Publishers Weekly Review
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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
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 © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.