Monday, July 14, 2014

That Night -- Book Review

From the cover :

As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.
Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.
Now thirty-four, Toni, is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni's innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni's life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.
But in That Night by Chevy Stevens, the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.

My thoughts :

That Night by Chevy Stevens is an exciting thriller. Transporting the reader back to high school--the cliques and the ultimate mean girls who seem to exist only to make the lives of others miserable--That Night ups the ante with a brutal murder, a prison sentence and the insistence of the narrator that she is, in fact, innocent.

Stevens successfully creates a main character whom the reader can like, in spite of her flaws, but isn't fully convinced she's being completely honest. Toni is a pretty young woman who is faced with the typical teenage drama and trauma. 

She doesn't always make the best choices for someone trying to convince her parents that she's trustworthy but that's exactly what makes her an exciting main character. As a reader, can I trust her to tell me the truth? I enjoy the doubt and Stevens is good at conjuring it. 

This depth of Toni's character makes up for the sometimes stock characterization of the the "mean girls" that plague Toni.

There are a few points in the novel that I found a bit slow, but overall the plot moved forward with gripping developments and action. The conclusion is especially exciting--a bit of a surprise but there were enough clues to make it fully plausible.

That Night by Chevy Stevens is a riveting thriller and a great choice for this summer. It's also the She Reads Book Club Choice this month so be sure to check out the reviews from other members *here* (enter to win a copy) and you can read more about Chevy Stevens and even see pictures from her beautiful hometown which is similar to the setting for That Night *here*.

That Night by Chevy Stevens is published by St. Martin's Press and released in June 2014.

**I received a complimentary copy of That Night through She Reads.**

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