Title: Anything Could Happen
Author: Will Walton
Published: May 26th, 2015 (Push/Scholastic)
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Family, Romance
Source: Edelweiss VIA Scholastic
Rating: Four Stars
When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.
Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.
The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.
Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.
ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again.
Cover Thoughts: This is just one of the nicest covers ever for it’s simplicity. I love the font, the photograph, and the sparkler.
First Line: Let me tell you about the first time I knew for sure I was in love with Matt Gooby.
Anything Could Happen is a sweet, short story about life, family and being true to yourself. It takes place over one winter break Tretch has where he discovers he’s in love with his straight best friend named Matt.
I’ll stop right there, that right there is the reason I was dying for this book. an unrequited romance, you say? Why yes, yes indeed. My heart about burst with excitement. Of course, because I could relate to this real and somewhat painful emotion of wanting the one that doesn’t want you. There were moments when I had to just set the book aside because the feelings Tretch felt hit so close to home for me.
Tretch’s voice came alive to me quickly. I loved the way that he spoke, even if it was a little juvenile at times. He came across as a real character whose thoughts were his own. I liked seeing him explain his feelings, his worries and his happiness.
I found Tretch so easy to relate to because he tries to do the best by his friend. He helps him out with the girl he likes, he goes on his date and he supports him. All the while he’s silently suffering because his best friend doesn’t love him.
There is a specific thing I loved about Tretch and Matt’s relationships and that was how he didn’t place Matt on a pedestal. He knew Matt had his faults and could be careless. This was really nice to read about because he didn’t have on rose tinted glasses with him.
In a story of unrequited romance, what more could complete it than an unrequited romance aimed towards Tretch. Yes, this happened. My feelings about it are very mixed because I feel it could have been done without, but I do like how it ended up. I enjoyed seeing Tretch grow throughout the novel and see how his life changed. I liked the small town setting of Anything Could Happen, it made it very easy to see why Tretch kept his sexuality a secret from his family and Matt, despite Matt having two gay dads himself.
Besides the multiple unrequited love instances, there was a big emphasis on family. Tretch loves his parents, his brother and loves spending time with them. I loved this about him. I loved how much of a part of his life, his parents actually were. Not only were his own parents active in the story, but so were his grandparents, which I thought was really interesting. I rarely see grandparents in a story with as much impact as they had in Tretch’s life.
Other things I liked were the music references in Anything Could Happen. The title was taken from Ellie Goulding’s song “Anything Cold Happen” which plays a big part in the book and I loved it. Music was important to Tretch because he could dance to it and dance was important to him because he just loved doing it and he broke free. Along with dancing, Tretch liked reading as well which as a reader, I, of course, loved. In regards to a book Tretch read, I was really excited to see that he believed characters in The Great Gatsby were gay. I hadn’t thought of this before, but it gave me something to really think about when I re-read The Great Gatsby.
Admist the things I loved about Anything Could Happen, there were things I didn’t like. I felt a few situations were resolved extremely quickly and didn’t feel authentic at all. At the end of Anything Could Happen I was somewhat unsatisfied because of questions I still had. I think this works in favor for it though. The song “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding plays a part throughout the title and like it says anything could happen. The future of Tretch’s life is unknown but he has more to learn and more opportunities.
Anything Could Happen was the unrequited romance I’ve wanted for a while but never got to read about before. The family dynamics were strong. The characters were mostly well thought out and developed. There were a few weird instances that made me wonder why certain things were thrown in when they didn’t really mesh together. Overall, Anything Could Happen is one of my favorite light reads of the year and a great book about self discovery.
I believe things are going to get better for me, even though sometimes it’s hard to.