Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando
A few weeks before high school is over, seniors in the small town of Oyster Point participate in an unofficial scavenger hunt. For Mary, it is so important to not just be a part of the hunt but to win it. She wants to prove that she can do something important before heading off to college. A big part of her motivation is to beat Jake Barbone who is not only a bully (particularly to her friend Dez) but is going to her dream college of Georgetown on an athletic scholarship while she was rejected based solely on her academic record. In her thinking, Barbone took her spot.
The scavenger hunt items are many and vary in points (with the possibility of more points for creativity). Some items the teams just have to get (like a crown from Burger King), others have to be acted out (like picture of the team with an alien), and others are clues that must be solved. It's a race against time to earn enough points to qualify for the final round. And what does the winning team get for all the trouble? Some money, but more importantly a Yeti statue that they keep until the next year's hunt.
The night is so full of hope, but quickly becomes complicated when Mary's best friend since childhood confesses his love for her and she pines over another guy who is dating one of her friends. Actually the relationship issues gets even worse, but I will leave that for the author to explain.
When I read books about teens, I often find bits of myself in the characters. I am transported back to the time when I was a teen. I never participated in anything like this scavenger hunt, but I know the emotions Mary is feeling about moving on with life and trying to hold onto the last bit of your high school before going off into 'the real world'. Ultimately, what Mary needs to find most in the hunt is herself.
For more information about this book, check out the Evergreen Library catalog and the author's site.