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.
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I loved that Tretch's family is very important to him, and so they're important to the story. During the holiday season Tretch spends a lot of time with his close and extended family, and I loved that. Growing up my huge extended family played a big part in my life throughout November and December, and it was refreshingly hoenst to see that reflected in a YA book. Tretch's parents and brother are also very supportive of him, in just about every way possible, and that was delightful to read.
There is so much hope in Tretch's world. He never gives up, and that combined with the support he gets from friends and family is simply unbelievable. I wish I had this book as a teenager, and I want to share it with every teenager I know.
A powerful story of self-discovery and empowerment. ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN will warm the hearts of readers.
Tretch is a closeted gay boy living in a very small town which makes it difficult for him to keep his feelings for his straight best friend a secret. Matt is completely oblivious to Tretch’s feelings and that only makes matters worse when Matt develops a crush on girl. Not only does Tretch have to contend with his growing feelings, but he has to deal with his family who have no idea as to who he really is, the girl at the bookstore who is harbouring a massive crush on him, and a bully at school who is so close to guessing the truth that Tretch is struggling to keep secret. Despite being an amazing dancer, Tretch must learn to step outside of his comfort zone and show the world his true self.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I don’t know if I just read this book at the right time, or if it’s because I’ve been on a contemporary binge for the past few weeks, but I found the plot compelling and the characters quirky and warm. I was very surprised by this as well, considering the plot is very simple and placid. I do have to warn readers not to expect a dark, angsty coming-of-age story. Anything Could Happen is nothing like that – it is the journey of a young man trying to come to terms with his sexuality, his friendships and his family relations. Tretch explores his life and we are given a chance to experience it along with him.
Tretch was a very relatable character. His feelings of inadequacy and issues he has being truthful with his family are all things readers will be able to understand and connect with. Despite the issues he has, Tretch is a very optimistic boy who has a loving relationship with his parents, brother and grandparents. He enjoys reading classic books, he loves Taylor Swift and he lives to dance. I think the dancing scenes were my favourite of the entire novel. Tretch becomes the person he truly is deep down when he dances and it’s so refreshing to read about a teenage boy experiencing this.
Every other character in this novel is fully fleshed out and complex, with their own individual personalities and experiences. You can really tell how hard Walton worked on these characters, embodying them with rich emotions, desires and love. I was especially intrigued with Bobby, Tretch’s bully. My only criticism is that I wish we got the chance to explore Bobby’s backstory a little more and what made him hate Tretch as strongly as he did. I, for one, believed that Bobby was also closeted and couldn’t handle the fact that he was in love with Tretch, but nothing like that came to fruition, it was just something I conveyed from the text.
Matt was another sweetheart I wanted to bundle in my arms and hug. His love for Tretch, while platonic, was very sweet to read. I’m so glad Walton has given a fantastic representation of male friendship, one that doesn’t continually articulate “No Homo” as soon as a deep connection is developed. Tretch’s family were loving and understanding, and you just know that they are going to accept Tretch when he finds the courage to come out.
The writing was fantastic as well. As it is from the perspective of a teenage boy, I was worried that the writing would be subdued with silly innuendos and references to comics and video games. But that wasn’t the case here. Walton’s writing perfectly matched the tone and sweetness of the book. Walton was able to perfectly get into the mind-space of a confused, sixteen year old boy and that made the novel shine.
The ending was a little abrupt and there is definitely plenty of room to explore Tretch’s continuing self-discovery in a second novel. I really hope Walton makes that decision and writes a sequel. There is so much more to Tretch’s story. If Walton needs assistance, he can contact me because I have so many ideas for a second book – and yes it involves romance.
Anything Could Happen was a quick and easy-to-read novel, but more than that, it was loving and tender and constantly made me smile. I can’t wait to see what else Will Walton has in store for us. I will definitely be picking up his future novels.