sci-fi / fantasy · young adult

REVIEW: What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron

The Official Description: Golden boy Griffin Tomlin is found dead, floating in his pool, the morning after his family’s Labor Day party, and neighbor Emily Porterfield is arrested for his murder. No one knows why she killed him, except for her younger sister, Clara. The secrets behind What Happened That Night unravel in dual timelines: in the present, Clara struggles with the aftermath of the murder―questions and distrust from her friends, denial from her parents, and visits to her sister in jail. And amidst all of that, another body is discovered that could be connected.

In flashback, the events that brought Clara, Griffin, and Emily together and that led to his death are revealed―events that involve a crush, an obsession, and a shocking twist.

My thoughts bit: This was a great YA mystery that’s packed with drama, twists and a little bit of romance. The mystery isn’t quite what you might think when you first pick up the book. Right from page one, we know that Clara’s neighbor, Griffin has been killed. Shortly after that ominous night… we find out that Clara’s older sister, Emily has been charged with Griffin’s murder.

The mystery of the novel is the answer to the question why did Emily kill Griffin? And that story unravels slowly throughout this novel. Cameron has written a fast-paced story that still keeps the reader hooked by not revealing everything too quickly.

Clara is a complex character. She was fairly close to her older sister before she was arrested, but afterward, she is clearly struggling with the weight of the entire situation. When she befriends Kolby (Griffin’s best friend) Clara’s story becomes ever more complex. How can she be friends with Griffen’s best friend after what happened? The reality is that Kolby is one of the only people at school that will even speak to Clara.

Nothing is what it seems in this story and that’s what makes it such an interesting read. I highly recommend this novel… with the caveat that it’s mature subject matter.

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: description of sexual assault, descriptions of stalking behaviors, descriptions of murder, descriptions of dead bodies, a brief description of animal being killed, physical assault

If/Then: If you liked these books, you will probably enjoy this one!

I received an ARC of What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron from Wattpad Books via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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