Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review Duo: Before That Night + One Night That Changes Everything

Before That Night
Before That Night by Lauren Barnholdt
December 19, 2010
Young Adult
Purchased |Buy at Amazon|
Overall: Fab!
|Author Website| |Author Twitter|

Prequel novella to One Night That Changes Everything. Find out what happened "before that night"

My Thoughts on Before That Night:

I have a love hate relationship with prequels.  Sometimes, when they are published after the fact, they somehow feel incomplete, thrown together, and seem to have no baring on the story. However, Before That Night was much more than all of that.

In Before That Night we are introduced to Eliza and Cooper as well as a few of their closest friends.  We started off at Eliza's, sometimes fun and sometimes crazy, place of work and the birth place of her story with Cooper.

We are given a brief glimpse into the characters, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The novella has just enough time to rope you in, make you form your alliances, then leave you asking yourself, "What happened?" and "What happens next?"

One Night That Changes Everything
One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt
July 6, 2010
Published by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 242, Hardcover
Purchased  |Buy at Amazon|
Overall: Fab!
|Author Website| |Author Twitter|
Two years ago, when Eliza Sellman was in ninth grade, her dad found out he was being transfered and the family was going to move. Having always been shy and not so confident about her body, Eliza took that opportunity to start a list in her private notebook of all the things she planned on doing when she moved but had always been afraid to—like wearing a miniskirt and asking guys to dance; singing karaoke in front of strangers; posting a photo of herself on her Facebook wall in a get the idea. New town, new Eliza, right? Well, she'll never know because the transfer fell through and they didn't move. But Eliza kept adding her goals and secret fears to the list in the notebook. Now it's two years later, and in that time Eliza has had and lost her first boyfriend. But this was more than your average breakup...turns out the sweet and cute Cooper was only dating her as a hazing stunt by a secret society. Eliza got her revenge by posting some pretty nasty (and only sort-of true) stuff about Cooper online. That posting has had major consequences and now Cooper and his buddies have stolen her private notebook and won't give it back until she performs all the things on her list in one night. It's torture...until Eliza steals something from the boys she knows they'll want to trade her notebook for. What starts out as a night of humiliation turns into a night of revelations as Eliza learns what Cooper was really thinking when they dated, the real reason he's stolen her notebook, and how freeing—and life-changing—it can be to do the things you fear the most.

My Thoughts on One Night That Changes Everything:

One Night That Changes Everything picks up a few weeks after Before That Night left off.  We are reintroduced to Eliza, her friends Clarice and Marissa, Cooper and the president of a super secret (read: known but not publicized) 318's, Tyler.

For Eliza, still reeling from her break up, she feels like shes about to shatter when she finds out that her Purple Notebook is missing and in the hands of Tyler.  It isn't enough that her relationship with Cooper was based on an initiation tactic, some of her deepest throughts are taken from her as retaliation for posting about Cooper on a website her sister started.

I really wished I liked the characters more than I did.  I thought the girls were especially superficial and it was quite irritating at times.  Sure, high school girls are mean, catty and superficial at times but these girls were over the top.  I would have never left my friend at a club to chase after a guy, like Eliza's friend did.  There were many instances in this book that I thought were just insane and a little over the top.  Then there is the issue with the posting of the book.  Eliza was acting as if the book contained dirty little secrets of sexual encounters and murder.  I remember everything seemed like it was the end of the world as a teenager, but I felt like if she was going to get that worked up over a book of silly fears it should have been at least more character deforming and profound then being afraid to karaoke.

Despite my qualms, for a book which I thought would be all fluff, there were some underlying morals an lessons to be read and learned in One Night That Changes Everything.   Friendship and strength run thick in this story as well as laughter, adventure, and the truths about high school romances and first loves.

The thing that I was most surprised at in this set of books was the fact that while I was left hating Cooper at the end of Before That Night, he easily became my favorite character showing more maturity and thought than the three mail girls put together.  Had Eliza calmed down and let him actually speak rather than running off at the mouth she may have heard everything he proved to her during that one night that changed it all.

Before That Night and One Night That Changes Everything is definitely an entertainment read full of oh-my-gods of the hilarious sort and of the I'm-going-to-pull-out-my hair kind.  These two stories also had a movie feel to it, I just didn't read the book, I saw the scenes rolling before my eyes even getting caught between the screen every now and again.  Before That Night and One Night That Changes Everything overall was pretty darn fab! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment, I love comments! Make sure to follow my blog if you like it. Also, make sure to leave a link to your blog so I can return the favor.