Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Night That Changes Everything

I was excited to read this book as soon as I found out it existed. Maybe because it was right at the end of the year. Maybe because I'd just taken the final step toward crossing another item off my bucket list. Maybe just because it's a book about a girl who faces her fears, and that's inspirational. Probably a combination of all three. I reserved it from the library as soon as I learned about, and it came shortly thereafter.

One Night is the story of Eliza and her purple notebook. Once upon a time, her dad was going to accept a new job and her family was going to move. With the idea of starting fresh in a new environment ahead of her, Eliza writes down things she wants to do but has always been afraid to. Turns out her family does not move, but Eliza keeps writing down things she wants to do or say in the notebook. At the beginning of the book, the notebook has disappeared. Turns out, her ex boyfriend (who only dated her on a dare) and his friends have taken the notebook. To get it back, Eliza must do some of these things she's afraid of.

This was a cute and quick read. I love how it is set up as a progression through the evening. We start with Eliza and her friends at 7 p.m., and leave them right around 7 a.m. Eliza's best friends, Clarice and Marissa, are fun characters and great supportive friends for Eliza.

I especially enjoyed reading about Cooper. He is the "bad guy" -- he dated Eliza only because his friends made him do it as initiation into their club. When she found out and dumped him, he stopped calling. All that is a few weeks in the past, and in One Night we get to know Cooper who is fun, penitent and helpful. I found myself rooting for him, even as I understood why Eliza was scared to trust him again.

After reading several books about teenagers where their thoughts and actions are beyond their years, it threw me a little bit to read a book where the protagonist really thinks and articulates like a teenage girl. Props to Barnholdt for getting the style down, but I have to admit, I enjoy POV from a more mature thought and speak style. I also would have liked to know more about the notebook. I would have liked to see a page, maybe. What else was in it? A bunch of lists? How did they progress/change as Eliza grew up? Why did Tyler and the 318s chose the tasks that they did for Eliza? Also, this has nothing to do with the writing, but the cover of the version I read has a girl in a dress listening to an iPod and leaning against a car. What?!? That has nothing to do with anything! Who chose that?!?!

All in all, I'm glad I read One Night That Changes Everything. Barnholdt wrote a short prequel to One Night called Before That Night which I'm looking forward to reading next. Best part: she offers it FOR FREE on her website!  Click here to access that.



  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this book :-) I read it last summer & really liked it myself! The concept of it occurring in just 1 night was really fun. I agree about Cooper too, I found myself rooting for him also! And I hated that cover as well. I think they should have stuck with the original one. Did you see it? It showed a girl walking, holding her shoes, and the lights behind her are blurred out. It's much prettier in my opinion!

  2. Thanks for stopping by you two! :)
    Ginger, there was an original cover?! That sounds WAY better! =)

  3. This really is a book you will not want to miss. For Lauren Barnholdt fans, this is another stellar read. For those who haven't read her books before, definitely give it a try!