Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

I’ve always said that if I can’t relate to the main character in the book I’m reading in some way, then I won’t be able to appreciate the story. Well, let me tell you, I have never felt more understood by a character than I did by Evan Hansen. He was literally the embodiment of me in so many different scenarios and that made this story infinitely precious and invaluable to me.

His struggles with anxiety were one of the things that I honestly wanted to hug him for, BECAUSE ME TOO. It’s a whole different feeling when you can read something and think “I know exactly what that feels like”. You don’t just empathise with the character—in that moment, you ARE the character. It was written in such a way that the words echoed inside of you with feeling.

There was an aspect of this story that really surprised me—in a good way! I wasn’t expecting it but I really liked the unique perspective and intrigue it offered into the story that was unfolding. It added dimension to the whole thing and I always love stories like that!

One of the things that stands out to me in this book is the awareness it brings to mental health issues. It doesn’t just look at one aspect of them either, it looks at many. It looks at how it must feel like to be struggling, but it also looks at how to help someone in that position. Even more importantly, it shows the different types of mental health issues. Because there are many and not everyone feels or projects them the same way. This story took a topic that gets brought up often and managed to do something unique and meaningful with it.

Speaking of the musical, I listened to the soundtrack after reading the book and… I’m in love. All the songs are spot on and so beautiful and painful all at the same time. They tell a story, just as they were meant to. And they tell it well. Now I’m going to hopelessly flail around and try to get a ticket to see it on broadway because I HAVE to see this story back to where it all started—with the broadway musical.

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