What Happened That Night

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Deanna Cameron sinks her literary claws into her readers with this gripping novel.

"Can we go somewhere; Anywhere but here?"
This was the typical line spoken between two sisters when a secret was needed to be shared they didn't want anyone else to hear.  

Clara Porterfield's sister Emily is awaiting trial for murdering their neighbor, and town golden boy, Griffin Tomlin.  No one knows why Emily killed Griffin; that is except Clara.  While awaiting trial Emily wants Clara to finally speak up, and hopefully help release Emily from prison.
So many little moments in life always seem lead up to this big moment; and one wonders when they can pinpoint exactly where everything went wrong.  For Clara that moment was a Super Bowl after party she attended with her long time crush, and neighbor Griffin.  
What happened that night inevitably led to Clara's sisters arrest, as well as the unexpected death of Griffin.
With most books not all is as it seems.  As this story continued to unravel my jaw continued to drop to the floor wondering what else could be unearthed during the time leading up to the trial.  

Deanna Cameron has some hard hitting and uneasy topics as the main point in this novel.   It shows what happens when you stay silent and what could happen when you finally speak out.
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I didn't realize this was a YA book when I first requested it, but as it quickly turned into a mystery, I got caught up in the story. Right away we know Clara's sister Emily killed Clara's crush, Griffin.  A female murderer is already a twist.  What follows is even more intriguing as we hear Clara's inner dialogue and reasons for keeping secrets about her relationship with Griffin, her sister, Griffin's friend Cody, and her new friend Aniston.  Chapters alternate between then and now (pre-murder/post-murder), but there are also some sudden scene transitions within chapters that are a little jolting.  However, the writing is lyrical and the plot twists are interesting and well played.
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I'm sorry to say that this book didn't work for me at all. 

It started out so promising for the first 15% but then it just went completely off the rails. 

Eye roll after eye roll after eye roll. I didn't find one thing about this story plausible. It took a very serious subject matter and turned it into something silly which I can not forgive. 

Also it came across as very Scooby-Doo-esque in the sense that two teenage girls can outwit police detectives and solve murders all on their hunches. Ruh Roh! 

The writing was another issue I had. There are before and after chapters which didn't bother me at all but the time jumps within the chapters were confusing. 

The ending was beyond ridiculous. 1.5 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Wattpad Books for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Part of the reason why I picked up this book is because it's from Wattpad's new publishing company, and I'm interested in the books that they chose. I wound up enjoying it a lot. It read to me like a deep dive true crime podcast, with a twisting, engrossing plotline. It's long, but the pacing moves quickly. I will say that I think that this book is miscategorized as YA. The content is challenging, and it is at best a crossover, but I would sell this in an adult mystery or crime fiction section. I would recommend this book to mature fans of Courtney Summers or readers of Steig Larsson. CW for murder, sexual assault including rape on the page, physical torture, stalking, emotional manipulation and abuse, physical violence, substance use including date rape drugs, alcoholism.
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Rounding to 3.5 stars.
This book certainly has the un-put-downable quality that I look for in any good thriller. I found myself thinking about it when I was at work! I just wanted to get home to read it!
The book was mostly a mystery, although I do believe it was categorized as a YA horror. It wasn’t horrifying AT ALL. I would categorize it a YA mystery. Scooby doo meets 13 reasons why.
The story was so predictable. There was no guessing. I kept hoping for a curveball that never came. You knew the ending of the book at the very beginning. I was anticipating a build-up that never came... so that was rather disappointing.
There are some triggering scenes, so this read is most certainly not for everyone! Triggers include violence and rape.
Keep in mind that I am a thriller and horror junkie and I am hard to please in these categories! So, don’t take this review to heart and certainly give it a shot yourself!
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So, I haven't yet completed this book. However, nine chapters in and I feel like I already know what happened that night. Lol. I love the approach and backstory tho. I feel like there is going to be a huge plot twist soon and in the hopes there is, I'm prepared if not that may be disappointing because we'll, nobody wants to know they're right so early im the book. *Fingers crossed for a plot twist* Based on what I've read so far tho, clearly enjoying the book amd storyline. Can't wait to finish it.
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This book has a great concept with a really interesting timeline. I love the flashing back and forward while reading it, it hooked me into the story and made me want to know the parts that I am missing. The writing, however, is highly expository and quite clunky at times, leaving me reading a lot of information I might not immediately need to know without showing me much about the character's actual life at the moment. It feels like because of the bouncing timeline there are a lot of gaps that must be filled in even though we could have gotten that information in other ways. The plot is intense and well planned out, but with the overwriting of details in the story without showing me who the main character really is, I find myself not caring much. I am sure that many readers will love this book but it's just not able to hook me in with its writing style. I really appreciate the front matter about sexual assault and resources to use if you are at all triggered. I think more books need to have that kind of information. Overall, if a kid loves a murder mystery or thriller, or wants a book that deals with sexual assault that is approached in a different way, I might recommend this title, but it would not be my first choice.
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This was one of those stories that with a few more rounds of editing could easily be four or five stars. The story was interesting enough, although I believe the synopsis should come with a trigger warning and not just the forward once you begin reading. 

