Cover Image: What Happened That Night

What Happened That Night

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Member Reviews

I would recommend this story to all thriller lovers. This book took me by surprise. It kept me interested throughout the story and I needed to see what was going to happen. I truly enjoyed the pacing of the story and the well-written characters.
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If you are an author or publisher seeking a review/blurb from me, please note I only provide those on the books I thoroughly enjoy and read cover-to-cover. If I don't give you one (as is the case here), it doesn't mean there was a problem with the book, it simply means the book wasn't for me or it may not resonate with my fan-base. I will, however, give you five-stars because I know EXACTLY how much work went into getting this particular title here and I'm not about to drag down your overall score just because it didn't hit for me. I wish you nothing but the best.
jd
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The premise of the book is great and the author really delivers. Great read. Highly recommended.                       .
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I absolutely adored Sandra Block's Zoe Goldman series. I still recommend them all the time! I was hoping for a similar style in What Happened That Night. I feel this story had so much potential and the writing style was welcomingly familiar. However, the voice of the story was full of such anger as to all most be blinded to the importance of a thoughtful plot and thoughtful character dynamics. 

While this is a pass for me, I still recommend Sandra Block's other series as fantastic reads.
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Love this story. love this character.  love this series.  Hope there are going to be more stories set in this world and with these characters.  I am so lucky to be in Bloom and have learned about Sandra and her past and how it has influenced her writing.  ive read this more than once and will read anything she writes.
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Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

I have really enjoyed Sandra’s previous books about Zoe (Little Black Lies, The Girl Without A Name & The Secret Room) and I have been so eager to meet Dahlia, her new character.

Dahlia is a character that you won’t soon forget.

 

What I liked:

How real Dahlia was. She could have been one dimensional in the lesser  hands of an author- but with Sandra- you see her rage, how that one night changed her and you see her struggles- how she tries to live, to laugh, to love. Dahlia has many layers which I loved.

How the story was set up. You have three voices: Dahlia currently, Dahlia 5 years ago and James. After the end of the book, I almost would have liked to hear from one more voice- but that may have been overkill.

The cover. It’s a dark cover, but it’s a dark book.

 

Bottom line: In our current culture- this book shines a massive spotlight on what can  happen in college between students at frat houses or special clubs. It is not as graphic in it’s description as it could be- but it def does not shy away from some graphic language during parts of the book.  The plot of this book is not light nor easy reading- but Sandra Block shows much skill in taking a book with violence against a woman plot and creating a story that I could not turn the pages fast enough about. In the end, recommended reading- and book clubs and buddy reads will  have much to discuss.
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****Content warning: sexual abuse & suicide****

Dahlia couldn't be more happy with her life, on her way to becoming a lawyer at Harvard University. But everything changes when Dahlia is brutally raped by multiple men at a party.
5 years later Dahlia is now working as a paralegal, suffering from ptsd from that night she can't remember. She has worked so hard to try get on with her life but her life is changed once again when a video of her assault has surfaced online. 
Not trusting the cops to bring these men justice, Dahlia decides to take that responsibility into her own hands with the help of her co-worker James who struggles with issues of his own.

This book was so gut wrenching with graphic details of sexual abuse, I think the author handled the topic strongly, not shying away from certain parts. I like how the story was told from a woman who is fighting to take back control of her life and getting justice for the things she and many other girls have gone through.
I liked the friendship/romance between Dahlia and James. 
The ending had me tearing up a bit even though I kind of guessed early on how it was going to end.

For someone such as myself who does not have broad knowledge of Aspergers, I can not comment on how well the representation shown through James character who does have Aspergers.

