That Night

 
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That Night
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
16+
Release Date
June 17, 2014
ISBN
978-1250034601
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As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn't relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren't easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night. Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison. Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni's innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni's life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night. But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.

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Overall rating 
 
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Amazing
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Toni wasn't the most easy daughter or a model teenager, but she was beyond disbelief and completely shocked when she was accused of murdering her sister, Nicole, along with her boyfriend Ryan, who had had some encounters with the police. She and Ryan served their time in prison. Now after twelve years, they are release on parole and try to make a life again in their hometown, Campbell River. But things aren't going easy for them. The only solution to truly be free, is to find out what truly happened to Nicole and who might have framed them. “But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.”

The story is divided between the past, Toni before the death of her sister, and the following to her detention and imprisonment, and the present, during her time in prison and when she is free on parole. The difference between the narration for the two times frames is noticeable, from a scare and confused teen Toni (past) to a strong and determine women who only wanted to get her life back (present).

The characters are really well developed. Toni, in the present, is smart, inquisitive, wise, and determine but cautious. She wants to learn the truth, but at the same time wants to keep a low profile to avoid going back to prison where she shouldn't have gone in the first place. But, the reader can see how much she has grown after her sister’s death, and more after starting piecing together what happen to Nicole.
In the past, she is a rebellious teen, but it’s sometimes was understandable considering how sometimes her parents judged her and compared her to her sister. “ Your mom was always so tough on you but didn't know what Nicole was really up to most of the time.“ How she was bullied at school. She did do some stupid things, drugs, breaking into neighbors’ houses. But all she wanted was the acceptance of her parents specially from her mom. “Why won’t you believe me? I just want you to love me. That’s all I've ever wanted.” I personally like how she turned her life around and become a strong woman.
Ryan whose dad was in and out of prison, wanted people to stopped comparing him to his dad. He had some run ins with the law like stealing gas. He was a troubled boy who did stupid things and drugs. In the present, he is stronger but has a lot of rage in him. All he wants is to find peace in his life but bringing to light the true killer.
Shauna and her companions, Kim, Cathy, and Rachel, enraged me. They treated Toni super bad. They were the cause of the bullying Toni undergoes as a teen and continues as an adult. They wanted Toni “to be scared, wanted (her) to know that no place , not even in (her) own home, was safe from them.”

This story is a bold page-turner, that will keep you reading to the very end. An all-nighter. The plot is deeply satisfying. The gripping writing is so emotional it will have you tearing up, enraged, frustrated, sympathetic, excited, heartbroken, etc. A roller-coaster of emotions. It kept me guessing and sometimes distrusting characters to the very end. I really enjoyed it. Definitely looking forward to discovering other pieces by Stevens. 4.5 to 5 Stars.
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