Part of the problem with this story is that it jumps not only from place to place but also between what is happening and what happened before. While the "now" and "before" passages are clearly marked, it's the going from place to place that got to me. One minute they are in school, and the next they are somewhere else entirely. 

Then you get into characters. None of them felt as fleshed out as they could be. Clara understandably has issues. There were parts of her that felt real. And then there were parts that had me going REALLY? She seemed to want people to believe her without question when she finally told the truth, but couldn't give them the same courtesy. 

I wanted to like Aniston. Her over the top personality coupled with the fact that she was like a dog with a bone was intriguing. However, the fact that she somehow managed to solve a crime that didn't even happen near where she lived? It was a bit out there. The same could be said for the fact that Kolby. Griffin's BEST FRIEND, couldn't when it counted, recognize not only that is wasn't Gryffin's brother he saw, but that the girl he was with was the girl that Kolby claimed to have been in love with? 

Overall, there is a lot of potential in this story. And I do think that it will appeal to people who enjoy novels that don't pull any punches when it comes to describing things most people find unappealing, however, for me, this one just fell short of where I think the author was trying to go.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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The story is really compelling and quite dark which I liked. But the bad formatting made the reading a bit hard, which is why I couldn't enjoy this one at all. I guess the final version makes it a better reading experience. The transitions between time and location were abrupt. You coudnl't tell from the formatting that such a jump is happening. Therefore I had to re-read several pages at least twice. The writing isn't the best, too, but I don't expect much from a wattpad-book but I guess people should keep that in mind. All in all it is a compelling and enjoyable story if you don't mind sometimes quite awkward dialogues or some typical cliche sentences.
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This book wasn’t at all what I expected, and I’m placing the blame for that on the publisher’s marketing. Although a barn does come into play about halfway through the book, the mood the cover image evokes isn’t even slightly representative of the story. Also, the description made it sound like this would be a good murder mystery, but that wasn’t really the focal point of the book. 

The murder mystery (which wasn’t much of a mystery) started wrapping up really early. Then we were left with countless long-winded passages about the main character’s feelings and experiences. Some of this was interesting, but the momentum of the book really stalled after the murderer was revealed. 

Also, the marketing in no way indicates that this is a book that needs a serious trigger warning. Two characters in the book are sexually assaulted, and that’s what the vast majority of the plot is actually about. While I believe it’s important for YA readers to take in the lessons shared here, I was really shocked by how brutally descriptive one of the assaults was. 

As someone who has been sexually abused, I felt really uncomfortable with the descriptions and the almost constant references to what happened. Readers without a history of sexual abuse may learn a lot about the reality of it by reading this, but I can’t in good conscience recommend this book to any survivors. 

