Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich ~ Publication Day 10-9-18 ~ @ValEmmich

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.

The power of of one lie can be devastating. Evan’s lie was not planned or maliciously executed to hurt anyone. In fact, his lie sort of fell into his lap when he least expected it. The letter he wrote to himself as part of his therapy sessions was found in Connor Murphy’s pocket. When confronted about why “Connor” wrote to Evan and why he said the things he said, Evan didn’t have the heart to tell the truth.

As a matter of fact, he sought the advice of another boy who warned Evan not to tell the truth. And we all know what happens to a white lie after it snowballs down a snowy hill for a long time!!!! Eventually it takes more work to cover up the original lie with more lies!

Told in alternating perspectives (most Evan), this story was powerful! When Connor Murphy narrates the story, the reader slow learns more and more about how he met with fate the day he spoke with Evan. When Evan narrates the story we learn about how Evan’s life was spiraling out of control too. Two boys. Two lives. Similar problems. Two completely different ends.

This story’s message about how you never know what someone is going through by just seeing the surface of their lives, is the central theme of this very powerful story about coming of age, struggling with identity, family expectations, and societal norms. It was fabulously told and told in a way that will be remembered for a very long time.

I highly recommend “Dear Evan Hansen” to any YA or Adult!

5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Val Emmich is a writer, singer-songwriter, and actor. He has had recurring roles on Vinyl and Ugly Betty as well as a memorable guest role as Liz Lemon’s coffee-boy fling, Jamie, on 30 Rock. His debut novel, The Reminders, was a B&N Discover selection that Library Journal called “quirky, touching and addictive.” Emmich lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his wife and their two children. 

Steven Levenson is the Tony Award–winning book writer of Dear Evan Hansen. His plays include If I Forget, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, Core Values, The Language of Trees, and Seven Minutes in Heaven. Honors include the Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Outer Critics John Gassner Playwriting Award, Drama League Award, Drama Desk nominations, Hull-Warriner nomination, Lucille Lortelle nomination, and the Helen Hayes Award. A former Artist in Residence at Ars Nova, he worked for three seasons as a writer and producer on Showtime’s Masters of Sex and is a founding member of Colt Coeur and an alumnus of MCC’s Playwrights Coalition and Ars Nova’s Play Group. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts. A graduate of Brown University, he is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., and the WGA. 

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the Tony, Oscar; and Golden Globe–winning songwriting team behind the Broadway musicals Dear Evan Hansen (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Helen Hayes Award) and A Christmas Story, The Musical (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). Other musicals include Dogfight, (Lucille Lortel Award winner, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, London Evening Standard Awards nominations), James and the Giant Peach, and Edges. Film projects include: La La Land (Lionsgate); Trolls (Dreamworks Animation); The Greatest Showman (FOX). Upcoming film projects include Snow White (Walt Disney Pictures); Medusa (Sony Pictures Animation); Aladdin (Walt Disney Pictures). TV credits include Smash, Sesame Street, The Flash and Johnny and the Sprites, and Fox’s A Christmas Story live musical. Additional honors: Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre (American Academy of Arts and Letters); ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award; Jonathan Larson Award. Both are graduates of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre program and members of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.

Amazon ~ Thriftbooks ~ Kobo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s