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One night in March, a terrible tragedy shakes the Queens neighborhood where Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi live. The year since the shooting has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar, and deeply personal, ways. Lucas has taken up boxing and lives under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, while t One night in March, a terrible tragedy shakes the Queens neighborhood where Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi live. The year since the shooting has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar, and deeply personal, ways. Lucas has taken up boxing and lives under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, while trying to put good into the world through random acts of kindness — to pay back a debt he feels he owes the universe for taking the wrong brother. Jess struggles to take care of her depressed mother, with the help of her elderly next-door neighbor, and tries to make ends meet. Without her best friend, who’s across the country at a special post-trauma boarding school, and her brother, who died that night, Jess feels totally alone in the world. When Jess and Lucas's paths cross at their shared after-school job, they start to become friends… and then more. Their community — and their families — were irrevocably changed by a senseless act of violence. But as Jess and Lucas fall in love, they'll learn to help each other heal and move forward — together. That Night is an emotional and ultimately hopeful story about tragedy, love, and learning to heal.


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One night in March, a terrible tragedy shakes the Queens neighborhood where Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi live. The year since the shooting has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar, and deeply personal, ways. Lucas has taken up boxing and lives under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, while t One night in March, a terrible tragedy shakes the Queens neighborhood where Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi live. The year since the shooting has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar, and deeply personal, ways. Lucas has taken up boxing and lives under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, while trying to put good into the world through random acts of kindness — to pay back a debt he feels he owes the universe for taking the wrong brother. Jess struggles to take care of her depressed mother, with the help of her elderly next-door neighbor, and tries to make ends meet. Without her best friend, who’s across the country at a special post-trauma boarding school, and her brother, who died that night, Jess feels totally alone in the world. When Jess and Lucas's paths cross at their shared after-school job, they start to become friends… and then more. Their community — and their families — were irrevocably changed by a senseless act of violence. But as Jess and Lucas fall in love, they'll learn to help each other heal and move forward — together. That Night is an emotional and ultimately hopeful story about tragedy, love, and learning to heal.

30 review for That Night

  1. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    You might have noticed I have a very specific “type” when it comes to YA contemporary: if it isn’t tragic, I probably won’t like it, but if it can yank at my heart strings and make me cry (and maybe rage) a few times? Well, that’s my idea of a good time. Given how Amy’s last release Now is Everything destroyed my entire life for days after I finished it, I had high hopes for this story, and wow, did it deliver. Amy Giles is flawless when it comes to these gut-punch, heart-wrenching contemporar You might have noticed I have a very specific “type” when it comes to YA contemporary: if it isn’t tragic, I probably won’t like it, but if it can yank at my heart strings and make me cry (and maybe rage) a few times? Well, that’s my idea of a good time. Given how Amy’s last release Now is Everything destroyed my entire life for days after I finished it, I had high hopes for this story, and wow, did it deliver. Amy Giles is flawless when it comes to these gut-punch, heart-wrenching contemporaries that I can’t help but carry with me long after they end. I have to wonder if other people find some measure of comfort in being around survivors of a shared tragedy. Because I sure as hell don’t. That Night picks up a year after a shooting in Queens, where we follow two protagonists—Jess and Lucas, both teens who each lost a big brother in the tragic event. Their similarities basically stop there, though; besides their grief, their reactions and the ways their lives have changed since that terrible night couldn’t be more different. I miss my mother as much as I miss Ethan, if not more. What we really see a difference in is how each teen’s families have reacted: for Jess, her father had exited her life before her brother’s death, and now it’s just her and her mother. Her mother suffers from such extreme grief and depression that it’s a fight to convince her to even eat or get out of bed, and Jess finds herself being forced to keep the household going while attending school. We watch Jess function as this pragmatist who’s doing everything on her own, doesn’t know how to accept help from anyone, and honestly, it’s a wonder the poor girl can even stay afloat. “I was always in his shadow, but it wasn’t bad. Now, though… it’s like I’m always standing in the shadow of his ghost.” On the other side of the coin, there’s Lucas, whose loving parents take care of him, keeping him in therapy and even encouraging his newfound love of boxing to work through his stress and grief. His mother has become this helicopter parent who feels the need to do everything for him and expend all of her energy on keeping him as safe as humanly possible, and when you compare her to Jess’ absent family, it depicts this juxtaposition that is actually devastating. There’s a scene in which Jess is interacting with Lucas’ mother that has me literally choking up while writing this review, because it’s just so painful to watch Jess go through life alone, and I know I’ve said it a million times, but Amy Giles is so good at breaking my heart, I swear. But what if we’re just that, two broken pieces that end up jabbing and hurting each other and everyone around us? Honestly, what else can I even say? It’s one of those stories that’s really character-driven, and you have to read it for yourself to experience it. Watching these teens and their families slowly heal, knowing that there’s an empty space in their lives now that can never be filled, but might be soothed, at least, by this sweet, timid relationship blossoming between Jess and Lucas—it’s heavy, it’s impactful, and it’s wonderful. My mother’s words ring in my ears. “I don’t know how—” I can only imagine how she was going to finish her thought. ‘I don’t know how to make this awfulness go away. I don’t know how to keep on living. I don’t know how to love you without him.’ One last thing, though—trust me when I say that the grief in this book is drastic, and heavy, and tangible. I cried so many times while reading this because my heart was breaking for these poor families. What killed me the most, besides how badly Jess needed her mother, was her mother’s behavior in the first place. As a mother myself, I can only imagine how easily the loss of a child could put someone into a tunnel so dark, they couldn’t fathom finding a light at the end of it. It’s not okay that she checks out and leaves Jess all alone, but I can’t say that I don’t understand it. “You’re both so young. The world shouldn’t be this hard for you yet.” This is one of those stories that I know I will carry with me for such a long time. There are shootings here in the US so often, and we’ve lost so many young lives in recent years. It can be easy to think of those numbers as statistics, but Amy Giles’ storytelling reminds me that each person lost had a family who’s been left to mourn them. I only hope that I’ve somehow managed to find the right combination of words to convince anyone reading this review to pick up a copy of this book, because Amy’s stories are worth it. I hope she never tires of writing these tragic, beautiful contemporaries, because I will never tire of reading them. Content warnings for grief, depression, PTSD, anxiety, drug abuse, attempted suicide All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

