Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Review: What Happened That Night by Sanda Block

Title: What Happened That Night
Author: Sandra Block
Published: June 2018, Sourcebooks Landmark
Format: ARC E-copy, 352 pages
Source: Netgalley via Author

She doesn't remember that night. But she will never be the same.

One moment, Dahlia is a successful Harvard student; the next, she wakes up from a party, the victim of a brutal assault. Her life veers into a tailspin, and what's worse - her memory of the attack has been ripped away, leaving a cold rage in its wake.

Now, years later, Dahlia is a tattooed paralegal suffering from PTSD and still haunted by that night. Until one day, a video surfaces online, and Dahlia sees her attack for the first time.

Now she knows what happened to her. And she knows who is to blame. Her rage is no longer cold, but burning, red hot.

And she is about to make everyone pay.

My thoughts: I am a big fan of Sandra Block's Zoe Goldman series, so when Sandra herself reached out to me to read and review her latest book, which happens to be a stand-alone, of course I had to say yes! Even though I will forever relate Sandra to Zoe, I had to see how she would do with brand new characters. And I loved it!!!

Before I go any further - I do want to mention there are many trigger warnings in this book. It deals with some rather tough topics that might be off-putting - rape and assault being at the forefront. And it does get a bit graphic at times in certain scenes. It's not the whole book and it certainly doesn't overplay this, but for those who are sensitive to this, you should know this going in.

I loved the way this story was told. There are three points of view - Dahlia in the present, Dahlia five years ago and James, and each of these chapters really give you such perspective as to what is going on. And the chapters are relatively short, which leads to quick reading!

I loved the characters in this book - Dahlia has been profoundly changed by her attack - who wouldn't? - and now that she has started to remember it, wants to do something about it. Having those chapters from five years ago, which was right after her attack, really allow us as readers to see the fragile state she was in and see how far she has come. And then there is James, who has Asperger's and you just have to love him all the more for it. He is what he is, and I love the way Dahlia and James' relationship grew over time. These are such quirky, yet memorable characters - ones that are not your typical main characters in any way, for sure.

This book is full of suspense and tension - now that the video has been leaked from Dahlia's attack, she is determined to figure out who the guys are and do something about it. Did I agree with her idea of revenge, maybe not, but once she and James have decided on this plan, the book takes off! But all along, I loved that there is this secret that James has, and so there are still pieces that need to be worked out. Dahlia is trying to figure out the identity of all four guys and James is working up the courage to reveal something from his past to Dahlia...and all of this is building up the tension in the book.

I truly enjoyed this book...it's such a gripping and addictive read. I really had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it. As much as I love Sandra's Zoe series and hope that there will be more, I think this foray into stand-alones has been quite the success and hope that she continues in this vein as well!



  1. Great review, Kristin! I haven't read any of her books. It looks like I need to though.

  2. Liked your review very much.Now to find the book!


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