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

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando
Release Date: July 5th, 2012
Penguin, 239 Pages
Sub-genre: Contemporary
Source: Bought the Audiobook
Age Group: Young Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

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 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.

This book was so much fun and I haven’t had this much of a “fun light-hearted adventure” in a while. Mary is trying to win the senior scavenger hunt to prove that she’s worth something and she ends up discovering more than just items off of a list – she discovers herself and what it means to grow up. Sure, she a whiny teenage girl – she complains about things like how she didn’t get the guy and how she didn’t get into her first choice college – “first world problems” as called by a guy in the book and I have to say that I agree. But as the book progresses, she begins to realize that maybe these things aren’t important. But if they aren’t, then what is?

Mary has her ups and downs – her highs and her lows – and it was entertaining to go through this night with her. I’m not usually one for 24 hour books – a few good ones have found their way onto my Read list – The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. And this one is another that works. The time frame is great – it doesn’t feel too slow/drawn out and it doesn’t feel rushed either.

The characters are believable and flawed and that’s what makes them so great. They mess up, they get mad for silly reasons – they’re teenagers. Tara Altebrando got the feeling of these soon-to-be college freshman just right and made me nostalgic for that summer after high school and before college. She just has something special that makes her books to enjoyable to read. And the voice actor really brought a lot to the table with her different character voices.

Overall, a delightful read that fans of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson will love!

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