    5 stars. I think Giles is a new favorite author. I read NOW IS EVERYTHING by her last year and absolutely loved it, and this the same. She's one of the few authors that you can tell cares immensely about the necessary research that needs to be done when handling tough topics, and it definitely helped because as far as I can tell, the representation was stunning. Gun violence is *sadly* something happens more often than not, therefore, a lot of books are written about it, THAT NIGHT will forever s 5 stars. I think Giles is a new favorite author. I read NOW IS EVERYTHING by her last year and absolutely loved it, and this the same. She's one of the few authors that you can tell cares immensely about the necessary research that needs to be done when handling tough topics, and it definitely helped because as far as I can tell, the representation was stunning. Gun violence is *sadly* something happens more often than not, therefore, a lot of books are written about it, THAT NIGHT will forever stand out from the bunch.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    I loved this so much more than I expected. I loved that it wasn't meet a person and boom! everyone is fixed. Instead this was real. It felt like it was something that we could all relate to. Whether in losing someone in tragedy or learning how to move on and forgive. It was a beautifully raw written story and I adored both Lucas and Jess.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    It's been a year since the shooting in their town changed everything, and Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi are each trying to manage in their own way. Jess is trying to care for her severely depressed mom, who can barely get out of bed. That means helping pay the bills, cook the meals, and generally take care of everything. She misses her best friend desperately, but Marissa is across the country at a school for those suffering post traumatic stress. Meanwhile, Lucas is coping by taking up boxing. It's been a year since the shooting in their town changed everything, and Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi are each trying to manage in their own way. Jess is trying to care for her severely depressed mom, who can barely get out of bed. That means helping pay the bills, cook the meals, and generally take care of everything. She misses her best friend desperately, but Marissa is across the country at a school for those suffering post traumatic stress. Meanwhile, Lucas is coping by taking up boxing. It helps relieve some of his stress and anxiety--and get him away from the watchful eye of his newly overprotective mom. When Jess and Lucas meet at their after-school job, they realize they have one big thing in common: their shared tragedy. It's not exactly something they want to share. But slowly the two become friends. Can they help each other move forward from some of the horrors they've been through? Oh this book. This beautiful, sad, lovely book. It's such an immersive, amazing read. Giles gives such a great voice to her characters; even though the book has a sad topic at its core, it's also hopeful and touching, and you want to keep reading it. You know how some books seem to go out of their way to have unlikeable characters and you have to like the book in spite of them? This book is the opposite. I dare you to not fall in love with Jess and Lucas. And, oh my goodness, my heart just went out to these kids. Poor Jess. She has so much to deal with it, and so does Lucas, too. The guilt these kids feel at being alive--Giles does such an amazing job at portraying their feelings and emotions. They come across so realistically and starkly. It also portrays mental illness very well: real, without embarrassment and shame; I was impressed and heartened. What a great thing for teens to read. I really enjoyed the fact that this novel featured a sweet romance, but not a typical one. Jess and Lucas clearly like each other, but don't immediately "meet cute" or fall for each other the second they meet. You can see they need each other, but it takes them time to get there, which I appreciated. Their relationship is really well-done, and it was lovely to read about. As you've probably read, Giles made the deliberate decision not to write about the actual shooting in the book--it's just the background event that has shaped so much of our characters' lives. We don't even hear about who the shooter was. I really like this decision, because we get to see the horror that a mass shooting can leave behind, without going into the sensational details. Instead we see, close-up, the humanity behind it--the real people affected and how much their lives have changed. There are sad moments mixed in with sweet and funny in such a beautiful way. It's incredibly well-written and I thought it was a very smart way to frame a shooting: it's almost more profound this way, honestly. The depth of emotion in this book--the sadness, the unhappiness--and even sometimes the hope--is staggering. Honestly, this book left me in tears, and I don't cry easily when I read. As I said, I fell in love with Jess and Lucas. They were real people to me, and it takes an excellent writer to bring your characters to such detailed life as Giles did in this novel. I waited to read this book--after absolutely loving Giles' novel NOW IS EVERYTHING (which also made me cry!)--until my library got in my copy, which I had them order. I'm proud to say my lovely library system now has three copies of this book now, but I'll also be purchasing my own copy, because it's that good. Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough, for teens and adults alike. This novel made me cry, and it made me laugh. I loved its characters and their supporting cast. It offers such a powerful way to look at the aftermath of a mass shooting. It's profound and poignant, and the way it conveys the terror, sadness, and hope of its characters cannot be praised enough. 4.5+ stars. (Also, this book is full of Young Frankenstein references, as if I could not love Giles or her characters more.) Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sylvie

