Wednesday, June 25, 2014

REVIEW - "That Night" by Chevy Stevens



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. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni's innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni's life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.

But in That Night by Chevy Stevens, the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.

The first half of this book was more of a long, drawn out young adult 'mean girls' book, from Toni's perspective as the events happened that lead up to her sister's murder, then was convicted of it while she tells us about it as she sits in prison serving her time, going back and forth between prison and the past as she tells us the story as to how she ended up in the women's prison. This sets the stage for why Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were arrested for murdering Toni's sister, Lucille, then found guilty for her death, and were sentenced to 15 years in prison for doing so. This was not a fair trial, not even a jury trial. It was almost as if they were both framed. 
This part did take the entire first half of the book. To be honest, it was quite long, although, Chevy Stevens is not known for short novels.
The second half of the book covers the time both Ryan and Toni got out of prison and are on parole, now in their early thirties, and as they are both trying to make a new life back in their home towns, they are still, in a way, trying to find out who really murdered Lucille. This meant more trouble and blame for the both of them, and most all of the time through no fault of their own. (I really found myself yelling and screaming at the characters in this part of the book - out loud, and loudly! My husband was wondering who I was yelling at! LOL!) Eventually they figure out who was behind everything, but the results of doing so affected so many people's lives, some good and some bad, and some just shocking.
This was quite a hefty read, and you know Chevy Stevens grabs a hold of you and doesn't let you go with the way she writes. I found myself skipping a shower and bedtime, then trying to get through the next two days recovering from the loss of sleep from the book! Some say this book was not as good as some of her others, but I have to say it was not just as good, just different. Every story Steven's writes has been completely different so far, none of them the same in any way, and to compare book to book, in my opinion, shouldn't be done, at least not with her writing. Each book should stand on it's own merit, this one being no exception.  
The author took on a lot in this book. I thought I had figured out who did it in the very beginning, but I was kind of wrong, yet kind of right!
I really like Chevy Stevens' books, I just wish she were more active socially with her readers on social media. I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, St Martins Press, and NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it and giving my own honest opinion no matter whether it is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here:, The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition  Regulation.

PS. This is a hard one to talk about without giving too much away! 

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