The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando.
Hardcover, 239 pages.
Publication Date: July 5, 2012.
Published by Dutton Juvenile.
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 have good things and not-so-good things to say about this one.
The idea was great. I thought that an all-day scavenger hunt to celebrate the end of senior year was a fantastic idea and was lots of fun. I loved that the lists were shown in the book and that I (almost) always felt right there in the middle of the scavenging action. I also loved that there were bonuses and clues texted through them throughout. It added some surprises. This kind of hunt is exactly what I wished my senior year "Car Rally" had been like. More fun than actually troublesome (or icky). I definitely enjoyed that part.
What I didn't really enjoy, though, was everything to do with the characters. Which sounds bad. There were two plots going on, in a way. One was the scavenger hunt and intertwined with that was all the personal drama and friend drama and "high school is over" drama that comes with being a senior. I didn't like most of this drama. I did like the "high school is over" stuff because it was realistic and since this hunt was like their last hoorah in a way, it totally fit. However, the team that the main character, Mary, is on is full to the brim with tension and annoyance and hurt feelings. This really bugged me because when I picked this book up I was hoping for a fun, light, fast-paced read, but I felt that all the drama bogged it down.
Almost every character also felt extremely selfish, which drove me crazy. There was something each of them wanted and they pushed everyone else way too hard in order to get it. It was so frustrating. If there's ever a day to get over all your selfish anger at everyone else, this was it! The only character I actually liked was Mary's friend Dez. Dez is a genuinely good and funny guy, but because of circumstances I won't name (it'd spoil some of it), we don't even see him at all for a good chunk of the novel!
Overall, this was a bit of a disappointment. 2.5 Stars.