That Night by Lisa McManus
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Length: Short (81 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Review by: Orchid
It can take a whole day to figure out what happened…that night.
On what was to be just another Monday morning at school, Luke’s girlfriend Jessica is nowhere to be found. Names like ‘psycho lover’ follow Luke to his locker, even from his best friend. Luke soon learns Jessica tried to kill herself at a party from the previous Saturday night, and she’s blaming him. With posts on FaceBook feeding the rumors of what happened that night, the school has to investigate.
Torn between worry, guilt, loyalty, priorities, and an urgency to clear his name and protect hers, he has to find her—he loves her no matter what. The teacher in the middle of the investigation is also the same one to provide academic and character references for Luke’s college applications due by the end of the week. Luke knows he’s not to blame, but with no contact from Jessica and everyone blaming him for what happened, he’s at risk of losing everything—Jessica and his dreams of being a mechanic—all because of what happened that night.
Note: Adult situations
Luke and his girlfriend Jessica decide to break up on Saturday night, but neither expects the fall out to be so horrifying. At school on the Monday Luke is treated like a pariah, and his ex is nowhere to be found.
Things go from bad to worse when he finds out Jessica tried to kill herself. The whole school turns against him and he is unable to talk to his ex to find out what happened after he left her at the party.
This story could so easily happen to anyone, a decision to split is taken out of context and a spiteful person takes advantage of the situation to get revenge for something that happened years ago. From this point everything spirals out of control.
The author handled the situation well, not giving away the core of the plot, but keeping the story going so I needed to read to the end to find out what actually happened. Written in the first person, it really grabbed my attention and held it to the end. I commend the author for making it short and terse as I feel it would have been detrimental to drag it out too long. Nice work and well written.