One Night at the Lake

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

I had really high hopes for this one. From the synopsis, it sounded dark, mysterious & heartwrenching, Unfortunately, I just couldn't get invested in the story. I set it down and tried again a few months later. Well, this one is just not for me. Thanks for the opportunity to be an early reader.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of One Night at the Lake by Bethany Chase.

June and Leah are best friends, and after June leaves an unpleasant relationship, Leah invites her to the lake house of her boyfriend Ollie.  Leah is so hopeful that this trip will be the one where Ollie finally pops the question, because after four years of dating, she is ready.

Fast forward to a few years later.  Leah has passed away and June and Ollie are now together.  Forever racked with guilt over falling in love with Leah's boyfriend, June is desperate to get to the bottom of what really happened on the night that Leah died,  or was killed?

It took me a minute to get into this one.  It was almost as though the "voices" of the two women were too similar.  Ollie Ollie Ollie.  So I was constantly tasked with who was who.  However, by about halfway, I became much more hooked and interested in the story.  I enjoyed the ending.
Was this review helpful?
*Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the ARC!* 

This book was a miss for me. 

Like others have said in their reviews, neither of the main characters is likable, and that really impacted my whole experience with the book. The writing starts out snappy and really good, but I felt like it went downhill about a quarter of the way in. 

Also, in terms of the story, it was just fine. It didn't feel relatable, so that alongside not liking the characters (but also not full out hating them) was challenging.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely love stories with alternative viewpoints with 2 characters.  2 women in love with same man, This book made me wanting more.  I love Bethanys novels!
Was this review helpful?
I have been impressed with everything Bethany Chase has written so far, and One Night at the Lake has become my favorite of her novels.

This novel was really well-written and thought out. Bethany had great characterizations, along with strong attention to detail, genuine dialogue, powerful levels of emotion, and the use of setting and season to bring the story to life. I loved reading about June and Leah's friendship, as well as June's present relationship with Ollie. One part of the story brought back a memory of a conversation from a long time ago. I didn't want to relive that memory, but it was nice to know that I wasn't the only one to experience it.

I liked the alternating perspectives, but it would have helped to put a time frame at the beginning of each chapter that June narrated. It also would have been good to go back to see her perspective during the summer of the incident, instead of only in the present. I would have liked to see Ollie's perspective, as well.

Overall, I thought Bethany did a great job with this novel and I hope she will publish another one soon!

Movie casting ideas:
Leah: Daniela Bobadilla
June: Maya Erskine
Ollie: Aaron Tveit
Terrance: Donald Glover
Caleb: Charlie Hunnam
Was this review helpful?
First, I would like to thank Ballantine Books publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a free Kindle ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I finished this book three months ago. Three whole months. Somehow, it slipped my mind to write the review. 

I was completely swept away by this novel. There was so much emotion that poured out of each of the characters. The book is written on two timelines, alternating with each chapter: when Leah visited the lake with Ollie, and seven years later. From the beginning, we quickly realize that Leah died at the lake, and seven years later, her best friend June is struggling with the emotional toll of taking a visit to this dreaded location with Ollie, who is now HER boyfriend. She is flooded with guilt for loving Ollie and living the life that she believes Leah should have lived. As we alternate between timelines, the tension builds. How did Leah die? How will June and Ollie’s relationship recover after revisiting their tragic past? Did Ollie’s brother have any involvement in Leah’s death? This book was very emotional, and I cried along with the characters. I lost my best friend last year, so I felt a lot of empathy for June. I would highly recommend this book and will likely purchase a print copy so that I, too, can revisit the lake.