    3.85/5 Stars. Life is either about moving forward or looking back. We're moving forward again, but we'll never forget what's back there behind us. We can't. Because if we forget, it could happen again. I wasn't prepared to experience different kinds of emotions from this book. It is filled with grief, guilt, heartbreak, losss and mental health, in the mean time, it also proves that always living in the past or looking back won't change anything, instead always stepping forward and be hopeful. I fin 3.85/5 Stars. Life is either about moving forward or looking back. We're moving forward again, but we'll never forget what's back there behind us. We can't. Because if we forget, it could happen again. I wasn't prepared to experience different kinds of emotions from this book. It is filled with grief, guilt, heartbreak, losss and mental health, in the mean time, it also proves that always living in the past or looking back won't change anything, instead always stepping forward and be hopeful. I finished this book in just one sitting and I don't regret it at all. The whole book was an emotional rollercoaster in a good way.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tee loves Kyle Jacobson

    Where to start on this review? This book is so deep and so relevant to today's society that I cried while I was reading this book because young adult shootings are happening more often. Kills killing kids for no reason. This is a senseless act that needs to stop. In this story we meet Lucas and Jess. They have been involved in a shooting and they have both lost loved ones. They are dealing with it differently and both know what pain and loss is but they don't know how to deal with it. Lucas loses Where to start on this review? This book is so deep and so relevant to today's society that I cried while I was reading this book because young adult shootings are happening more often. Kills killing kids for no reason. This is a senseless act that needs to stop. In this story we meet Lucas and Jess. They have been involved in a shooting and they have both lost loved ones. They are dealing with it differently and both know what pain and loss is but they don't know how to deal with it. Lucas loses his brother in the shooting. He is totally devastated because his brother is his best friend and he needs him in his life right now. Jess also losses her brother and she can't think about living without him. He was her world. When Jess and Lucas come together and become friends they find more then friendship there. They find that together they just might survive this tragedy and be able to move on. This is a must read book for all kids. This is a story about love, loss to gun violence, and healing. ***** I received this ARC from Edelweiss*****

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars That night everything changed. That night they both lost their brothers, but that wasn't all they lost. Jess and Lucas were struggling to heal in the aftermath, and maybe their best bet was each other. • Pro: This story was about the aftermath. How a community was broken, and how they were trying to pick up the pieces and move on. There are so many different ways a tragedy can affect people, and Giles explored many of them in a thoughtful and sensitive way. • Pro: With this book Rating: 4.5 Stars That night everything changed. That night they both lost their brothers, but that wasn't all they lost. Jess and Lucas were struggling to heal in the aftermath, and maybe their best bet was each other. • Pro: This story was about the aftermath. How a community was broken, and how they were trying to pick up the pieces and move on. There are so many different ways a tragedy can affect people, and Giles explored many of them in a thoughtful and sensitive way. • Pro: With this book, Giles proves to be a master with grief stories. Like her debut, this one delivered an emotional gut punch. My heart cracked in half for these people, and their pain just emanated from the page. • Pro: Watching Lucas and Jess grow, change, and heal together filled my heart with joy. They were able to slowly break through the protective walls they both erected, and the more they opened up to each other, the more they began to reconnect with other people as well, which was a big part of their healing process. • Pro: Two side characters I adored and wished we spent more time with were Pete and Mrs. Alvarez. Pete seemed very happy-go-lucky, but his love and concern for Lucas ran deep. There were these little things he did, which only confirmed his dedication to his friend, and I loved him for that. Mrs. Alvarez was the best surrogate grandmother Jess could ask for. She did what she could to help Jess, and filled that grown-up sized void in Jess' life. Nothing but *heart-eyes* for these two. • Pro: This book was pro therapy, and the mental health issues were handled well. • Pro: The romance was gooey and sweet and I loved it! Lucas and Jess were precious together, and they made me smile until my face split in two. • Pro: Endings like this one are what my dreams are made of. It was so touching and hopeful. Seriously, I just re-read it, and I am in tears. It made me so happy! Overall: A heartwarming, touching, and emotional survival story, which focused on the aftermath, the healing process, and the connections that can help people get through great losses. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dahlia

    This was a really lovely, quiet YA about grief, love, survivor's guilt, and moving on. I'm usually really iffy on books where people "recover" thanks to a romantic relationship, but especially for Lucas, this book is so heavy on coping mechanisms, therapy, medication, etc. that I don't think it ever gives the impression that love alone will "save" you. In truth, I didn't get quite as much of a character arc from Jess, but having a male main character in YA who openly cries, is in therapy, is on This was a really lovely, quiet YA about grief, love, survivor's guilt, and moving on. I'm usually really iffy on books where people "recover" thanks to a romantic relationship, but especially for Lucas, this book is so heavy on coping mechanisms, therapy, medication, etc. that I don't think it ever gives the impression that love alone will "save" you. In truth, I didn't get quite as much of a character arc from Jess, but having a male main character in YA who openly cries, is in therapy, is on meds, and has no shame about it was a really cool thing to see. I liked this book a lot and I'm definitely interested in going back to check out her last one now. There's just one thing that seemed like it was going to be a huge plot point and then was actually nothing and I am SO CURIOUS about that choice, but nothing that's a big deal; just wondering if anyone else who read it will know what I'm talking about!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Glasgow

    I love this book for its honest portrayal of teens in the aftermath of tragedy. Jess and Lucas are wonderfully written, the story will make you ache and hope for them. I think this would be an excellent book for discussion in classrooms and teen book groups.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amber Smith

    I was a huge fan of Amy's first book, NOW IS EVERYTHING, and I love this one even more! It was one of those books where I found myself thinking about Jess and Lucas even when I wasn't reading. They just felt so real, and my emotions for them were real too. Amy Giles has such a powerful, authentic voice -- I am in awe!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Elliot

