for this novel)

Rating:  Purple-FullPurple-FullPurple-FullPurple-FullPurple-Half

Buy Links: Goodreads || Amazon || Kobo || Book Depository

downloadAbout the Author:

Website || Twitter || Instagram

I’m a writer, singer-songwriter, and actor. I’ve released more than a dozen albums that you can stream right now if you’re interested. The Star-Ledger very kindly called me “one of the finest songwriters in the Garden State, [and] also one of the most prolific.” I’ve had roles on Vinyl (HBO), 30 Rock (NBC), The Big C (Showtime) and Ugly Betty (ABC) and been featured in a bunch of commercials. My debut novel, The Reminders, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers selection. My newest book, Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel, is a New York Times bestseller based on the hit Broadway show. I live in Jersey City, New Jersey.

19 thoughts on “Book Review: Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

  1. You’re right about the Connor parts of the book! I’m not sure if those parts are included in the broadway show (as I have yet to watch it soooomedaaaay) but if you just listen to the soundtrack, Connor’s parts aren’t anywhere. I liked that the book showed Connor’s side of the story as well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review!

    I loved this musical! I actually saw it before it transferred to Broadway, when it was still off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theater. It’s such a lovely and insightful show. I really want to get this book. I’m curious if there is more to the story or if it’s just the musical in book form. Either way, still hope to read this within the upcoming new year. The song “Waving Through A Window” from this show is probably one of the best musical songs ever written. The soundtrack is amazing, definitely recommend!

    Currently reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Read about 120 pages so far and it’s really good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome!! I really want to watch the musical, and I also love the song “Waving Through the Window.” My favorite would have to be “For Forever.”

      I loved “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and I hope you’re enjoying it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, “For Forever” is also a wonderfully amazing number in the show too.

        I actually just heard not too long ago that the musical will be adapted into a movie. I have no idea when the movie will come out, but that’s so awesome. Hopefully some of the original cast will be in it, that be nice.

        Yes, really liking the book!

        Liked by 1 person

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