Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Book Review: That Night by Chevy Stevens
Author: Chevy Stevens
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
Ok, so this wasn't fabulous but it wasn't terrible. Not my favorite Stevens book by far, but it wasn't the worst either. That distinction I reserve for Always Watching, which I couldn't even get through.
As a teen, Toni was your typical rebellious wayward daughter. Tough bad boy boyfriend from a crap home, smoking, drinking, drugs, sex - these were all just another fact of Toni's life back then. But unlike most other kids, Toni had the worst luck in the world.
Toni's sister Nicole is her total opposite, the good girl, the one who does what she should and is the apple of her mother's eye, where Toni is just a pain in her ass. Toni is also being bullied by the mean girls at her school, whose main goal in life is to mess up Toni's existence and set her up disasters. Unfortunately for Toni, no one ever believes her.
This is a pattern that dogs her steps the entire book. When tragedy strikes, and Nicole is found murdered by Toni and her boyfriend Ryan, it goes badly for the duo. Tried and convicted, they are sent to prison for 17 years. When they are finally released, where do they go? Straight back to the town that hated them then, and hates them even more now. I am not sure why - that would be the last place I went!
So of course things are terrible for Toni. To make things worse, Ryan is back in town, the great love of her life, and if they even talk to each other, it is violation of their parole and they will be sent straight back to prison. Pretty soon, the old bullying starts again, setting Toni up for falls for situations that she was not a part of - just like when she was a kid. This time she is bound and determined to get to the bottom of it.
This all culminates in a surprise ending, that is riveting and I didn't want to stop reading until I found out what happened.
Overall, this book was not bad. All of Toni's bad luck situations started to annoy me - like, just how much can she take and it eventually became annoying! And why would she go back to the place where she was convicted, by public opinion first, for her sister's death? I was able to get past these points and enjoy the book, although it got a little out of hand. Read this book when you are in the mood for a mysterious thriller, all snuggled down.