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

Mary is tired of being in the backseat of her own life. And more than anything, she’s tired of being second best. That’s why she’s determined to win the Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt: not only is it her last chance to leave her mark at school, but there’s no way that she’s going to let bully Jake Barbone come out on top again. But as the competition heats up, Mary’s team is no longer sure that they’re cut out for all of it, especially when every little tension between the friends comes to light. Mary thought that she was prepared to win this scavenger hunt at all costs, but with feelings and futures in the balance, she’s starting to reconsider just how far she’s willing to go—and how important winning really is.

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life is a fast-paced story of scavenger hunt madness and more: basically the type of competition I’d love to be a part of in my head but would probably hate to do in real life. That’s probably the main reason I’m drawn to stories like these, because they allow me be along for the ride without running around and strategizing myself. And for the most part, I really enjoyed riding around with Mary and her friends and watching as they checked item after item off their lists. This story isn’t just about an epic scavenger hunt adventure, though; it’s also about Mary’s changing relationships with her closest friends. While I was certainly interested in this aspect of the story, I found that unfortunately, emotions and feelings often got drowned out by the manic pace of the plot and the urgency to get as many points as possible. As a result, I never truly connected with any of the characters of this story and the ending wasn’t nearly as satisfying as it could have been, even though it ends on a hopeful note. Despite this, I still found The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life a fast and fun read.

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life appeals to readers who also enjoyed Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg and One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin.

Rating: 3.75

Review copy from publisher Penguin

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