Friday, September 7, 2012

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

Genre: social issues
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 239

High-school Senior Mary Gilhooley and her friends have spent their entire lives—but especially the last four years—feeling like underdogs and also-rans. Having suffered constant ridicule from Oyster Point’s resident bully king and superjock, Jake Barbone, they are all just dying to go away to college and never come back. But with only a week until graduation, there’s one last thing Mary feels they absolutely must do together: compete against Barbone in the Oyster Point High School Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt—and win.
Everyone is racing for the finish line with complicated motives, and Mary’s all-right adventure quickly becomes nonstop drama as shifting alliances, flared tempers, and crushing crushes take over. Though they are racking up points at a rapid clip, it soon becomes clear that she and her friends must reinvent their strategy—and themselves—if they want to even stand a chance at winning.

I loved the idea of this book! An unofficial official scavenger hunt? Sounds fun! The list was weird and the places they went to find these things odd but the overall message wasn't about winning or crushing the competition: It was about growing up and friendship and self-discovery.

Each of the characters were unique and individual. I think Tara did a good job of writing in each of their stories. I also liked how the stories connected with the scavenger hunt. Because while it was Mary's idea in the first place, everyone else had a reason for being there. For some it was revenge and for others it was about proving themselves. Tara did an excellent job of wrapping it all up in the end so that everyone was satisfied.

Mary was such an intense character. Though you're rooting for her team to win, you can't help but want to slap her over the head for how stupid she was being. I thought her wake up call was necessary and afterward, she was a much more likable character. I guess that was the point but it still needs to be said.

Overall, it wasn't absolutely amazing, but it was funny, mind-bending, and pretty cool. Where originally it might have just been for fun I think Tara changed the story into something a bit more serious. You have to be honest with yourself before you can really see how things truly are.

The Cover: Cute! I like the cut-out words that show some of the items on the list

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