#netgalley #onenightatthelake
Was this review helpful?
Leah is sure her boyfriend Ollie is going to propose during the 4th of July/his mother’s birthday celebration at the family’s house on Seneca Lake.  Her best friend June has just suffered a breakup, so Leah invites her along.
A week at the lake is just what Leah needs.  The rest, relaxation, and the water.  June finds a semi-relationship with neighbor Terrence, much to Leah’s excitement, and Ollie’s discomfort.  As the week progresses, issues between Ollie’s brother Caleb cause issues between everyone.  One fateful evening, during the midst of all the turmoil, Leah goes into the lake and comes out dead.  
Seven years later, June and Ollie are engaged to be married and are returning to the lake for the first time together.  Being there brings back so many memories, and revelations.  Can June and Ollie’s relationship survive the week, or is the week at the lake going to take another victim?
I really enjoyed this book, however, I felt bad for Leah.  Even though she is gone, her best friend and her boyfriend have found love with each other, that appears to supersede his feelings for Leah.  I feel like Leah already lost so much, and as if she was just a holding spot for something better.  However, the storyline, told in a back and forth narrative between present day June, and past day Leah, flowed into a story that kept me wanting more.
I rate this story as 4 stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes reading mystery-type stories.  
I received an electronic ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review.  It has in no way impact my opinion of this story.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this story and it's alternating point of view. Part of the story is told from the perspective of Leah, girlfriend of Ollie who is finally going to his family's lake house and believes Ollie might pop the question that weekend. She brings with her friend, June. The other part of the book is told from June's perspective; June is Ollie's fiance revisiting the lake house years after a tragic event. The rest of the story is filled in as you continue reading. The story kept me entertained as I read; I wanted to figure out how June became Ollie's fiance and what kind of funny business took place in between the two narrator's accounts of that fateful weekend.
Was this review helpful?
This was an intriguing story. I liked hearing the voice of both June and Leah in alternating chapters. It was so interesting how they became friends and how much they shared with each other. But due to the nature of loss in this book it was.a little hard to read.  But I was definitely sucked in wondering what had happened and why it was such a big secret. 

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Told in duel timelines. A story about two women in love with the same man seven years apart. Compelling and I enjoyed it. Great summer read.
Novels N Latte Review
Novels N Latte Book Club
Hudson Valley NY
Was this review helpful?
The manner in which this book is written is exceptional.  I wasn't sure what to expect from reading merely the summary, but I was thoroughly engaged and literally could not put this one down.  I have since read several other books by Chase and her writing style is just superb.  This story offers a wonderful progression that leaves no detail left unnoticed and tells a wonderful story very much different than the way you think it is going to go upon first glance.  Because it is so creatively developed, I am sure this will engage even the most reluctant of readers.  I completely recommend this without reservation and am certain it will be very high on many favorite books of 2019 lists!
Was this review helpful?
This was a story of love, friendship, death and heartbreak.  It is told from the perspective of two women. I was completely drawn into the lives of the characters, and how one night at the lake changed everything. 
Many thanks to Random House and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
When Leah Tessaro heads to Seneca Lake in Western New York with her boyfriend Ollie for the 4th of July, she's hoping he will propose. They've been together for four years, and she's madly in love. Leah's best friend, June Kang, joins them on the vacation. Instead, something happens and Leah doesn't survive the trip. Seven years later, June and Ollie are headed back to Seneca Lake. It's June's first trip in seven years and she's hoping Ollie, her fiance, can make the trip a little easier. The lake and Ollie's family home are haunted by memories of Leah.

This was an interesting read that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. It's told between alternating timeline and narrators--we get Leah, seven years ago, telling us the story leading up to her death, and then June, in present-time, as she deals with being back again at Seneca Lake and Ollie's house.

"I hate it like I have never hated anything else on earth. And now I have to go back."

Tension basically oozes from June's every pore, but we don't learn what happened to Leah for most of the book, except that occurred at the lake seven years ago. I usually find that trope a bit annoying, but it wound up working here, as I got caught up in the story and the characters.

You definitely had to get past the slight ick factor of this odd threesome--first Leah and Ollie--now June and Ollie--but it's basically the book's entire premise, and I think it's dealt with fairly well. This is a character-driven novel at its core, though there is the tension and the mystery swirling as to what happened to Leah. Throw in Ollie's troublesome stepbrother and June's past love, and you've got plenty of characters to keep the story interesting and moving.

Overall, I found this to a be a surprisingly enjoyable read. It's easy to find yourself lost in the story, wondering what happened to Leah and how Ollie and June found each other again (they retreated to separate coasts after Leah's death). It's emotional and serious, but sweet too and a strong story of love and friendship. 3.75 stars.
Was this review helpful?
First this is not a thriller. It’s women’s fiction. The only reason I finished the book is I wanted to know how Leah died.. But sadly I did not care for her character. She was annoying and. I found myself skimming her chapters. June and Ollie were a bit more interesting to me. This was 2.75⭐️ for me.
Was this review helpful?
I was expecting more of a thriller type plot based on the marketing of this book but in reality this is more women's fiction with a little side of mystery. I did enjoy the lake setting and the small mystery of what happened to Leah. The story is told in alternating POVs which I don't tend to enjoy but that's just a personal preference, many others prefer that type of structure. I did find that Leah and June's POV seemed somewhat similar and for that reason they sometimes didn't feel like distinct people. The author was able to convey setting details so well I felt like I was on the lake many times, however the story itself didn't hold my interest whether it was the plot or my lack of connection with the characters I'm not sure
Was this review helpful?
Wow. This book was so good. I've read Chase's other works, but somehow, this one surprised me. It took me a while to get into it because it's sad, and I tend to gravitate towards lighter reads. But I'm really glad I read it. It was absolutely gut-wrenching, poignant, and beautifully written.
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Bethany Chase for the opportunity to read her next book - great read!