Thank you netgalley and the publishers and the author for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Great thrilling novel which kept me turning the pages, would highly recommend to others. Brilliant writing, plot and characters.
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What Happened That Night by Sandra Block is about a young woman who gets assaulted at her college one night, and her whole life will never be the same.  She gives up on colleges, and life in general. The way the book deals with her rage and anger was done well, and made for a good solid read. Recommended.
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Dahlia is a successful Harvard student then she wakes up from a party, the victim of a brutal assault. We follow Dahlia trying to deal with the aftermath of the traumatic event and how sweet revenge can be satisfying!
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What Happened That Night was a book that I was seriously looking forward to reading. Not to just find out what had happened to her (which I think is obvious--thanks, premise) but I wanted to see how Dahlia enacted her revenge. 
Yet I wasn't connecting with Dahlia and her story at all. Which was a huge let down--so much so that I ended up not finishing What Happened That Night, like I had wanted to.
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This book is amazing!!  Even though it's classified as a thriller - I would say that it is more of a crime fiction book!!  But, it doesn't matter to me - Sandra's writing is flawless.  She did such a great job pulling me into Dahlia's character.  She covered mental health issues brilliantly too!!
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REVENGE

Albeit delayed, that is what this book is about.

The story begins with Dahlia and her best gay-friend Eli attending a S.O.S(Survivors of Suicide) session. There they meet James, an office tech guy who's sister jumped off the bridge, and an awkward friendship is struck. Currently Dahlia is a paralegal, closed off and lonely, just dragging the pain of her past as it traumatizes her each day. She has vivid nightmares of cuckooing birds, a line of men laughing, everything so jumbled.

We get flashes of what happened that night 5 years ago randomly as the current story progresses. Dahlia was studying law in Harvard, when her entire life derails after one fateful night. An innocent party at first then becomes her worst nightmare. And what makes it even worse is that she can't remember anything or anyone. The damage to her body is unimaginable, but that to her mind and soul is irreparable.

Back to the current, she is pulling through every day, until one day the video of her rape is online and she can actually see what had been done to her. She is shocked, humiliated and even angry at was done to her. James, being the sweet guy, offers her help she needs for revenge. But can she get revenge after all this time ? Some of the boys cannot be identified in the video bar some accessories.. Can she identify all of them ? Most of them are in very high places, can she even go near them ? They seem all powerful now, will it be throwing a stone at the hornet's nest ?

The story talks about the worst kind of experience a student can face. How someone's carelessness destroys lives. The plot is pretty engaging, with the Elite Hawk Club, facing off Dahlia. This face off had so much potential. I would have loved to see a much more ruthless side of Dahlia in her plans. But most of their plans seemed amateurish, and it looked like they were simply lucky. That kind of let me down. I would have given 3 stars, but James's and Eli's past pulled the ratings to 4 stars. I would have liked the end to be a bit more brutal in the sense of justice. The character traits were a little fuzzy, no one particularly standing out. James's talents seemed underplayed. Maybe after the ruthless incident, I was looking more for more bloodshed, figuratively, not literally. Also, the Hawk Club wasn't such a big bomb after all, they went down pretty easily. Like I said, the justice/revenge scenes should have come across more strongly, and not just a by chance happening.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing the ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
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This was a gripping thriller that took you to every aspect of trying to figure out what was really going on  and what was going to happen next! This was such an amazing book and I can’t wait to see what else is released from this author!
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This was an extremely difficult read with some super confronting subject matter. 

I really appreciated that this wasn't your typical revenge story and I thought it was really well done. I also appreciated the Jewish and half Asian representation included.
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I don't usually give 5 star ratings, but this book definitely deserves it. From the first page to the last, it just pulled me in. Dahlia was brutally attacked at a college party, but has no memory of what happened. When she finds a video of the attack has been posted on the internet, she stops being a victim and sets out to get revenge. The characters all have secrets that come out eventually and I did figure one out before the end, but it didn't spoil the story. Well written and never boring. I recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery.
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First and foremost: this book deals with a graphic sexual assault. If that is a triggering topic for you, this isn’t the right book for you. 

This book is different from most thrillers, in that the crime has already happened and we are seeing the aftermath, through the eyes of the victim, Dahlia. Dahlia was assaulted at a college party years before, and her life derailed. She couldn’t remember anything about that night, and the police failed to seriously look into things. Finally, just as things are finally getting back to normal, a video of the attack appears and Dahlia suddenly has an idea now that she can see some faces. She wants revenge and her new friend, James, has vowed to help her, for reasons he hasn’t quite revealed.

