A Book About Last Chances and Crazy Challenges



This book could be enjoyable for seniors and underclassmen alike.

Jesten Richardson, Assistant Editor

It took me no time to decide on the best book to review for this final issue for the year. We, the newspaper staff, made a cohesive decision to make this issue as much about the seniors as possible. I am not even a senior, but I want the last issue of this year to be memorable; therefore, I found one of the most memorable books I could.

I must now introduce you to “The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life” by Tara Altebrando. This book is laugh-out-loud hilarious, highly entertaining and surprisingly heartwarming, but it is also somewhat sad because of how close to home it hits. It is Mary’s last year of high school, and she wants to make it count. For too long her and her three charmingly quirky friends, Patrick, Winter and Dez, have been on the outskirts of cool and exciting. Cue the Oyster Point High School Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. The event has been a tradition for generations. It is the time when all the cliques of the senior class can come together for one last shebang put on by last year’s seniors. It is the time when the playing field is leveled, and winning the coveted Yeti statue is a task accomplishable by anyone— goth, theater geek, jock, you name it. It is the time when not-exactly-cool Mary can prove her awesomeness to people like super rude, painfully stereotypical football player Barbone and super nice, painfully adorable Carson. And, it is the best night of Mary’s “pathetic” life.

Probably my favorite thing about the book is its utter hilariousness. Mary and her friends are funny enough in themselves, but the scenarios played out in this book are a whole other level of comedy. Imagine what would happen if Cabell Midland’s seniors had a super-secret scavenger hunt. In The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life, the scavenger hunt is full of sabotage, outlandish challenges and memory-making moments. The lists are completely insane, featuring everything from paper towels to skinny-dipping to “the largest thing you can take from Mr. Gattis property”. The drama is also shocking, because it intensifies as the book continues, and surrounds Mary’s inner circle more than one would expect. I will not reveal too much, but I will say that some of the soap operas I have seen have nothing on this book.

To conclude this review, I encourage you to look into getting a copy of “The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life”. It would make a great summer read, or a great any-time read, really. This story and cast of characters will resonate with seniors especially, but it is definitely one that should appeal to anyone who loves drama, crazy scenarios and living vicariously through characters.