Book Review: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life

About the Book:

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.

About the Author: 

Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Her upcoming book, THE LEAVING (Bloomsbury), is a YA thriller that received a starred PW review and is a Junior Library Guild selection. Her other YA novels include ROOMIES, coauthored with Sara Zarr; Dreamland Social Club (A Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens), The Best Night of (Your) Pathetic Life, What Happens Here, and The Pursuit of Happiness.
Tara is a Harvard graduate who lives in Queens, NY, with her husband and children.

The Review:

It was the summary of the book that must have intrigued me. I don’t know because it was one of the ePubs that I had gotten hold of and never really got around to reading it. When I re-read the summary, I understood that me from two years ago must have wanted to read this book because of the theme of scavenger hunts. You see, we don’t have those in India and it was kind of intriguing for me.

The way the blurb is written you’d think you’re in for reading about heartbreaks and betrayals, and a night when nothing is what it seems. However, three chapters into the book and I could predict exactly what was going on in every character’s head.

The protagonist doesn’t really warm up to you. She’s annoying to say the least and makes a big deal about the fact that she’s never had a boyfriend and she’s still a virgin. You’d think she’s so desperate that she’d just jump into bed with the first boy who comes along (and predictably that’s her best friend, Patrick, who has been in love with her since god knows when).

Her other two best friends, Winter and Dez, are cardboard cut outs of from the predictable group of friends that any teen movie would have. Dez is gay and Winter is the pretty girl, who would backstab her best friend because the guy they both like, likes her more.

I honestly do not regret reading this book. But I wish I had opened it with lesser expectations. Because while the scavenger hunt serves as an excellent background for an amazing story, the author does little to take full advantage what could have been an excellent read!

The good thing about the book is how it is written. I like the easy flow of the language and how over the course of one night, everything you seem to have known all your life can change. The other good thing about this book I felt was the fact that it had a lot of potential, but unfortunately, it fails to deliver for me.

This is one of those quick, easy reads which you will forget as soon as you turn the last page. The only reason I remembered this particular story is because I wanted to review it on my blog. By the way, our protagonist is named Mary, and she’s as annoying as Diya was. And that’s saying something because I created her!

Rating: 3/5