St. Martin's Press
June 17th, 2014
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.
Like a few reviewers, I felt like That Night moved relatively slowly for more than half of the book, however the story picked up around 60% and barreled right through to the end. That night tells the story of Toni and Ryan, two young kids accused of a murder they swear they didn’t commit. I don’t know if it was supposed to be so obvious, but there was no mystery to me, as to who was really responsible for the murder of Toni’s little sister. The nail bitingly slow build to what I knew was coming was excruciating to plow through. I tried to skim but I felt like I would miss too much story so I dug in my heels and I actually wasn’t disappointed. As a teen who was bullied all through high school, reading this book threw me back to more than 20 years ago. Chevy captures the ridiculous notions of teenage girls so perfectly, as well as the very adult aftermath of framing a classmate for murder.