I have been in a bit of a funk ever since finishing A Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It was such an emotionally draining book, and I’ve found it difficult to concentrate on any of the books I’m currently reading because they all have heavy themes. After glancing over all the titles on my shelves, I finally settled on One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt because it sounded like it would be funny, fast-paced, and something that wouldn’t make me go to some deep, dark place. I could easily see One Night That Changes Everything as some teen movie that I’d love watching on Netflix Streaming.
Eliza breaks up with her boyfriend Cooper after learning he was only with her to earn a spot in a secret society at their high school called the 318s. She swears she will never speak to him again, but Cooper comes back into her life when he informs her he has her purple notebook. Ever since the 7th grade, Eliza has written all of her fears and secrets into this purple notebook. Now Cooper and the 318s have it, and if she wants it back she has to do whatever they say. If Eliza doesn’t comply, they will post all her secrets online for everyone to read. As if things weren’t already confusing enough, Cooper keeps helping Eliza. Is that just part of the 318s’ plans, or could Cooper really have feelings for Eliza?
I identified with Eliza, and felt that Barnholdt captured the teenage voice perfectly. Eliza has all the qualities of a typical teenager: she’s insecure, moody, whiny, and dramatic. She also has two best friends, Marissa and Clarice, that go on this all-night adventure with her. Of the three, I liked Eliza the best. For the most part, Marissa and Clarice were there supporting Eliza when she needed their assistance. But like teenagers, they had their own baggage and drama. Marissa was caught up in her own pseudo-boyfriend mess and Clarice kept getting sidetracked by other people’s drama. As a teenager, I had friends that weren’t too unlike Marissa and Clarice. One friend in particular always put herself first and chose her boyfriend over her friends.Unlike that friend of mine, Marissa actually shows some growth by the end of the book. I was proud of her for finally realizing how terribly Jeremiah treated her and choosing herself over him.
One Night That Changes Everything might be predictable, but it was sure fun. I picked it up late at night, thinking I would only read a few of the short chapters before bed and ended up staying awake for two extra hours. By the time I closed the book, I had already read 100 pages. I couldn’t wait until the morning when I could pick it up again and finish it. It is the perfect book to read if you are looking for something lighter and less dramatic than your last read, and if you want that satisfying “happily ever after”.