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.
The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life was an entertaining, fast read. It's contemporary, so there weren't any of the lovely fantasy creatures I adore so much, but Best Night was pretty good. Our main character Mary is sorta of a boring, "goody two-shoes" character who also happens to be judgmental as show throughout Best Night (but then again, who isn't somewhat judgmental?) So, the story progress through the course of one day where all those pent-up emotions you experience during high school rears its ugly head one last time before you have to let those feelings go. What Altebrando did really good was capturing the many moods of Mary and her friends Winter, Dez, Patrick and then Carson and Jill.
Like I said earlier, Mary is a judgmental girl who's so sure the impressions she has of people are always right and there's no need for a second chance to evaluate those impressions. Mary also believes herself to be invisible to her fellow classmates, but has actually left marks on them that weren't favorable first impressions. While I don't mind the "having to be nice to everyone" rule people like, I found it interesting that Mary didn't bother with many of her classmates of leaving them with any impression of her. The surrounding cast is also really good too. Winter is a sweet yet distant girl, with lots of her own problems of having to take care and raise her little sister while their mother ignores them. It was the times when Winter had scenes was when it got sad as you want to wrap Winter up in a blanket and hug her.
Patrick and Dez brought their own interesting stories to Best Night too. While Patrick was originally shown to be as the dude who pines for his best (girl) friend to notice him and maybe give him a shot, we see sides to him besides that role. He was funny and cared for his friends. Then, there's Dez who along with being Mary's friend was gay. And he got a lot of crap for it from his classmates. I liked how Aldebrando not only included an LGBQT* character, she also decided to explore how the classmates deal with it. While I didn't like how the other character treated Dez, it was definitely useful to show how kids that should be accepting of each other, weren't.
Carson, Jill and Jake weren't as focused upon as the core four were, I liked how Aldebrando showed you one side (the cliched version if you will) and later added layer upon. Carson and Jill were shown as the cute, perfect couple but as the story and scavenger hunt went on you saw how Jill knew the relationship wasn't gonna work while Carson was already ready to cut ties with her to move onto the next girl. Then Jake is shown to be the bully stereotype, but again as the novel and the scav hunt progresses, we see why the animosity between him and Mary is thick.
Overall, this book read like one of those high school teen movies where anything happens and anything goes. Like Easy A, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Do I Recommend this? Hell Yeah.
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