Book Review: The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice

Book Review: The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait & Jimmy RiceThe Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait, Jimmy Rice
Published by Random House on March 24th 2016
Rating: three-half-stars
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Romance, Romantic Comedy, General
Pages: 416
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Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn't cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back by Rebecca keeps him on his toes. They're a perfect match.
Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.
When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten.
Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?
The Night That Changed Everything is a funny, feel-good and bittersweet story, told in alternate chapters by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice.

The Night That Everything Changed is one of those books you just HAVE to read. And it will also frustrate the living daylights out of you. Because, as it turns out, The Night That Everything Changed is not a love story. It’s the story of a break-up. A WARNING WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE, LAURA, JIMMY. ANYBODY. Yes, I was suckered in on the promise of what sounded like the most amazing love story ever, and assumed that the hiccup that changed “everything” might well not be something quite so drastic, but it was, and turns out it irrevocably changed things for Ben and Rebecca. It also led to the question: If I was in Rebecca’s shoes, would I have acted the same way? Because the way she acts after that night kind of comes across as quite dramatic, quite drastic.

First up, before that night, before it all fell apart, Rebecca and Ben had the most amazing relationship. Like movie-worthy, and maybe that was the hint that it couldn’t last? Because relationships are never that perfect, am I right? But for a time, it was, and it was amazing to witness because they were like perfect together. That’s part of the frustration, because how could you let something SO GOOD slip through your hands? But seeing the book now through the correct break-up eyes, this was actually a great book, and it all kind of makes more sense now. But I am still annoyed that there was a tiny part of me FOR THE WHOLE NOVEL expected some kind of amazing, romantic reunion.

Of the two narrators, I preferred Ben to Rebecca. Because, again, it comes back around to Rebecca’s decision making. It’s drastic. There’s no second chances with her, and it’s hard to warm to someone who comes across so cold. Ben, on the other hand, was like an excitable puppy, always eager to please, bouncing around from job to job, place to place, and Rebecca offered him a bit of stability, and I really felt that after that night, Ben properly grew up. We saw the boy become a man, and a pretty impressive one at that. But the glue for this whole novel was Jamie, best friend of both Ben and Rebecca. He was always there, with a wise word or a shoulder to cry on.

The way the book is written, it all hinges on these days, these days that changed all of their lives, there was that night, then there were a couple of further days that really ding in this book, days that irrevocably change things, just when you think you have a handle on the novel, bam! It hits you in the fact with one of the most surprising plot twists you’ll never, ever see coming in a million years. It was very much one of the most emotional books I’ve ever read, in so many unexpected ways. Was I gutted this wasn’t a romantic book? Absolutely. I love romance. But that’s what made the book even better, because you very rarely get to explore the aftermath of what seems like the perfect relationship imploding. And it was a privilege to get to know Ben – and Jamie. Rebecca I’m still not sure about, and I felt sad for Danielle, another part of the group, but whom we don’t really get to know.

The Night That Everything Changed is definitely a marmite kind of read, depending on what you’re expecting, but it packs a heck of an emotional punch and I actually really enjoyed it. Laura and Jimmy are awesome writers, I love how they get into the heads of their characters, and I would love to know how they write as a pair (and I hope they continue to do so for a very long time). This is such a good read, don’t miss out on this book, Laura and Jimmy are one of the best new writers on the block these days!


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