Read for a Lifetime Preview: Dear Evan Hansen

Elisabeth Vujaklija

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Every year, new and compelling books are added to Read For a Lifetime. This year is no different. Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson, a new book on the Read for a Lifetime list, tells the heartbreaking, yet realistic, tale of lies, loss, and coping with mental illness. Evan Hansen is a senior with in high school with social anxiety, and is prescribed by his therapist to write a letter to himself every morning. When his letter falls into the hands of Conner Murphy, the outcast within the school, he grows angry due to Evan’s crush on his sister, Zoe, and steals it. Soon after, it is discovered Conner committed suicide with Evan’s letter in his pocket. This leads the Murphys to believe their son and Evan were close friends. Rather than coming forward with the truth, that him and Conner were not close at all, Evan allows the lie to fall out of control as he strives to keep the Murphy’s love and attention. This story, based on the hit Broadway show, expresses the internal struggle of a lonely boy as he tries to fit in, and the downward spiral he goes through to protect his lie.