The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

BestNightofYourPatheticLifeTitle: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life

Author: Tara Altebrando

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Pages: 239

Rating: 3.5/5

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.

I thought this sounded like an interesting book about senior year and friendships and scavenger hunts, but I was left mostly disappointed.

My main problem? Mary. She was so irritating and full of herself and judgmental and completely clueless. She didn’t realize that (slight spoiler, although it seemed fairly obvious) her best friend was into the guy she liked, nor that her other friend liked her. She was obsessed with the one guy and refused to be deterred by anything, let alone his girlfriend. She was obsessed with winning the scavenger hunts in order to get back at a bully who apparently “stole” her spot at Georgetown or something like that. Honestly, I could care less. Sure, he was a jerk, but his friend was even worse, especially when it came to Mary’s gay friend, and I was so sick of listening to Mary complain about him that it didn’t make me hate bully Jake nearly as much as I was probably supposed to be.

The scavenger hunt itself, and some of the characters, are what kept me going through this book. It also helped that the book was quite short, less than 250 pages. If we had gotten the chance to see the story through the point of view of one of Mary’s friends, maybe I would have enjoyed it more, but as is, it was a bit of a chore to get through.

I read this book only a couple of months ago and yet it’s already easy to forget much about it, which didn’t necessarily work in the book’s favour. Overall, this book might interest other people but I just wasn’t a fan and had trouble really getting into the story.



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