Dear Evan Hansen is a touching, pretty well-written novel centered around a unique plot. The story is centered around a high school senior named Evan Hansen, who digs himself into a huge hole when he decides to deceive everyone around him by telling them that he was close friends with a boy who recently committed suicide at his high school, Connor Murphy. Now, this sounds messed up, as in really messed-up, already, but once you read the events and the thoughts that run through Evan Hansen’s mind, as well as his general circumstances, it becomes clear, at least to me, that the story is more nuanced and complex than as described above, and that in my opinion is what makes the story appealing.
Some people take issue with the death of Connor being a major aspect of the story used to move the plot forward. I don’t think the authors made any sort of snide comments toward suicide and those who struggle with depression, and I thought it was employed in the story in a non-offensive manner, so I can’t really see why that’s such a stickler with some readers of this novel. Personally, I don’t think it should hold you back from trying this book, but if you do think you’ll find the novel offensive after reading other reviews/synopses, by all means, don’t read it.
There is, in a sense, a right answer to the problem that Evan Hansen struggles with throughout the story, but as you read on, you can tell that his intentions are good throughout. These sorts of stories make you think and are really open to interpretation in a way, which I generally enjoy in books and TV shows/movies. And apparently, as a side note and unlike the expected trend, this book comes after a play and is based on it, as opposed to the other way around. A film version is coming out later this year or the next, however, so if you don’t enjoy the novel, you can try the film, since you could have a different reaction to that.
Review By ~ Andrew