Wednesday, November 13, 2013

One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt

Published June 14, 2011 by Simon Pulse (first published 2010)
Paperback, 272 pages
Borrowed from library

Ever since she was twelve, Eliza has been writing all the things she's too afraid to do in her purple notebook. Things like singing karaoke in front of strangers. But between the pages are secrets about herself and her friends that can NEVER get out. So when Eliza finds out her purple notebook has somehow found its way into her ex-boyfriend, Cooper and company's hands, she needs to figure out a way to get it back. Unfortunately, the only way she can get it back is if she completes four things - specially hand-picked to be the most humiliating - off of her notebook, otherwise, all her secrets will be posted online.

I was really looking forward to One Night That Changes Everything because it's gotten some really great responses from Goodreaders so naturally, I've felt huge disappointment since reading the book and finding that it's not as I imagined.

I can give Barnholdt the credit of having an interesting and original idea. As a reader, any book about making someone do humiliating things is exciting for me, as sadistic as that sounds. I love watching the character complete crazy tasks I would NEVER EVER think of doing EVER and bouncing back from their experience, with their head held high. This book had that. This book had the crazy tasks (and the funny narrative to make feel less bad about laughing at Eliza) and the bouncing back but besides that, there wasn't much to this story.

The characters were all so un-likeable and so one-dimensional. Eliza was annoying. Cooper was annoying. Clarice was annoying. Marissa was annoying. The 318s were annoying. EVERYONE was annoying and EVERYONE had no personality. They were all one homogeneous streak of annoying teenager after the next. You know, I almost feel a bit embarrassed that people might read this and think this is how teenagers talk and act. Everything that came out of everyone's mouths were just so juvenile and made me want to play adult and give them a strict lecture about what it means to be mature and sensible.

Nothing that any of the characters did made any sense. I didn't feel that their actions were justified. It just seemed to happen randomly. I still don't know how on earth Cooper and the 318s were able to get Eliza's notebook. I still DON'T know a lot of things. Granted, this is a rather short book but personally, I would pick a 600 page novel with well-developed characters and plot over a short one lacking in both. 

I really could go on and talk about everything else that I wanted but didn't get but honestly, no more time needs to be spent on explaining why I didn't like this book.

One Night That Changes Everything was one book I've been looking forward to for a long time but ultimately, left me disappointed. While I did entertain the idea of this book and while the narrative was very funny (I legitimately LOL-ed at some points), the rest of the book was lacklustre and left me wanting MORE. I wanted MORE from the characters and MORE from the story. I really feel like this book had the potential to become a really solid and enjoyable read so it was a bit disheartening to see it so bland. There was really no point to this story at all and just one quick word before I sign off, I BEG TO DIFFER with that title. Tell me, what exactly has the night changed?

people who want fast and entertaining reads. If you like Kody Keplinger or Susanne Colasanti's work, you might enjoy this one. 

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