Monday, August 04, 2014

Review: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
Author: Tara Altebrando
Publisher: Dutton Juvenie
Release date: July 5th 2012
Pages: 239
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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An all-day scavenger hunt in the name of eternal small-town glory With only a week until graduation, there’s one last thing Mary and her friends must do together: participate in the Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. And Mary is determined to win.
Mary lost her spot at Georgetown to self-professed “it” bully Pete Lembo, and she’s not about to lose again. But everyone is racing for the finish line with complicated motives, and the team’s all-night adventure becomes all-night drama as shifting alliances, flared tempers, and crushing crushes take over. As the items and points pile up, Mary and her team must reinvent their strategy—and themselves—in order to win.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life sounded like a light, fun read, and I was really excited to read it - I love books set at the very end or right after high school, and the scavenger hunt sounded really random and fun. Thankfully, The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life lived up to my expectations, and exceeded them, even!  It's a super-fun read that has some depth as well, and I enjoyed everything about it.

The scavenger hunt was so much fun, and once it got started, I couldn't put the book down. Just like Mary, I know that, on the grand scheme of things, winning this scavenger hunt doesn't really matter, but I got really into it, trying to figure out the clues right along with the characters. I loved reading about all the random things they had to collect. I don't even know why, but I just had so much fun reading about this competition.

Asides from the scavenger hunt, the characters made this novel. I could see how some people might not like Mary all that much because she does make some mistakes, but I really related to her. I loved how strong-willed she is but how she's also open about her insecurities, and I could definitely see myself in her struggles of trying to figure out what she wants to do, so I for one loved her.

The cast of secondary characters is great. I loved everyone on Mary's team, and some of the other characters -  Barbone and Carson, in particular - are also fully developed. I loved reading about Mary's relationships with Emily, Patrick, and Carson - to add to the intensity and hectic of the scavenger-hunt, we have some romantic tensions and friendship drama going on. These conflicts are well-developed and easy to relate to, and I really enjoyed reading about them.

I really enjoyed The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life. The idea of focusing on this scavenger hunt might sound kind of dumb and insignificant, but it's so much fun to read about. With a hilarious plot, relatable characters, and entertaining relationship drama, I definitely recommend The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life! I will definitely have t check out Tara Altebrando's earlier novel, Dreamland Social Club!


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