The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life (2012)

By: Tara Altebrando

The last week of school before graduation finds the senior class participating in the unofficial senior week Scavenger Hunt. For twenty-four hours, teams must search for every item on the given list, which takes them all over their small town, without letting adults or school officials know what’s happening. Our protagonist, Mary, is dealing with her crush, the school bully, and her best guy friend liking her, all while trying to crush the competition (pun not intended).

So, I really enjoyed this book. More than I thought I would. But I have a few questions. If you’re racing against the clock, do you really have time to go swimming at someone’s house? If your friend and your crush like each other, do you really need to get upset about it and stop talking to them? Should we root for the best guy friend to get her heart in the end, or should we never want her to see him again?

I think it’s a sign of a good book that I’m considering that last one. That’s more what real life is like—messy, and convoluted, and confusing. And though I didn’t agree with the ending, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you're looking for some graduation nostalgia, definitely read it. It actually inspired a new novel I’m working on!

2018 Reading List

The last time I’d been looking for a book to read, and I was browsing the shelves of my local library, I found myself looking for a book I’d read but couldn’t remember the title of. It was frustrating, perusing the shelves to find that book. Made even more so by the fact that I nearly checked out a book I’d hated, simply because I couldn’t remember the titles.

So, last year, I decided to keep track of all the books I’d read, and then whether I’d enjoyed them. I started a list in a journal I had sitting around, and even went so far as to start writing reviews.

Most, if not all, of these are YA novels, because I tried this new thing where I went in alphabetical order at my library and just picked up books I thought looked interesting. This was following a dry-spell of reading that stemmed from my irritation of YA books all having the same plots and tropes.

I found some awesome books, and some authors that I will follow forever. Click on the titles for author info and a short synopsis/review.

  1. Phantom of the Opera
  2. Outlander
  3. Enclave
  4. Paper Towns
  5. Outpost
  6. Horde
  7. Famous Last Words
  8. The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
  9. The Keeper’s Tattoo
  10. Haters
  11. Ultraviolet
  12. Quicksilver
  13. Avalon
  14. Polaris
  15. The Gathering
  16. The Masked Truth
  17. The Pearl Savage
  18. The Savage Blood
  19. The Savage Principle
  20. The Island
  21. Scion of Conquered Earth
  22. The Boys Start the War
  23. The Boys Return
  24. Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven
  25. Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins
  26. Harley Merlin and the Stolen Magicals
  27. Harley Merlin and the First Ritual