Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich (Book Review)

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Format: Hardcover & Paperback - 368 pages
               Audio Book - 8 Hours 8 Minutes
               Kindle - 2625 KB
               Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 978-0241361870
BNID: 978-0316420228
Genre: Young Adult / Social & Family Issues / Anxiety / Depression / Suicide Prevention

Buy The Book:

Book Description:

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.

Book Teasers:

Book Trailer:


My Book Review:

It all began with a letter to oneself that leads to a tangled web of lies ... but out of it comes a social discussion and movement with a powerful message that "you are not alone, and that you matter!"

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel is a more in-depth coming-of-age adaptation of the hit Broadway musical that examines the important social issues of mental health (anxiety, isolation, the struggle to belong, invisibility, self-importance, self-acceptance, depression) and suicide.

Told in the alternating first person perspectives from high school seniors Evan Hansen (mental health issues) and Connor Murphy (suicide), the reader follows Connor's perspective of witnessing the aftermath of his death, and Evan's perspective as he tries to deal with his downward spiral after his letter to himself morphs into a tangled web of lies about being Connor's best friend, all done in the name of trying to fit in and help Connor's family deal with their grief.

I saw the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen at the beginning of January, and it was such a profound story that had me feeling the full gamut of emotions as Evan and Connor's story unfolded. I applaud the author for adapting this amazing musical into an unforgettable book that everyone should read. While I loved the musical, it did leave me with some questions, and I am so glad that Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel went more in-depth into Evan and Connor's story, it cleared up a lot of the questions, and really made more sense.

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel is an emotional and inspirational story about serious social issues that affects everyone. Mental health and suicide are important issues that needs to have a perpetual conversation in our society. The story and musical's powerful message says it all: "you are never alone, you matter, and there will always be a tomorrow."

*Note: At the end of the novel, there is an important listing of mental health and suicide prevention resources available.


About The Author

Dubbed a "Renaissance Man" by the New York Post, Val Emmich is a writer, a singer-songwriter, and an actor. His first novel, The Reminders, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers selection and his follow-up, Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel, based on the hit Broadway show, was a New York Times bestseller. He's had recurring roles on Vinyl and Ugly Betty, as well as a memorable guest role as Tina Fey's coffee-boy fling, Jamie, on 30 Rock. Emmich lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page


  1. Glad the book is as good as the show.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. Hi Sherry! The play was wonderful, but the book was so much better because it went into more detail. Have a great weekend.