I kept reading because I hoped there would be a final twist in the murder mystery. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that I wish I’d walked away from this book early on. The author has skill, but the story really needed to be trimmed in several places for a better flow. It felt like watching a movie that’s 30 minutes too long and becomes a tiring exercise in patience. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.
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This book didn’t really hit me extremely positively or extremely negatively. It just kind of rose right in the middle. Characters were ok, plot was ok, and the overall writing was ok.
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An interesting book which explores the horror of female & male sexual abuse. Great thriller and keeps the reader riveted to the end.
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This is a young adult mystery book is full of twist that will keep all readers young and old at the edge of their seats just waiting to see what really happened. It starts off with a bang and only goes up from there. The book it told through two different time periods, the present where a young boy Griffin is found dead and much to everyone's surprise and confusion his neighbor and friend Emily is arrested for his murder. With only Emily's sister Clara knowing the real reason why Emily did what she did the town is in an uproar. Then the book jumps to the past where we see what happened leading up to Griffin's death and what really went through the minds of the girls and why Emily did what she did. It was very sad to see what caused the girls' anger as well as how everyone was so accepting of what happened and not angry with the girls. With the book told through Clara's point of view you got to see the sadness as well as the fierce loyalty that she had for her sister. It made both the sisters seem very realistic and I could really picture it happening. This book while it was listed as a YA novel it had great messages for the reader that you don't often seen in books of this kind. I liked how I was unsure about the truth of the story that our narrator and main character Clara, it made for a read that really
kept me on my toes. This creepy read pulled me in and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I'm glad I got the chance to check this book out it was very well done. This was the first book I've ever read by  Deanna Cameron however after the roller coaster that was this novel it for sure won't be my last. This book is good for YA's as well as adults and no one will want to miss it.  The best part had to be the ending it was not what I was expecting at all. I was very surprised and I love that in books. Great job.
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This is one of those books where you get to a certain point and can not continue because it just feels like too much at a time. But it's also one of those books where no matter how much you feel you should put it down for a bit you won't. 
It's captivating, heartbreaking, and amazing in every possible way.
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WOW. That’s the first thing I have to say about this book. I started out reading this book thinking that Clara’s sister Emily is this grand hero, just to turn around and be cursing her by the end. This is an excellent piece of fiction and I definitely will be purchasing this book as a gift once it’s published. Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book.
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I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow. What can I even say about this book? I was so intrigued by the synopsis. It was the reason I put in for this book. There were some very hard topics to read but I feel that Deanna Cameron wrote this book so well. These kinds of events and the events that spiral because of it should be written. Rape and sexual assault, mentioning for anyone that would be triggered by it and may not be able to handle reading, are hard things to write about and to read, but it happens. 

This story was so twisted that at times I thought to myself there is no way that could be what is happening right now but as crazy as it was, I know this happens in real life. I almost didn’t give this a 5star review, but it would have only been because of the content, not the writing.

We follow Clara, who is the little sister of Emily. Emily is currently in jail for killing their neighbor, which we end up finding out early on might have had something to do with Emily. Clara and Emily seem like they might be close as sisters, but it’s so hard to figure it out. So throughout the book, we find out what is connecting Emily, Clara, and blake. Once we find more out it spirals into so much more. For a while, you don’t know who to trust. You don’t know who is telling the truth or who is the bad guy in this whole scenario. I was so confused so many times. That’s why this writing is so amazing. You just don’t ever know. 

I recommend this book if you can handle this kind of topic. The writing is amazing and you won’t regret reading this insane story.
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A fantastic YA thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed this and couldn’t read fast enough to see how this was going to end. Superb xx
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A book that keeps you gripped and turning the pages from the beginning to the end. A well-crafted story that deals with some sensitive subject matters in a pragmatic and sensitive way. As the plot unfolds the reader finds themselves questioning how would they feel if this was them?
This is a fantastic read and one that lingers in your mind long after you've finished it.
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This is a really great book, about some really traumatic but important topics. You should know going into reading this *and the wonderful author was kind enough to provide warnings at the beginning of the book* that it contains content regarding sexual assault, physical abuse, and homicide. 

Clara has had a crush on boy next door Griffin for years. When he finally starts paying attention to her, she thinks her dreams have come true. Until the night he takes her to a party, leads her off to be alone, and then violently attacks her. He engages in a campaign of psychological torture after this that would drive anyone to the brink of absolute despair. Months after the attack, Clara's sister Emily finds out and shortly after that Griffin is found dead in the pool in his backyard. Now Clara has to stand by and watch while her sister is tried for a crime Clara feels she pushed her into. But absolutely nothing is at it seems in this book and Clara is about to be caught at the middle of a maelstrom of violence involving her sister, Griffin, and a missing/feared dead girl. 

Cameron has taken a topic rife with potential triggers and handled it deftly. Nothing is gratuitous or salacious, the characters are reprehensible and charming, by turn, with a skillfully created plot. I really enjoyed reading this book, it's an important topic and it was handled in the most gentle way possible.
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I thought this book had more language than I was wanting. And I found the writing to be lacking. It felt more like a book report than a gripping, mysterious, psychological thriller.  I was disappointed, and don't think I will be reaching for another Deanna Cameron book anytime soon.
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