It’s very suspenseful and very well done. We see several viewpoints (James, Dahlia, the Hawk Club chat room, past Dahlia reliving the events of that night) that all blend together really well to create a good storyline.

I loved the characters of James and Dahlia, they were an amazing pair and were really well fleshed out. I was rooting for them both very quickly into the book. I don’t know what a sequel would look like (maybe Dahlia and James working together on a case?) but i would love to see them again.

One thing that particularly stood out to me that I’m glad the author did was she drew attention to the very real issue of the problems with reporting sexual assault cases to police. Dahlia did everything “right” after her assault, but she still ended up being dismissed. This is a very real issue in the real world and I’m glad that we see that play out here. It’s not as easy as it appears, even in a case where we can see firsthand who is the victim (Dahlia) and we want justice for her. It’s a good element that I wish everyone could understand.

The only downfall I can think of with this book is that there is one twist that was drawn out a little longer than I think it should have been. It’s fairly obvious what’s going on, but it isn’t confirmed until late in the book, which was a little frustrating. I also guessed the other “big twist.” But I still enjoyed seeing everything play out. It was more a stylistic thing for me.

I really enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a well-done suspense read.
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Oh wow. Put some time away for this book. It has all the ingredients for a terrific psychological thriller.

No spoilers from me.  Book is great with lots of lies, deception, tragedy, and twists. Also, loved the unpredictable ending.  Can't say enough great about this. Read it today!!

Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this fabulous book.
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What Happened That Night by Sandra Block is a quick, fast, and suspenseful character driven novel. It is also the story of revenge, hate, second chances, and finding oneself.

Five years ago Dahlia was attending Harvard University fast tracking her way to become a lawyer. One night Dahlia's roommate convinces her to attend a party. She is brutally gang raped yet with very little memory of the assault the next morning. The police do nothing for her when she reports and her life changes forever. Suffering from PTSD, she moves back home, tries to commit suicide and is taking drugs and drinking. After a period of time, her best friend, whom she met in therapy at a suicide survivor group, convinces her to come back to Boston and take a job as a paralegal. Life is pretty much at a standstill, until the day she finds a group of co-workers watching a video in the break room. What she never expected was that it would be a video of her assault. Flashbacks and memories come flooding to the surface and she wants revenge. It is right around this time that Dahlia meets James. He is an IT specialist and has been admiring her from afar. He seems to be struggling with some issues of his own, it is revealed that he has Aspergers. James and Dahlia form a friendship and he tries to help Dahlia seek revenge on her attackers. 

If you are not able to read about assault or rape, you might want to pass on this book. The flashbacks of the assault were descriptive enough that it was hard to read. The short chapters had me flying through this novel! The story is told from James and Dahlia's POV and it was very well done. I really liked James' character. It was well-written and very believable. There were several times that I though the story was going to end and bam, there was another twist. I always feel uncomfortable saying I enjoyed a story about other's suffering, but this novel kept me reading to find out what was going to happen next and if Dahlia was going to be able to pay back the men who destroyed her life. When the ending came, I was not ready for it, but overall, this was a very good book and I did enjoy it.
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Dahlia had a traumatic experience in college that resulted in her attempting suicide. At an SOS (survivors of suicide) meeting, Dahlia runs into a coworker who shares his story of his sister’s suicide. Dahlia and James quickly become friends. We soon discover that Dahlia was drugged and raped by multiple “frat boys”. She went to the hospital which was neglecent with the rape kit and the police treated her like the rape was her fault since she was drinking at the party  Five years years later, the video of the gang rape is found by one of Dahlia’s coworkers. Dahlia decides to seek revenge on the perpetrators since the police didn’t do anything. She decides to frame them with crimes they will do jail time for, but not without them fighting back. It was an I tersting read with a different plot. The only thing that bothered me about the book was James’ diagnosis of Asperger’s which was removed from the DSM-5 as a diagnosis in 2013. It now falls under the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Regardless, the plot was full of interesting twists and turns that kept me glued to the pages.
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