Monday, July 9, 2012

The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

book cover of The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life

Title: The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life
Author: Tara Altebrando
Release date: July 5, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 239
Source: Publisher

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 Jake Barbone, 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.

The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life was not quite what I expected.  From the cover, title, and summary I expected a light, fun read.  It definitely was a fun read but not quite as light as I expected.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a mix of light and fun, and serious and contemplative between these pages.

Mary was the best thing about this book and the worst thing.  She was such an easy character to relate to because she was far from perfect.  She was not confident about herself or her dreams, crushing on a guy who was unattainable, and part of a fun buy flawed group of friends.  Not a day goes by where I don’t doubt whether or not my dreams are realistic, I always wanted guys I couldn’t have in high school, and my friends are idiots but I love them. I mean, who doesn’t share those things with Mary?  Sadly she did get on my nerves at times.  She was kind of mean at times (even if she didn’t mean to be) and a lot of the time she complained about the things she didn’t have and wasn’t thankful for the things she did.  She does eventually see the error of her ways but there were times where I couldn’t stand her.

Winter, Dez, Patrick, Carson, and Barbone were quite the mixed cast of characters.  Winter could have been the most popular girl but she had no self-confidence.  However that worked out great for Mary because even though Winter made mistakes she was a good friend. Dez really made the book awesome though.  He was funny, kind, a little flamboyant, and totally honest.  He helped show everyone both their flaws and their good qualities.  Patrick was a little hard to like because he was a lot like Mary; set in his ways.  He couldn’t see what he was doing wrong.  Carson was a player but he was a surprisingly nice guy.  Barbone seemed like a total jerk for most of the book but there was definitely more to him.  I would have liked to know more about him.  Really though The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life had a great, varied cast of characters.

Now like I said earlier, this book was a little heavier than I expected (in a good way.)  The book touches on lost chances, possibly crazy dreams, and growing up.  All the characters kind of realize that they missed out on a lot in high school because they were afraid to take chances.  The scavenger was their first and last big event in high school and it showed them what they missed out on and how they should take advantage of every opportunity in life.

Now the actual scavenger hunt part was awesome.  The lists of things to do and get were crazy!  Also, the clues were super confusing but fun to try and work out with the characters.  There were some crazy stunts pulled in this book and it was pretty much a non-stop laugh fest.  Now I’m dying to participate in a scavenger hunt!

Overall, The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life is another fabulous book from Tara Altebrando.  It’s the perfect mix of fun and serious.  Readers will devour this one and it will definitely leave you thinking.

Looking for more reviews of The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life?
The Book Life’s review

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  1. Hannah Doermann

    I’m so excited for this book – sounds like so much fun! And if it has some depth, too, that’s even better. I’m a little worried about not liking the MC now, since that can ruin a book for me, but I’ll still definitely be reading this one. Great review 🙂

  2. Nina

    I am really excited to read this one, the scavenger hunt sounds pretty awesome, and exactly like something I would have done in high school! (Oh wait, I did!:P)

  3. Addie R.

    I thought this would be a light and cheesy read too. But I’m glad to hear it’s heavier than what meets the eye. Great review! This sounds like a great read!

  4. Keertana

    Yay! I’m so glad you liked this one!(: I’ve been meaning to pick it up, so I’m glad it’s a nice mixture of entertaining and thoughtful. It definitely seems like an original addition to the realm of contemporary fiction, so I’m excited to read it myself! Fantastic review! 😀

    Ivy Book Bindings

  5. Krystianna

    I’ve heard of this one, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it yet… I’m happy to hear that it’s good! The scavenger hunt part is what really got me. You convinced me to read it now. 🙂 Great review!

  6. Lili

    I have to be perfectly honest when I say that this book seems really weird to me. When I first saw it I immediately wrote it off. Logic says that a book that focuses on a scavenger hunt (of all things) isn’t going to be the greatest. If you want to go on a scavenger hunt, you can do such a thing in real life, not through characters in a book. But your review makes it seem like it has a lot of hidden surprises within its pages. You say its heavier because it touches upon loss and missed opportunity. As an entering senior in high school, such things are heavy on my mind. Maybe this is a book worth checking out after all.

  7. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    I kind of love the idea of a scavenger hunt…. I always find they make for interesting scenes when they come in books, so to have a book based on it sounds pretty cool. I also really like it when books are a mixture of the heavier and the lighter. Glad you enjoyed it! =)

  8. Rebecca

    This sounds awesome! I wasn’t originally sold but after your lovely review I am now 🙂 Scavenger hunts are fun and I love that it has some serious aspects thrown in along with the light!

  9. Kailia Sage

    I can’t wait to read this! I wish my high school would have something like this; than maybe senior year next year will be more awesome!

    I agree with “Not a day goes by where I don’t doubt whether or not my dreams are realistic, I always wanted guys I couldn’t have in high school, and my friends are idiots but I love them.” all the way and I’m glad that’s what Mary was like even though she got annoying!

    ~Kailia @ Reading the Best

  10. Christina Kit.

    I love books about scavenger hunts, puzzles, races anything like that, especially in contemporary!!

    Mary seems like such a normal, relatable girl. I get what you mean, that her hurting others without meaning to and not being thankful were annoying, but that was my high school experience. I said things without thinking, didn’t see what was right there and was always upset when the boy I liked didn’t like me back.

    If you like this kind of story try 7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker.

    Lovely review!! 🙂

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