Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: That Night by Chevy Stevens (audio)

Title: That Night   
Author: Chevy Stevens      
Narrator: Jorjeana Marie  
Published: June 2014, Blackstone Audio/St. Martin's Press
Length: 11 Hours 16 Minutes  
Source: Audio copy via Audible/ Print copy via Publisher/She Reads

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.

My thoughts: I have been a fan of Chevy Stevens since first coming across her book Still Missing. I happened to listen to that book and enjoyed that experience so much that I've decided that I would continue on that path and listen to all her books on audio. Of course, I was thrilled when She Reads selected Chevy Steven's latest book as their July book club pick and obviously, I decided to listen to it!

This story sucked me in right from the beginning. The way the story alternates between the present and the past left me wanting more each time it switched to the other. It was as if we were given just enough to keep us interested before switching to the other time period.

Having Toni as the narrator was an interesting choice. Is she completely reliable? As we learn more about 'that night' I wavered back and forth on that...did she do it or not? There are many reasons to be weary about what Toni is telling us - after all she admits she was a rebellious teenager, but there are just as many reasons to believe that she is telling the truth and that she was set up.

There are quite a few twists and turns in this book - some that will take you completely by surprise. I admit I definitely did not see the ending coming and that's fine with me...I had my suspicions and while some proved to be correct, others I did not see coming at all! 

This is a fast-paced book, but it is not necessarily an easy or enjoyable read. It's a hard, intense look at bullying, teenage angst, rebellion, and even the relationships between teens and parents. That being said, if you like psychological thrillers and being on the edge of you seat, this book is for you!


Audio Thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Jorjeana Marie narrate a book and I found her to be a great narrator, especially given the type of book this was. I thought she did a great job of adding tension to her voice when needed, giving Toni that sense of desperation and frustration that she felt as easily as she did the anger. I will definitely be checking out what else Jorjeana Marie narrates.



The July Book Club Selection from She Reads is That Night by Chevy Stevens
Head over to the She Reads website to read other reviews and related posts as well as a chance to win a copy of the book.

     


7 comments:

  1. Great review Kristin. I think you have given me enough information to tell me its perhaps not for me, but it does sound interesting and has important issues to explore. Always good to keep you thinking, I never mind if I don't work it out by the end, its the trying to do it that counts!

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    1. Thanks Kathryn...it's definitely not a book for everyone. It's really good, but disturbing.

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  2. I like the subjects handled in this book. Very relevant to now.

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    1. Yes, very relevant. Let me know if you end up reading it, Mystica. I would love to know your thoughts on it!

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  3. I don't read many thrillers but I may have to add this to my audio wish list. I like that it was twisty and you didn't figure it all out by the end.

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  4. I have this in my TBR stack and I need to get to it. I keep draggin my feet though.

    2 Kids and Tired Books

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  5. Very nice review.

    I loved Ms. Steven's other books. This one took a while for me to get interested. Loved how it ended, though. The beginning was too much background, but I guess it had to be done.

    Addressing bullying was a wonderful theme. Bullying is such an awful thing. Kudos to Ms. Stevens for making folks aware of its effects.

    THANKS for sharing.

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