Leah and June are best friends - they've shared everything since they were 12 years old.  Leah is hopelessly in love with Ollie and is convinced that he will propose to her when they go back to Ollie's family's summer home on Seneca Lake in Upstate NY.  June, meanwhile, is hopeless in love - she always seems to pick the wrong guys.  Leah convinces June to go along with her and Ollie to the lake.

Told in two perspectives and in two different times - Leah 7 years ago on that fateful trip and June in the present, as she heads back to Seneca Lake to confront the demons that happened there .  June is now engaged to Ollie and hasn't been back to the lake since Leah died there.

This book explores family, friendship, loyalty told in two strong voices while we discover what really happened the night that Leah died.
Was this review helpful?
I'm genuinely shocked I waited this long to read ONE NIGHT AT THE LAKE. I've absolutely adored Chase's other books - they're some of my all-time favorites. One of my book clubs decided months ago that they wanted to read this one but they needed to wait until it was released... unlike me. I just have the worst memory so I kept putting it off and now here I am in July. I DIGRESS - on to the book!

This book was very much not quite like her other books. I can't say that it's a bad thing, by any means, but it was my least favorite from her so far. I like that she had a bit more mystery in this one (not majorly - I would still classify this broadly as contemporary fiction but not necessarily romance). I definitely wanted more development in some spots. I hate to say this too but I didn't really like Leah... or June that much either. It made a lot of chapters either frustrating or kind of boring as a result. June was a very bland character for me and Leah was too much on the opposite end of the spectrum... she was annoying.

I liked how well the chapters alternated, going back and forth across time. June's took place in present day, when she first returns to Seneca Lake with her now-fiancee (ex-boyfriend of her friend Leah, who died that summer 7 years prior). I thought that Chase masterfully wove the story back and forth, allowing for crossovers and similarities. The ending was well-timed and I was so eager to get back to Leah's chapters after a while to finally learned what happened to her.

The twisty parts toward the end were simultaneously obvious and predictable while also feeling out of nowhere. Without spoilers, the relationship between June and Ollie never felt genuine to me ([spoiler]so learning that the two of them always had feelings for each other lingering in the background wasn't fully believable. I didn't see it or feel it in the "past" chapters but I guess that's because Leah herself didn't notice it and she was narrating them.[/spoiler]). Anyways, I still would recommend this book in general because I will never NOT recommend a book by her, I presume!
Was this review helpful?
A perfect summer read, this tale takes place in the finger lakes area of upstate New York over the 4th of July weekend. It is a well-written heart wrenching/heat warming family saga of mystery and romance that explores the limits of friendship and love. I will definitely be recommending this to those looking to add titles to their summer reading list! 

The above review has been submitted to Amazon (in addition to the links below) and is pending their approval before posting to their site.
Was this review helpful?
June and Leah have been best friends since they were in 6th grade.  Their friendship has remained true for years.

Leah met Ollie whose family owns a huge home on Seneca Lake in New York.  When Ollie invites Leah to join him for a week at the lake, she is delighted and asks if she can bring June to which Ollie agrees.  At the lake, Ollie’s parents welcome them and they enjoy the many amenities offered there.  

Ollie’s brother, Caleb, is a bore and his hitting on Leah really makes her mad.  But when a horrible accident happens and Leah dies, June is devastated as are Ollie and the rest of his family.

Seven years later finds Ollie and June have caught up with one another.  June knows he is a really nice guy, but her profound grief over Leah’s death has kept her away from him and his family.  Now, they are dating and Ollie convinces June to go to the lake with him for a week.  She hopes to put her sad memories of the place behind her to allow them to have a good time together.

The story goes into the relationships of Ollie’s family members, but zeros in on Ollie mother who is very wise.  Heartache and suspicion  abounds in the story.

As with most thrillers (but I don’t think this can be called a thriller), the story builds offering clues to the plot as it goes along.  Sometimes, these stories move along to keep the reader’s interest and sometimes they plod along very slowly as this one did.  I admit that I almost gave up in the middle of the book and in some ways I wish I had.  I was not impressed with this book.  The grief and agony were overdone and drawn out.  Not a favorite.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?