Saturday, February 9, 2013

[Review] One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt

Title: One Night That Changes Everything
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: July 6th, 2010
Source: I purchased a copy from a local bookstore.
Blurb from Goodreads: Eliza is in a full-blown panic. Her notebook has been stolen—the one that lists everything she wants but is afraid to go after. And the absolute worst person in the world has it: her ex-boyfriend, Cooper.
Like it’s not enough Cooper was lying to Eliza for their entire relationship, now he and his friends are blackmailing her. They’re giving her just one night to complete the most humiliating tasks on her list or they’ll post her secrets online—including the ones that aren’t just about her.
Eliza’s sure of only one thing: she isn’t going down without a fight. Cooper may have what’s left of her dignity, but she’s not the only one with something to hide …
A hilarious and sweet teen novel by Lauren Barnholdt, the author of Two-Way Street.


Thoughts in general: I don't know how I managed to finish this thing... 
This book was really infuriating. I really wanted it to be good because I've had it on my shelf for a long time now and I was just waiting for the right opportunity to read it, and this was definitely it... I mean, it was a hot day of summer and I had nothing better to do than enjoying a light and funny read.
I loved the description from the very beginning. I though it was genius this thing with the secret notebook in which you have written all your deepest fears and then have it stolen by a creepy group of boys that are pissed at you and willing to make your life a living hell by posting the whole thing online if you don't follow their instructions and do the very things you listed on that notebook as your fears. And on top of that, your ex-boyfriend is the one who got you involved in this whole mess to begin with, so that makes things pretty interesting... at least that's what I though.
No such luck. 

Overall, this was a huge disappointment and I wasn't even trying hard to pick a book with great content! I just wanted a good light novel... and got this mess. I'm really sorry because I've read some of the other books of the author and I did like them quite a lot and that was the reason I buy this book.

Characters: Lets see... The protagonist, Eliza, is the most annoying, self-centered, whinny, bipolar and stupid girl you could ever find. From the very beginning she complains because her such-called friends don't pay her enough attention because, guess what? They have problems too, who would have thought that the world doesn't revolve around Eliza? Then she won't quit whinnying because her (ex)boyfriend screwed up but at the same time she keeps remembering how awesome he is and dying to be with him again. On top of that she'll keep yelling at him that everything is his fault and even when it is crystal clear that he's trying to explain himself she won't hear him out. She'll just keep complaining at him about some girl who someone told her was his new girlfriend... even when he's telling her that's not true... even when he doesn't have to explain himself to her since they are no longer dating... But she'll act all jealous anyway because she can. Besides she keeps judging left and right and she isn't better than anyone since she hook up with her sister's boyfriend, even when her sister is supposed to be like her best friend and everything. 

Her friends are no better. First we have Marissa, who is stupid and selfish too, because she keeps following a guy around (literally) even when it is oh-so-obvious that he just want her as a backup plan and just to hook up occasionally. But in her mind, they're dating so that makes it ok if he just called her whenever he feels like it and then leave her waiting for him and when he finally calls she's supposed to leave everything, including her friends, to go after him, what she does actually more than just once.

Then there is Clarice, who is kind of a teaser. I don't know if she's really stupid or a real slut. I mean she's naive, ok I got that. But you have to be stupid to think that a guy you picked up in a club and invited you at his apartment wants to "just talk" and then feel offended when start acting weird when he realizes that you're not gonna sleep with him (if that was never in your plans you shouldn't have gone with him to his apartment, Jeesh! He's a stranger! And unless you are looking for a one-night stand... well you should know better!). Beside when most needed she just left her best friend with her ex and takes the car with her! 

With that kind of friends who would even need enemies!

The guy, Cooper, the ex-boyfriend involved with this group is frustrating too. Because he clearly screwed up and then he's trying to make things right but doesn't realize that the only thing he needs to do is break up with this scary group of jerks! And just keep trying to help Eliza with the task that the idiotic Tyler (president of this group) set up for her and telling her he misses her while he tries to hide because he doesn't want them to know he's talking to her or see them together. 

Plot: Well, the plot is supposed to revolve around this famous notebook... I had all my faith put in that thing and that was the reason I kept reading, but I should've known that if the author of the notebook was such a pain in the ass, the notebook couldn't be that interesting. And it wasn't. The list of thing that were written in there were just silly and super simple. I though we'll have the protagonist doing something really extreme like I don't know... jumping off a bridge or doing some of this extreme sports of some sort. Or at least something funny like I don't know trying to win an argument with a total stranger or make them laugh or something! But again, no such luck... I  also liked the idea of this group of mean boys, the 318, but there was so little about them. I think the author could have done great things with this idea, it would have injected the mystery factor to the novel, but it wasn't treated the right way. 

Writing: Aggh... The protagonist is so annoying and since the story is narrated from her point of view, you just have to suck it up and keep reading her stupid thoughts. I feel like the author tried too hard to sound like a teenager and it felt more like I was reading the point of view of a four years old. Besides, the writing in general was really poor, it was repetitive and pretty basic. 
Besides I noticed that the title of the book didn't really fit the story, because "that" night didn't change much of anything, not really.

I would recommend it for: If I'm being honest I wouldn't recommend this book. If you want to give it a try, be aware of the many flaws it has.



  1. Your review is so funny. I really appreciate your honesty. I read this a few years ago and while I didn't dislike it as much as you clearly did, I didn't find anything particularly memorable about it either. I find her books for the most part to be pretty unmemorable.

  2. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear it was such a big disappointment. I also prefer thoughtful and not self-absorbed characters. Whiny characters are a turn off for me to when reading. Thanks for your thoughts! This is the first time I heard of this book but I probably won't be adding it to my to-read list.

  3. Oh no, I'm sorry this was a mess. You still braved your feelings about this book and read it all. That is amazing, really. I wouldn't finish it if the main character is annoying and thanks for this review, I wouldn't start on this book.