That Night by Chevy Stevens

That NightThat Night. Finished 7-22-14, rating 4.25, fiction, 384 pages, pub. 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.

from Goodreads

It’s hard to put my thoughts on this one in a cohesive review.  If I hadn’t agreed to read this for She Reads (who has chosen some of my favorite books of the year), it would probably still be sitting on my nightstand with a bookmark that moved forward ten pages a week.  For me, it was the tale of two books.  The first half was so slow and, well, slow.  Toni seemed like your typical angst, chip-on-her shoulder teen who fell prey to the bitchy girls of high school.  She had the perfect relationship with her boyfriend, a most imperfect one with her clueless parents and she and her sister were never close.  I. Was. Bored.  I powered through because of She Reads and also because I remember reading another blogger say that it took a long while for the story to pick up.  And I am so glad that I continued reading because pick up it did and the second half of the book had me reading late into last night when I closed the book with a satisfied sigh.

Since Toni was our narrator, it was easy to see that most conflict was skewed in her favor, and there was a lot of conflict. I viewed her as someone who wanted everyone to think she was tough and because of that she attracted trouble wherever she was – high school, prison, halfway house, going back home when no one really wanted her there.  I had sympathy for her but I also was hoping that she could somehow rise above it all.  You’ll have to read it and make up your own mind on whether that happens or not.

I thought the book really highlighted the problems of our prison and rehabilitation system here in the States.  Here was a girl who was innocent, sent to prison, and then expected to learn how to live in a world hostile and distrustful of her.  Maddening and saddening at the same time.

If you are willing to get past a slow beginning you will be in for a great thriller that will have you turning pages as quickly and as long as possible.  Like me, you might even give up some sleep for it.

I received this book from She Reads.  Go on over and see what other bloggers think about this one.   There’s still time to enter for a free copy here.  

15 thoughts on “That Night by Chevy Stevens

  1. Mary says:

    I’ve read several reviews on this one and, even though I don’t read many books in this genre, I think I might like it. Thanks for the heads up on the slow start.

  2. Teddyree says:

    I bought this one because Still Missing was sooo intense, still haven’t picked it up but when I do I’ll go in with adjusted expectations regarding the start. Great review Stacy!

  3. Literary Feline says:

    I am glad you ended up liking this one, Stacy. I’ve heard mostly mixed reviews about it. I haven’t tried anything by this author before, but I hear his Still Missing is quite good.

  4. Heather says:

    This looks really fascinating. I will have to add it 🙂 I enjoy books that actually talk about pressing issues without being too preachy and yet still have a great story. Looks like this is one!

  5. Tara says:

    This one sounds really good to me! Have had it in my sights since I first saw it mentioned. I’m bummed to hear about a slow start. But glad that the rest of the book makes up for it. One day I’ll get to it, ha!

  6. lakesidemusing says:

    I’d love to read this one, so thanks for the warning about the slow beginning. Think I’d get bored with that stuff, too, but I’m glad to know you were happy you stuck with it!

  7. Veens says:

    I just give up on a book so easily, if it has a slow start. DOn’t have the patience anymore 😦 I just started reading The Secret Life of Bees – no idea why I chose that; but is holding my interest )

  8. Vicki says:

    Thanks for letting us know it’s slow to start but picks up and is well worth the time to continue. I have a copy but haven’t read it yet. I’ve loved all of Chevy’s other books, so I can’t wait to read it.

  9. thenovellife1 says:

    yeah this one definitely had a very slow beginning! I wholeheartedly agree that the author did a good job of highlighting the prison system. . .I was reading Orange is the New Black around the same time and both books show how bad prison system for females are….and how bad bullying can be. great review Stacy!

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