The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life

By Katie

Title: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life

Author: Tara Altebrando

Release Date: July 5th, 2012

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life, by Tara Altebrando, is a fun, playful summer read. Protagonist Mary and her friends are excited to participate in their school’s unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. Organized by last year’s winners, the hunt is a longstanding tradition for seniors at Oyster Point High School. Each team is given a list of items to find and things to do, with a point value attached to each, such as “Any likeness of Tigger – 20” and “Play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ on a toy piano and e-mail us the video – 75.” After four years of an under-the-radar high school career, the idea of winning the hunt and claiming the prize (a four foot tall statue of a Yeti, three hundred dollars, and recognition from the rest of her classmates) is so enticing to Mary that she is willing to do whatever it will take to win.

With the hunt underway, drama begins to unfold as Mary deals with situations such as her friend Patrick’s attraction toward her; the arrogant, rude, and popular Jake Barbone’s drive for his team to win the hunt and continue to make Mary’s and her friend’s lives miserable; her longtime crush on Carson, whose relationship with his current girlfriend seems to be headed for a downfall; and her best friend Winter’s cold and mysterious attitude. If Mary and her friends want to win the scavenger hunt, they have to deal with their issues and work together to have a chance at victory.

This book is not outstandingly well-written, but it is humorous and deals with typical young adult themes in a unique way, although the plot focuses more on the scavenger hunt than the personal growth of the characters. It’s an easy and quick “beach read” that is suitable for lazy summer months, as opposed to a thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating book.

I would recommend this book to someone looking for a quick, silly, fun story of a typical high school girl and her group of friends. I enjoyed the adventure aspect of the scavenger hunt, as well as the romance and drama Altebrando intertwined into the escapades of the hunt. This isn’t a book I would put on my list of favorites, but for an amusing, pleasurable read, I found this book quite entertaining.

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