“Dear Evan Hansen” book review

Originally written as a musical, the novel is heart-stirring.

High school student Evan Hansen is anxious, depressed and feels invisible.

At his mom’s insistence, he sees a therapist who assigns him the task of writing a daily letter explaining how “today is going to be an amazing day.” Of course, Evan doesn’t really buy in to the assignment, but he perseveres and finally gets something written.

He decides to be completely transparent this time, instead of just writing any old thing.

Just as he’s taking the letter out of the printer at school, a troubled outcast & misunderstood student Connor Murphy snatches it from Evan and keeps it.

The letter was never meant to be seen by anyone.

Later that night, the Murphy family finds the letter after Connor takes his own life.

They mistakenly assume he wrote it and Evan was his only friend. They naturally seek out Evan in hopes he might be able to fill in some gaps in Connor’s life and death.

“According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a staggering 123 suicides occur every day on average in the United States. This story is a work of fiction, but the reality is that anyone anywhere can feel as if they have nobody to reach out to. No one should ever feel they have to suffer in silence. We need to keep talking about mental health and continue to reach out to those who might be suffering, If you or a loved one are in need of help, please know: you are not alone.”

A Note From the Authors

While I realize the topic of mental health, depression, anxiety and suicide are not cheerful and light to read about, I do believe this is an important and ultimately uplifting story and it has the potential to change lives.

Dear Evan Hansen would be a great book for parents and teachers to help better understand today’s adolescent experience in the world of social media and being connected electronically all day and night.

Since reading this book, I’ve done some personal reflection and examined my own attitude toward “troubled” or even so-called “bad” kids. Connor tells his story in alternating chapters and it was fascinating to get his perspective on the reason behind his anger and frustration.

Dear Evan Hansen opened my eyes.

Bottom line: I highly recommend it!

If you’ve read the book, or seen the show, I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy Reading!

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