by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
Started: 19 March 2016
Finished: 22 March 2016
I’d heard great things about The Best Thing that Never Happened to Me but I just haven’t got round to reading it yet. So when Penguin Random House asked if I’d be interested in a review copy of The Night that Changed Everything I jumped at the chance.
This novel follows Rebecca and Ben, the seemingly perfect couple whose different personalities complete each other. From the night they met until the night of Ben’s birthday party a year later when one throwaway comment changes their relationship. We spend the rest of the novel watching as they develop from this and waiting to see whether their serious relationship can survive.
Now, I’m going to be honest, for a lot of the novel I didn’t like Rebecca. I felt that she really overreacted to the comment and to what it referred to. However, I was pleased to see that the other characters in the novel didn’t excuse, or even understand it themselves. Towards the end of the novel my feelings changed towards her and her behaviour began to make more sense to me, so if you have the same reaction to her as me it really is worth sticking with her. I did really like Ben and reading his chapters in the novel, I also really felt for him and his situation (especially with Rebecca). My favourite character however was Jamie, he had great lines and moments in the novel. Every important moment seemed to involve him somehow too, he really was the glue of the group and the novel itself and as mentioned in the book, everyone should have a friend like Jamie. I also really liked Russ and Jemma, they had some great one-liners which brought some much needed comic relief at times.
At first I was a little disappointed that the novel jumps from when Rebecca and Ben first meet to a year later when they’re already in a serious relationship – as I generally like to see the development of the relationship. However after a few chapters it didn’t bother me at all and I thoroughly enjoyed reading to find out what was going to happen with their relationship, rather than what happened in their relationship up until that point. In addition, towards the end of the novel when an argument takes place it makes everything make sense in a way that perhaps wouldn’t have quite worked had we seen Rebecca and Ben’s relationship develop from the beginning. As much as I loved the ending (for reasons I can’t get into as they’re huge spoilers and despite another event I don’t want to ruin) there was one element that didn’t make a lot of sense to me, although it was hinted to a couple of times in the novel, I felt we didn’t see enough interactions with that particular character for it to make sense entirely.
The chapters in the novel alternate between Rebecca’s perspective and Ben’s perspective which I really enjoyed and it really worked in seeing the full situation. On a personal level I also enjoyed a break in Rebecca’s narrative from time to time. I also enjoyed how each chapter started with the date so it was easy to keep track with the timeline and so you see how much happens in the time frame (which Jemma herself points out towards the end, which I felt was a nice touch). I haven’t read a novel written by two authors before, however I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it flowed and whilst the two characters were very different, the writing styles weren’t so it was even easier to get sucked into the novel.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would definitely recommend it, especially as it isn’t your usual romance. I have already bought The Best Thing that Never Happened to Me and cannot wait to get started on it.