Published by Push on 26 May 2015
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, GLBT, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
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Place(s) Traveled To: Warmouth // Samsanouk – Unknown USA
First Line(s): Let me tell you about the first time I knew for sure I was in love with Matt Gooby.
ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is the young adult debut novel by Will Walton and is told from the POV of Tretch who feels uncomfortable in his own skin at the start of the novel. Not because he is gay but because he doesn’t know how to tell those that he is closest too and so he feels awkward around them. To complicate things, Tretch believes that he’s in love with his best friend Matt who is most definitely into girls and who keeps trying to hook Tretch up with a date. For a short novel, ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN, took my awhile to read as it was a slow moving story. It also didn’t help that there didn’t feel like there was much spark or life to the story even with all that was going on. There were many ideas in ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN but they weren’t really fleshed out enough to be interesting to me.
Another thing that hurt my read of ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN was that there was no real romance to the storyline. Yes, Tretch had feelings for his friend Matt but he knew from the start that those feelings would never be reciprocated. Now I don’t always need romance in a story to like it. Sometimes the lack of romance can be refreshing as its so different than the norm. But I think in this case a romantic storyline could have only helped things as there would have been some action to the the story. Though even without a romance I did like Tretch’s character. I liked his love of music and how he wasn’t afraid to get lost in the lyrics and to make up dances to his favorite songs. I remember doing that myself when I was growing up and this book gave me a sense of nostalgia for those moments as its something I stopped doing somewhere along the path to adulthood.
At its core ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is a book filled with secrets. There are so many secrets being kept by all the characters. The fact that Tretch is gay, how Matt really feels about this one girl, and various family secrets. It made for a lot of things to keep track of and deal with which weighed this story down. I think its all the secrets that made this one a slow read for me. It just seemed as if ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN lost focus at times and could have used a bit more focus and direction.
I did enjoy the friendship of Matt and Tretch but there were times when it seemed like Matt was using Tretch. Like Tretch was a placeholder until his real life began. When something happens at the end of the novel, and not Tretch’s coming out to his friend, it just seems as though Tretch was more affected by it than Matt was. Though I did like how accepting Matt was of Tretch and the feelings Tretch had for him even if he didn’t reciprocate. ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN will never be a favorite book but I do think its an important story and that Walton is an author to watch. I look forward to seeing what Walton writes next and I hope that I like it better than his debut.