    Amy Giles writes about grief like it's a punch to the gut... Powerfully and all-encompassing. Her characters in That Night are singed with grief and it shows... In their relationships, in their actions, in their words. That Night will change the way you think about how a person grieves and the different ways family members cope with the most difficult loss...how a person can also get through such immense loss. Not an easy topic but an important one, and Amy Giles follow-up to Now is Everything i Amy Giles writes about grief like it's a punch to the gut... Powerfully and all-encompassing. Her characters in That Night are singed with grief and it shows... In their relationships, in their actions, in their words. That Night will change the way you think about how a person grieves and the different ways family members cope with the most difficult loss...how a person can also get through such immense loss. Not an easy topic but an important one, and Amy Giles follow-up to Now is Everything is a promising and ultimately uplifting book about love, loss, friendship, remembering, and recovery.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joanne O'Sullivan

    A heartbreakingly real look at how grief unfolds over the course of time, crafted with nuance, depth and tenderness. Jess and Lucas both lose their siblings to random, senseless gun violence. That Night doesn't focus on the single dramatic episode of violence, but rather much more difficult terrain that follows a loss. Family dynamics shift, as do the characters sense of self. Because the shooting affected so many in the community, everyone knows about it, but each character wants to be be seen A heartbreakingly real look at how grief unfolds over the course of time, crafted with nuance, depth and tenderness. Jess and Lucas both lose their siblings to random, senseless gun violence. That Night doesn't focus on the single dramatic episode of violence, but rather much more difficult terrain that follows a loss. Family dynamics shift, as do the characters sense of self. Because the shooting affected so many in the community, everyone knows about it, but each character wants to be be seen as more than a victim. As they move forward, Jess and Lucas slowly recover hope. Both timely and timeless, That Night is a story that will stay with you long after you close the cover.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    What happens when you survived but your brother didn’t? What do you do when your family is falling apart or panic grips you by the throat, when you are not sure why you were the one who survived? That Night by Amy Giles presents a unique perspective on gun violence, focusing entirely on the survivors and the emotional fallout from the loss. That Night is romantic and a powerful, emotional story of surviving and learning to live again. Everything changed that night. Families. The way people looked What happens when you survived but your brother didn’t? What do you do when your family is falling apart or panic grips you by the throat, when you are not sure why you were the one who survived? That Night by Amy Giles presents a unique perspective on gun violence, focusing entirely on the survivors and the emotional fallout from the loss. That Night is romantic and a powerful, emotional story of surviving and learning to live again. Everything changed that night. Families. The way people looked at and treated you. You. A year ago Jess lost her brother in a shooting that shattered her world. Now her mother hardly gets out of bed and Jess needs to find a job to pay the bills. Lucas took up boxing after his brother sacrificed himself to save Lucas. But the boxing sometimes can’t control his panic attacks that seem to be increasing in frequency or the consuming guilt. Lucas and Jess are now tied together by tragedy, but when they start working together they find that shared memories might make for a wonderful friendship and even romance. I adored Amy Giles’ debut, Now Is Everything. The clever use of tension, suspense and big reveals coupled with dramatic family breakdown and emotions to tug on your heart was superb. That Night is just as powerful and craftily written. Yet, That Night uses quiet realisations rather big moments; using the little things in life to demonstrate the biggest impact. The focus of That Night remains on Jess and Lucas, on the survivors of that night and how that night impacts so many people in so many different ways. Few details about the events of that night are shared. Readers know almost from that start of the novel what happened that night and the vague events, but the details are never really fleshed out. This book isn’t about who did the shooting, why or how. Instead, everything is about the survivors and their journey through grief, depression, and the ways they try to cope, to continue to survive every day - whether through therapy, substance abuse, sport or relationships. That Night is also very much focused on Jess and Lucus’ romance. The story celebrates relationships and how connections with another person, especially someone who understands exactly what you are going through, is so important. That Night is told in alternating perspectives of Jess and Lucas. Both were dramatically impacted by the events of that night. Both are grieving and reeling from the changes it brought. Both find comfort in each other as well as learning to cope with the situations in their families. That Night combines romance and the power of relationships to provide a story about survival and resilience. A story that champions the voices of survivors. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

    Amazing! This book made me laugh, cry, and everything in between. Review to come! ♥

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    That Night is great book that gives us a look at the grief process and how it is handled by different people. I was a little confused at the start and I actually thought that 'That Night' was a sequel, I wasn't quite sure what had happened as we only get bits and pieces throughout the book of the tragedy that happened on that fateful night. Our main characters are Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi, both have experienced great loss and are dealing with it in different ways; we also see how their famili That Night is great book that gives us a look at the grief process and how it is handled by different people. I was a little confused at the start and I actually thought that 'That Night' was a sequel, I wasn't quite sure what had happened as we only get bits and pieces throughout the book of the tragedy that happened on that fateful night. Our main characters are Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi, both have experienced great loss and are dealing with it in different ways; we also see how their families are coping with the loss of their children. It was emotional and hard to imagine what each were going through. I enjoyed the friendship and eventual relationship between Jess and Lucas, it wasn't easy initially but the bond that they came to share was wonderful. Amy Giles writing was engaging, the storyline kept me interested from the very beginning and she wrote characters that were likable and interacted well. I am definitely keen to read more books by Amy Giles. Thank you to HarperTeen for the opportunity to read and review this title.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Megan Fortas

