Title: One Night that Changes Everything
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Summary (from Amazon): Eliza's parents are out of town for the weekend and the high school junior is looking forward to a Saturday night hanging out with her two best friends. Instead she discovers that her private notebook has been stolen; in it, she has written down all her fears since she was 12. Tyler, president of a secret society at school, is threatening to post it online, unless she does exactly as he says. He is exacting revenge for something she posted online about Cooper, a fellow society member and her ex-boyfriend. And what about Cooper? Whose side is he on?
Review: I am a fan of Lauren Barnholdt. I absolutely loved Two*Way Street, so when I was at Half Price Books a few months back, I just had to pick this up, along with Watch Me. I started it last night, in the mood for a light, quick read--which is exactly what I got. One Night is fun, quick, and sweet. The writing is okay, the plot isn't always believable, but it's a cute story with a happily ever after.
First the positives. Though the writing wasn't stellar, it was real. Not quite as real as Robin Benway, but the characters were relatable (somewhat) and their problems were real. I'm almost positive 90% of high school girls can relate to Eliza's fears (myself included!).
Also, this book had my dying to finish. I read over half of it last night, then took it to school today and finished it before 9:30 (in my English class, when we were supposed to be watching Hamlet--sidenote, don't waste your time on that famous tragedy. Everybody dies.). I was dying to know how it would end, but also what Tyler and his gang would make her do next. It pulled me in, and since it was so quick, I was easily satisfied.
One thing that bothered me was the lack of character development. I couldn't really figure out who Eliza was--sometimes she seemed like an innocent good-girl, but other times she talked about drinking and kissing random guys. As the review on Amazon said, "readers waffle between rooting for the likable Eliza and thinking that she is so clueless that she half deserves what she gets."
I also didn't really understand her friends, who are constantly leaving Eliza ON HER OWN in a STRANGE CITY at like TWO A.M. Oh, I followed this guy I like. Oh, my cousin needed a ride. Seriously?! You're supposed best friend is being blackmailed and her ex-boyfriend is making her humiliate herself, and you just leave? Also, they acted like it was this huge brilliant plan to steal the notebook back. Um, hello! That was the first thing I thought of!
But now I'm getting nit-picky.
This is a cute story about conquering your fears. I share many of Eliza's fears, so it was cool to see her actually survive facing them (yes, I realize it is a book, but still.)
Was it as good as Two-Way Street? Definitely not. Was it good? Definitely. Will I read the rest of Lauren's books (Watch Me and Aces Up)? For sure!
Recommended for: those looking for a quick, fun read without too much depth.
P.S. Personally, I like the original cover picture better than the one actually chosen. Eliza's outfit is described in detail, but it looks nothing like what the girl is wearing on the real cover. I think this one makes the book a lot more intriguing.
What do you guys think?