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The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life - Tara Altebrando I absolutely loved the first scavenger hunt in this story. Despite my lameness at them, I think scavenger hunts are pretty fantastic; mostly, I like the idea of them because it means clues and adventures and hauling weird crap around. I was excited from the moment Mary and her team got their list; I mentally went through all the items on the list that currently could be found at my house. I kind of wanted to go home and get them out, just because (I'm crazy)
While high school was never like Mary's experience for me, being a young woman who thinks of herself as upstanding and good while actually being a clueless jerk was totally me - and sometimes still is - so I could identify with her. I had friends but I wasn't very nice to them because I was mostly in love with myself and the image I'd created for me. My grades were good but I always felt like I was being overlooked for everything, like I shouldn't have to put forth any extra effort to get noticed, like I was good enough at the level I was at and why didn't everyone else get that, too? Yeah. I was a charmer in high school.
Ok, so, I was enthralled and excited all throughout this first scavenger hunt and I could not wait to get into my car every morning and evening so I could listen to more of this book.
BUUUUTTTTT... Once the second hunt started, everything sort of fell apart for me. Some elements of the story became repetitive (Mary and Patrick hashing/not-hashing their feelings out), the whole Carson/Winter thing, driving around...the excitement I'd felt during the first hunt was gone. I missed Des, I didn't like Carson, Winter became super boring and Winter and Mary's tiff? Um...that's not how girls fight over boys. Nor do they immediately realize they're being assholes because they're fighting over boys. To me, that entire scene, from sneaking around Winter's house to the "discussion" was completely unbelievable; I couldn't feel any of it. Then I was completely let down from the point Mary had to go home until the end. First, I didn't feel the ending felt true to the rest of the story; it's like it was wrapped up too quickly or given a Hollywood ending because it was running out of budget. I wanted Mary to have to stay home, to help from her bedroom, to be cast out of the group because, let's face it, she's a crappy person at this point in her life, but I wanted her to learn that her friends still need her, I wanted her to find clues and figure things out and text her friends and to feel like maybe she had to work on others people's terms, not just her own, in order to accomplish a greater good. I wanted her mom to be more angry. I wanted her sister to puke all over her and I also wanted her to have to take some responsibility as an older sister. I didn't want her to be allowed back out, I didn't want her to get that second chance because she hadn't really proven she deserved it. I wanted her to really have to work to re-earn the trust of her friends. And then when they stole the principal's camper and just cruised through the parking lot and then out to the beach? (And was the other group ok with that? Because they probably shouldn't have been. What even became of them? They deserved the damned Yeti, too) I was all, "Really? THIS is how we end it? REALLY?" It was like a slap from the ghost of The WB. I just shook my head sadly.
So while I would highly recommend the first part of this book, I can't say I have a lot of love for the entire story. It just wasn't a satisfying ending to such a fun beginning. The thing that made me the most sad was that I was glad to turn it back into the library when I was done with it.