    "That Night" by Amy Giles is an intriguing book! This is very powerful and moving with the main characters points of view! This book deals with grief of losing a sibling and the parents grief of losing a child. This book also deals with them trying to take control of their life after their loss and tragic event! Amy Giles writes beautifully about grief and how the parents and child handle grief on different levels. The way Amy Giles writes about family dynamics is captivating! The type of topics "That Night" by Amy Giles is an intriguing book! This is very powerful and moving with the main characters points of view! This book deals with grief of losing a sibling and the parents grief of losing a child. This book also deals with them trying to take control of their life after their loss and tragic event! Amy Giles writes beautifully about grief and how the parents and child handle grief on different levels. The way Amy Giles writes about family dynamics is captivating! The type of topics that Amy Giles writes about in this book and her other book "Now is Everything" are phenomenal! This is the type of book that will stick with you after you read it, because it teaches you the different ways that a parent and child grieves!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Oh, wow, this book. I loved Giles's debut, NOW IS EVERYTHING, so I was really looking forward to this one. And it did not disappoint. The book begins a year after the tragedy, so we see how things have changed for Jess and Lucas and everyone around them, how grief has twisted a tight hold. The characters are so richly imagined, so true to life. I felt so many things for them, wanted to wrap them in a hug, tell them, "I know, I know." The book is filled with poignant moments of tiny heartbreak. A Oh, wow, this book. I loved Giles's debut, NOW IS EVERYTHING, so I was really looking forward to this one. And it did not disappoint. The book begins a year after the tragedy, so we see how things have changed for Jess and Lucas and everyone around them, how grief has twisted a tight hold. The characters are so richly imagined, so true to life. I felt so many things for them, wanted to wrap them in a hug, tell them, "I know, I know." The book is filled with poignant moments of tiny heartbreak. At the same time, there are just as many hopeful, significant moments of small joy. THAT NIGHT is a beautiful exploration of guilt and grief and what happens when you're the one left behind.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carlie Sorosiak

