Remember how much fun it was back in school playing the game where each person came up with a sentence of a story? This is SO much better—like a really amazing version of that story!
Seven authors came together to write this book, which tells the story of one night from seven points of view. It is the night of the middle school dance and the students of Lynnfield Middle School know it is going to be the most unforgettable night of their lives. But, like most of our experiences in middle school, it turns out far different than they had planned.
Carmen is the lead singer of the hit middle school band Heart Grenade. She was ready to become a star singing at the dance, but her parents are making her go to her cousin’s wedding instead. Life is so unfair!
Taking Carmen’s place at the front of Heart Grenade is Genevieve. She loves to sing and has a fabulous voice, but she only likes to sing in the background. She has stage fright.
The drummer of Heart Grenade, and Carmen’s best friend, is Tess. Not only does she have the performance to think about, but she has a big date too!
Ellie can’t believe she’s going to the dance with the cutest guy in school. Kevin asked her to be his date, and she knows this is going to be the most romantic night she’s ever had.
Ashlyn is stuck babysitting instead of going to the dance, just so her almost-step-sister, Ellie, can go. Well, there is that whole grounded thing too . . . But it’s just not fair that she has to miss showing off her awesomeness to the rest of the seventh grade.
When Ryan signed up to be part of the dance committee, he was hoping it would help move his friendship with Mariah to the next level. Will it work?
And Jade is at the dance just to get revenge.
All of these lives weave together seamlessly—even though they are not just seven different points of view, but written by seven different authors! The kids sound believably seventh grade, and range from the hopeless-romantic bookworm to the angry and sarcastic popular kid. The book is told in the first person (changing character point of view with each chapter), and there are frequent text messages and emojis throughout the book.
I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review, and I am so glad! I loved this book. It took me right back to my middle school dances, although I have to say we had a lot less drama at mine! I never thought about it when I was at one of those dances, but I was with a room full of people having similar, yet different, experiences—just like the seven main characters in this book.
Perhaps reading this will make it easier for middle school kids going through their own drama (at dances, or elsewhere) to realize that others are scared/excited/nervous/upset/etc. too. Or maybe they’ll just enjoy a really good book!
Best. Night. Ever. was written by Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nall, and Dee Romito. A reading guide for Best. Night. Ever. is on Ms. Alpine’s, Ms. Faris’s, and Ms. Romito’s websites.
Ms. Alpine writes both middle grade and young adult novels, including Operation Pucker Up and You Throw Like a Girl. She is online at www.rachelealpine.com.
Ms. Arno’s middle grade novels include Ruby Reinvented and Molly in the Middle. She is online at www.ronniarno.com.
Ms. Cherry writes books for middle grade and young adult readers, including Willows vs. Wolverines and The Classy Crooks Club. She is online at www.alisoncherrybooks.com.
Ms. Faris writes the Piper Morgan chapter book series and middle grade novels, including 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. She is online at www.stephaniefaris.com.
Ms. Malone writes both middle grade and young adult novels. She is the co-author of the You’re Invited series, as well as novels including The Sleepover and The Art of the Swap. She is online at www.jenmalonewrites.com.
Ms. Nall writes the You’re Invited series with Ms. Malone. She is the author of middle grade and young adult novels, including Out of Tune and Breaking the Ice. She is online at www.gailnall.com.
Ms. Romito is the author of middle grade novels The BFF Bucket List and No Place Like Home. She is online at www.DeeRomito.com.
Have you read any great books lately?