The Best Night of Your Pathetic life by Tara Alterbrando

September 30, 2012
By , auburn, NY
How far would you go for one night of glory, revenge or love after a long four years of being treated like underdogs and “also-rans”? Mary Gilhooley and her friends constantly suffered in school from Oyster Point High’s main bully and jock, Jake Barbone. Many characters have struggled through their high school career trying to avoid the bullies and they can not wait to leave and go to college. In the novel The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando the characters show the challenges they can overcome and the accomplishments they have made.
Mary and Barbone have been enemies since he started hounding her and her years ago. Barbone never really succeeded in school with academics however ,he did with athletics. He is a very good football player and has a lot of knowledge towards the game. Mary and Barbone both applied to the same school, Georgetown, which is Mary’s dream school. However Barbone’s father went to Georgetown and played football there and that’s why Barbone wants to go there just as badly. Georgetown is a school that requires you to have good grades, which Mary has and Barbone does not. The book had me on my toes while reading this part. I never wanted to put my book down until I figured out what happened, who got in to George town and who did not? Did both candidates get accepted or neither? Read and find out!

With only a week until graduation Mary feels there is only one last thing she and her friends have to do, compete against Barbone in the “Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt”. Mary feels as if this is important because after all those long years of getting bullied and run over this will show all of the people that bullied them that they can stand up for themselves and that they are not afraid to compete in a highly competitive activity and win! The scavenger hunt lasts all day and night and is full of reckless dares and objects that need to be found. The teams need to use their killer-like instincts to outsmart, outwit and out-strategize their opponents to have a good chance of winning. The winners of the hunt get the Yeti. The winners of that year’s contest get to make up the scavenger hunt for next year’s seniors participating in the hunt. A greater prize is the glory and the bragging that comes with the win.

Throughout the past years of high school, crushes and dating have been kept a secret mostly throughout the group. Throughout the day of the scavenger hunt people’s crushes were exposed and a love triangle was created that caused awkwardness. Only with dedication, hope, and drive to win did they get passed their awkwardness and proceed to play and try to win?
This novel really makes me feel connected to the characters because I feel like teens in high school go through similar situations. Maybe not during a scavenger hunt but with the crushes, bullies, and dedication to get into colleges. Mary shows her hard work and planning for this hunt because she would like to prove she’s worth something. However, she discovered more than just the items on the list, she discovered who she really has become and what it takes to grow up.





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