    I will read anything Amy Giles writes. This book is tender and gut-punching and life-affirming. I loved it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I don't know why it never occurred to me that this book could have been a huge political statement about gun control. Whatever the reason I didn't consider that doesn't really matter. What matters is That Night barely even mentions the event itself. I praise Amy Giles for taking this route. I was thinking toward the end of the book how glad I was that she didn't take the approach of turning this into some big political statement. The story is about how these characters overcome trauma and grief I don't know why it never occurred to me that this book could have been a huge political statement about gun control. Whatever the reason I didn't consider that doesn't really matter. What matters is That Night barely even mentions the event itself. I praise Amy Giles for taking this route. I was thinking toward the end of the book how glad I was that she didn't take the approach of turning this into some big political statement. The story is about how these characters overcome trauma and grief in their lives. The cause doesn't even really matter because any act of trauma could have resulted in the same struggles. Amy Giles does make a brief statement at the end of the book about gun violence and mass shootings but it was without political bias or trying to sway the reader which again I appreciate. This is the right way to go about approaching a topic like this in a book if you ask me. Kudos. What I also love is how Amy Giles touched on and showed the many different approaches and responses to grief. Each character is dealing in completely separate ways. Marissa, who is Jess's best friend, has gone across country to a special school. Jess's mom is so deep into depression that she can barely get out of bed or function. Jess is not given the opportunity to grieve properly because she's having to step into the role of caretaker that her mom should be filling. This causes an added layer of grief, anger, and resentment. She occasionally self-medicates. Lucas's mom has gone into overprotection mode thinking she can try to prevent harm from coming to Lucas. You could see his dad's grief yet he seemed to have things together fairly well. And Lucas deals with PTSD and panic attacks, but he's in therapy working through his issues as well as taking a prescription medication. I loved seeing all of the different ways of processing and handling (or not) their shared trauma. Jess and Lucas were so likeable. Jess is just trying to keep it together. Surviving from day to day. Lucas is in a much better place and going about things in a healthier way. I also enjoyed seeing how financial circumstances can play into a person's state of mind and the quality of help they're able to get. It was so easy to root for these two characters and I loved how their obstacles didn't have anything to do with whether or not to be together but what each character was struggling with in their own lives yet using the strength and love from the other to help them get through. That Night was a fast read... one I didn't want to put down. I finished it really quickly. I loved the diversity in the character's grief process. Everyone was at a different place in his or her journey. Lucas was great and I loved how he didn't fight his emotions. Being in touch with his emotions really gave him the ability to be a rock for Jess. And I absolutely loved the two of them together. That Night gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read That Night? What did you think? Let me know!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    Jess and Lucas never had a normal night after the mass shooting because it continuously plays in their minds. Jess (aka Jessica) tends to her depressed mother while Lucas gets his boxing gloves on and takes up the sport for good. These two opposites come together for healing, love, and a journey that nobody could've imagined. Topics discussed for this young adult novel are very relevant to today including depression and suicide with the author's notes pertaining to them near the end. For me the mass Jess and Lucas never had a normal night after the mass shooting because it continuously plays in their minds. Jess (aka Jessica) tends to her depressed mother while Lucas gets his boxing gloves on and takes up the sport for good. These two opposites come together for healing, love, and a journey that nobody could've imagined. Topics discussed for this young adult novel are very relevant to today including depression and suicide with the author's notes pertaining to them near the end. For me the mass shooting wasn't mentioned much nor the feelings from that particular day as this deals more with the aftermath but I would've hoped for a bit more depth in that regard. Otherwise well done by Amy Giles. Thank you to Amy , her publisher, and Goodreads for this ARC giveaway that was donated to the Hoyt Library in honor of my 12 yo niece Cassie Ann Gatcha.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    That Night is a powerful novel highlighting one of the most important issues facing the nation today. I was impressed with the fact that the author created a riveting novel without going into details about the school shooting that left the main characters reeling. As her characters explore their feelings of grief, anger, and eventually, love and acceptance, I could not help but to become invested in the lives of both Jess and Lucas. I would definitely recommend That Night to other readers and I That Night is a powerful novel highlighting one of the most important issues facing the nation today. I was impressed with the fact that the author created a riveting novel without going into details about the school shooting that left the main characters reeling. As her characters explore their feelings of grief, anger, and eventually, love and acceptance, I could not help but to become invested in the lives of both Jess and Lucas. I would definitely recommend That Night to other readers and I look forward to more by author Amy Giles in the future.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    What I Liked: I've been a huge fan of Amy's since her debut last year, so when her publisher sent me her newest book over the summer, I sat down and read it all in one day. And friends, it was wonderful. ♥ Jess & Lucas. Told in alternating perspectives, this is such a shared story that I don't even want to separate them. Both lost a brother the night of the shooting, and a year later, they're grieving and just trying to manage. It takes awhile for their romance to get off the ground after the What I Liked: I've been a huge fan of Amy's since her debut last year, so when her publisher sent me her newest book over the summer, I sat down and read it all in one day. And friends, it was wonderful. ♥ Jess & Lucas. Told in alternating perspectives, this is such a shared story that I don't even want to separate them. Both lost a brother the night of the shooting, and a year later, they're grieving and just trying to manage. It takes awhile for their romance to get off the ground after they start working together, because at first Lucas doesn't want much to do with her. He has a hard time with the thought of spending time with someone who  knows so much about what he's going through. But don't worry guys, because Jess is not here for your shit. She cares not that Lucas doesn't want her working at the same place at him, because she needs the money and she's staying. Within time, they become friends, and eventually begin the sweetest romance. They're able to find comfort in each other, and to learn to lean on each other. Their love story doesn't hinge on a love triangle, or drama wondering if they want to be with each other, but instead is all about everything else that's going on in their lives. Watching them alone together, with their friends, at work...it's all just the best. And when we did see them alone? ♥ Pete. Pete is Lucas' best friend, and he is like, the best friend. He cares so much for Lucas, and is always looking out for him, even when Lucas doesn't like what he has to say. He's the kind of friend everyone needs in their life. ♥ The Aftermath of a Tragedy. There are a lot of pieces to this one, but here's the biggest: this book is JUST the aftermath. There's no flashback to the night where it happened where we see the whole scene and meet all the players, no reveal where it all comes out. This is just the after. This is just the people who are left, trying to figure out how to move on and heal. Did we even learn anything about the shooter in the end? I honestly don't remember, because it doesn't matter. This isn't about him, and it isn't even about "that night." It's all about what you do after that night, and how you go on. Another piece to this is seeing how incredibly different two mothers react to the tragedy of losing a son, and how to parent the child that remains. Lucas' mom overcompensates with wanting to protect Lucas at all costs, and prevent any harm that may come his way. But Jess' mom? She's barely functioning, and Jess has had to kind of take on the parent role to make sure that shit gets taken care of in her house, which really wears on her. ♥ Pro-therapy. Lucas isn't ashamed to go or to talk about going to therapy, and I liked seeing parts of his sessions. He doesn't hide his emotions, and this is what we need more of in YA--boys who don't fight their feelings. I also liked the discussion of medication in a positive light. What I Didn’t: But why is there not more book? Final Thoughts: I adore this book, and I love/hate Amy for how well she's able to break my heart with every book she writes. There's no question now that I will read anything she writes, and will push her books on everyone I know because they are SO GOOD!! Favorite Quotes: "Time feels unstuck with Lucas. Like I’m moving forward finally. I like where i’m heading.” “Getting stuck in the now isn’t so awful when the now is this good.” Find more on www.pagesandpugs.com

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katy Upperman

    I loved this story about two teens, Jess and Lucas, who’ve each lost a brother in a local mass shooting, and the different paths they take through their grief. I appreciate that the novel doesn’t sensationalize the shooting or the shooter; rather, it focused on the families that were impacted. It features a really lovely romance that reads as realistic and healthy, despite the baggage that Jess and Lucas both carry. Pick this one up if you’re into contemporary young adult romances — it’s truly w I loved this story about two teens, Jess and Lucas, who’ve each lost a brother in a local mass shooting, and the different paths they take through their grief. I appreciate that the novel doesn’t sensationalize the shooting or the shooter; rather, it focused on the families that were impacted. It features a really lovely romance that reads as realistic and healthy, despite the baggage that Jess and Lucas both carry. Pick this one up if you’re into contemporary young adult romances — it’s truly wonderful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tee loves Kyle Jacobson

    Where to start on this review? This book is so deep and so relevant to today's society that I cried while I was reading this book because young adult shootings are happening more often. Kills killing kids for no reason. This is a senseless act that needs to stop. In this story we meet Lucas and Jess. They have been involved in a shooting and they have both lost loved ones. They are dealing with it differently and both know what pain and loss is but they don't know how to deal with it. Lucas loses Where to start on this review? This book is so deep and so relevant to today's society that I cried while I was reading this book because young adult shootings are happening more often. Kills killing kids for no reason. This is a senseless act that needs to stop. In this story we meet Lucas and Jess. They have been involved in a shooting and they have both lost loved ones. They are dealing with it differently and both know what pain and loss is but they don't know how to deal with it. Lucas loses his brother in the shooting. He is totally devastated because his brother is his best friend and he needs him in his life right now. Jess also losses her brother and she can't think about living without him. He was her world. ***** I received this ARC from Edelweiss***** When Jess and Lucas come together and become friends they find more then friendship there. They find that together they just might survive this tragedy and be able to move on. This is a must read book for all kids. This is a story about love, loss to gun violence, and healing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    emily

