“Dear Evan Hansen”: Stage or page, it’s all the rage3 min read

%E2%80%9CDear+Evan+Hansen%3A+The+Novel%E2%80%9D+by+Steven+Levenson+includes+some+music+from+the+musical%2C+while+adding+new+relationships+as+well.+
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“Dear Evan Hansen”: Stage or page, it’s all the rage3 min read

“Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” by Steven Levenson includes some music from the musical, while adding new relationships as well.

“Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” by Steven Levenson includes some music from the musical, while adding new relationships as well.

photo by Mimi Lemar

“Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” by Steven Levenson includes some music from the musical, while adding new relationships as well.

photo by Mimi Lemar

photo by Mimi Lemar

“Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” by Steven Levenson includes some music from the musical, while adding new relationships as well.

Mimi Lemar, Reporter

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You may have never heard of  “Dear Evan Hansen,” or maybe you’re obsessed with the soundtrack, but it’s too difficult for you to get to New York or Chicago to watch it. However, many of you probably don’t know that there is a book, “Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” that is both moving and hilarious to read.

“Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” by Steven Levenson and Val Emmich excites many “Dear Evan Hansen” fanatics, and teaches readers that “no one deserves to disappear.” The book incorporates some music from the musical, but also has relationships and storylines unique to the book.

The novel follows the path of high school senior Evan Hansen after the suicide of a loner at school, Connor Murphy. Hansen lies about his relationship with Murphy to Murphy’s family and says that they were best friends. As a result, Hansen experiences a whole new world with home-cooked meals with Murphy’s family, newfound popularity at school, and a girlfriend.

In this process, however, Hansen forgets about how fortunate he was, and he disregards his loving, hardworking mom and his mannerless Jewish family friend who assists him with the lie.

Several parts of the book are unique and are not in the musical, such as the introduction of different characters and Murphy’s perspective of Hansen, which helps further develop the plotline of  Hansen’s struggle with depression. While Hansen is the main character, other characters also develop a lot from beginning to end, as readers learn more about them and their struggles.

The overall plot of the book was easy to comprehend and had a powerful message. However, for people who listen to “Dear Evan Hansen: The Musical” on repeat, the book did not stick strictly to the storyline of the musical. The story of both the musical and the book is powerful, with a strong message for teens in the 21st century, especially for those who feel alone. However, for someone like me who has seen the musical and has listened to the music for countless hours, the book can be mildly repetitive.

Some may compare this book to “Hamilton: The Revolution” by Jeremy Carter because it is another book based on a musical; however “Hamilton: The Revolution” is formatted as a commentary on the songs from “Hamilton,” while “Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” is formatted as a traditional book with a plot line and development of characters.

I would contrast this book with other books that touch on issues of mental health such as “Counting By 7s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan, which talks about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green, which talks about anxiety in teens. The difference with this book is it not only talks about depression and anxiety in teens, but also talks about the impact of social media and technology on mental health and on the state of our society.

“Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” is an important read for teens and adults alike because it destigmatizes teen suicide and, in a larger sense, talks about how although you may feel lonely, you are not alone, which is such a crucial message for everyone to hear.

All in all, I recommend this book for people who have not seen the musical because the storyline is repetitive. But, for those of you who haven’t seen the musical, “Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel” shares an extremely powerful message.  It was comedic, fun, and represented the real power that teens have to change the world.

 

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