    I received an arc of this from a twitter giveaway! ok this was SO FREAKING GOOD! it’s basically the aftermath of a shooting that killed these two teen’s (jess and lucas) siblings and it deals with them falling in love despite them going through this horrible tragedy. obviously it brings up the topic of gun violence but the author also brings up topics such as clinical depression, anxiety, ptsd and grief. the romance was so healthy which I really liked. Jess and Lucas communicate throughout the boo I received an arc of this from a twitter giveaway! ok this was SO FREAKING GOOD! it’s basically the aftermath of a shooting that killed these two teen’s (jess and lucas) siblings and it deals with them falling in love despite them going through this horrible tragedy. obviously it brings up the topic of gun violence but the author also brings up topics such as clinical depression, anxiety, ptsd and grief. the romance was so healthy which I really liked. Jess and Lucas communicate throughout the book and always tell each other how they’re feeling. they understand each other more than their families do which leads them to helping each other. there is a suicide attempt so be aware of that before going into the book. overall I really enjoyed this it’s probably more of a 4.5/5 though, dang goodreads for not having half stars

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Searcy

    I loved NOW IS EVERYTHING so I was really excited to read this book. It did not disappoint! It’s a beautifully told story about two people who travel through grief together and fall in love after a horrible night. The characters are well-drawn. You feel what they feel—the weight of the horrible losses they are carrying, but also those butterflies of first falling in love. An emotional roller coaster ride and a one sitting read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Amy Giles's THAT NIGHT, a captivating YA novel told in dual-person narration, tells the tale of two teens, Jess and Lucas, who are struggling with grief in the aftermath of a senseless shooting at a local movie theater. As each teen deals with their individual struggle, they learn to find badly needed connections: to life, to love - and to each other. Beautifully written, with humor and heart, this novel is highly and enthusiastically recommended!

  28. 4 out of 5

    BookishGeek

    I, like so many other people, have the world's most unfortunate party trick: I get to say that I have PTSD. Oh, wait, that's not a party trick, it's a travesty? Oh well. Either way, I still have PTSD and a piece of birthday cake. Because of this super fun designation, I read a lot of books about PTSD. Young adult, new adult, adult - whatever it is, if it's about living through an awful time and coming out the other side of it victorious, chances are good I'll read it. So when I saw that that love I, like so many other people, have the world's most unfortunate party trick: I get to say that I have PTSD. Oh, wait, that's not a party trick, it's a travesty? Oh well. Either way, I still have PTSD and a piece of birthday cake. Because of this super fun designation, I read a lot of books about PTSD. Young adult, new adult, adult - whatever it is, if it's about living through an awful time and coming out the other side of it victorious, chances are good I'll read it. So when I saw that that lovely Amy Giles had her sophomore debut coming out, I requested and was lucky enough to be gifted a beautiful ARC of That Night. It was a wonderful story, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have read it. Rating:  How I'd Describe This Book to a Friend The focal point of That Night centers around two teenagers: Lucas and Jess. Both lost someone during a terrible, unexpected mass shooting, and both are coping in their own ways. Lucas lost his brother, a star athlete and his parents' golden boy. His mother has turned into a smother (get it?? hahahaha ....) due to having lost her first baby, and it's making Lucas's skin crawl. He takes up boxing as a way to put his emotions into something tangible, but he can't out-box panic attacks and anxieties, which plague him. Jess lost her brother as well - but while Lucas's mother over-loves him as a result, Jess's mother totally folds in on herself, her grief becoming tangible and poisonous. Her father having left when she was very young, now it's just Jess and her mom who is not doing much besides sleeping these days. Jess applies for a job at the local hardware store to try to earn some money to pay the overdue bills that keep piling up on their kitchen table - the same hardware store where Lucas works. Lucas and Jess's romance is a realistic one - a slow-burning romance with solid, sweet foundation. They are friends first and foremost, and they feel out each other's emotions and issues carefully, gently. We see Lucas slowly open up, explain to Jess how he feels when he has these panic attacks. Jess, meanwhile, eventually lets Lucas in enough to see her situation at home - she's ashamed and angry and sad all rolled up into one, but it matters less with Lucas at her side. The grief blinders slowly fall away when they are together, and their transformation from coworkers to friends to lovers is wonderful. Even the supporting characters are great - the only one not really fleshed out in my opinion is Lucas's father. We get to know Lucas's best friends who work at the store with him, Jess's mother and caring next-door neighbor, Lucas's mother and her love of MSG-laden casseroles. We even get to know Jess's best friend who is away at a PTSD camp after barely surviving the shooting herself - and we never actually meet her, we just see unanswered texts Jess sends her in times of trouble or worry. That's how powerful Amy Giles's characterization is. The Bottom Line I can't lie and say that That Night goes where nobody else does - there are many books about shooting-related PTSD and how people handle it, but unlike many others That Night makes the focal point some of the more unsavory parts - when you might be okay but your parents fall apart, or when even something as simple as a slamming door causes a full-blown anxiety attack. You won't find any new boundaries broken here, but that's not what you should read this book for anyway. What you should be looking for is a sweet slow-burn romance that tackles uncomfortable, real-life issues. Does it wrap it up a little too neatly? Maybe, but sometimes we need fluff in our lives. It's not always pretty, but it's real. And that's what's important in a year like 2018 when life feels impossible at times - unflinching, real love. "Life is either about moving forward or looking back. We're moving forward again, but we'll never forget what's back there behind us."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Teenreadsdotcom

    THAT NIGHT by Amy Giles is told in alternating perspectives between Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by a mass shooting at the local movie theater a year ago in their Queens, New York, neighborhood. Jess was watching the movie with her brother, Ethan, and best friend, Marissa, while Lucas was there with his brother, Jason. Both Ethan and Jason did not survive the shooting, whereas the other three did. However, Marissa was quickly sent away to a boarding school, leaving Jess to deal wit THAT NIGHT by Amy Giles is told in alternating perspectives between Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by a mass shooting at the local movie theater a year ago in their Queens, New York, neighborhood. Jess was watching the movie with her brother, Ethan, and best friend, Marissa, while Lucas was there with his brother, Jason. Both Ethan and Jason did not survive the shooting, whereas the other three did. However, Marissa was quickly sent away to a boarding school, leaving Jess to deal with the aftermath without the support of her best friend. Since that night, Jess has been forced to care for her depressed mother and take on the responsibilities of running the household, while holding down a job at a local repair store. To deal with the aftermath of the event, Lucas takes up boxing under the watchful eyes of his overprotective helicopter parents, and he also works at the repair store in town. Throughout the novel, their paths converge and they slowly become friends and then something more. This novel is quite a powerful one, and unfortunately deals with events that too often permeate our society today. While the individuals lost in each mass shooting can simply be seen as statistics, Giles breaks this boundary by giving the characters impacted a personality, with a family and a meaningful life that they left behind. The novel is told through a heartbreaking look of how grief unravels throughout time, and how it affects individuals in various ways. Jess is affected by the silence that echoes through her house since her brother’s departure, whereas her mom is affected by every little thing reminding her of Ethan. Lucas is set on getting his aggression out through boxing, which is in contrast to his parent’s wishes to keep everything the same, as if nothing has changed in their lives. Giles’ construction of each scene is written beautifully. The chapters alternate perspective between Lucas and Jess, at times both conveying the same scene so the reader is able to get both of their perspectives on it. Other scenes are unrelated snippets of their life that serve to add to the rich layers of each character. Giles is also able to weave in vulnerable memories centering on each of the characters and their late brothers, which is a helpful tool for the reader to feel like they were invested in their childhood and relationships. Indeed, Giles creates a compelling novel that accurately portrays the complexity of the aftermath of this tragic event. The reader is able to watch the characters try to gain more control in their life as they heal and pick up the pieces. I found it powerful that Giles chose to begin her novel a year after the event, accurately showing how the lives of the family members were still affected, and the community as a whole. Often times after these tragic events, unless affected by it personally, people’s interest and memory begins to fade. However, she is able to depict the true vulnerable lives these characters live in, opening the eyes of many who are fortunately not affected by tragedies such as these. THAT NIGHT is highly recommended to any young adult looking for a heavier novel to gain a broader perspective regarding tragedies such as these. Content warning for grief, depression, PTSD, drug abuse and attempted suicide.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)

    Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. I didn’t know what to expect when I started That Night. All I knew was the two main protagonist were both dealing with grief and a tragedy; and eventually, along the way they would some how help each other through it. The synopsis was very good at shrouding everything in mystery. Which was why I was surprised that this book involved a mass shooting. Everyone has seen the unfortunate increase in mass shooting Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. I didn’t know what to expect when I started That Night. All I knew was the two main protagonist were both dealing with grief and a tragedy; and eventually, along the way they would some how help each other through it. The synopsis was very good at shrouding everything in mystery. Which was why I was surprised that this book involved a mass shooting. Everyone has seen the unfortunate increase in mass shooting all over the world. It’s nothing new as it become so prevalent in the news. And like the news, there seems to be more and more books on the matter. But what makes That Night different, what makes it stand out is that Giles never really talked about what happened, hence it always being referred to as “that night”. After the lights and camera coverage goes down, readers get an in depth look behind the scenes at the aftermath of these type of tragedies. We see what the survivors “walking wounded”, witnesses, families, and communities go through. We normally see how a life is suddenly ended and how events led up to the tragedy but what people forget or not see is there’s actually a ripple effect that can transcend months and years and its the ripple effect that Giles explores in That Night. The novel alternates between our two main protagonist, Jess and Lucas. At the start of the novel they’re strangers. The only connection between the two are: they go to the same high school, they both lost their brother a year ago and are trying to deal with their grief and guilt of being the surviving sibling. I thought Giles did a great job at exploring the issue of grief and loss. She paints a vividly realistic picture and shows how everyone deals with sadness and pain in their own way. Or in some cases, they don’t deal with it at all. Take Jess, ever since her brother died, she’s left to take care of herself because her mother is a shell of her former self and her BFF is in rehab in another state. Versus Lucas who is smothered by both of his parents, afraid to let him out of their sight. To cope and find meaning in life and the reason for living; Jess ends up getting a job at Enzo’s Hardware to help her mom with the bills and Lucas picks up boxing as an outlet. That Night isn’t a novel about a mass shooting or romantic relationship between two teens. It’s a novel about learning to move on from grief. It shows that those affected by tragedies shouldn’t blame themselves for things out of their control and to never be afraid to talk about it or seek help. And most important of all, not to let such tragedies define who we are. I really enjoyed That Night. Giles writes as if it were a first hand account because I truly felt like I was right there alongside the characters as they processed their grief and learn what it really means to feel alive/included again. That Night is a relevant and well-written novel for our time. It should be read by both adult and teens. I highly recommend it.

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