cover image One Night That Changes Everything

One Night That Changes Everything

Lauren Barnholdt, Simon Pulse, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9479-4

In Barnholdt's (Two-way Street) silly rom-com, set over the course of one wild night, high school junior Eliza loses her secret notebook, where for years she's collected lists of everything she's afraid of doing. A group of notorious mean boys finds it, and they send Eliza on a night out where she's forced to live out her fears—threatening to publish the journal online if she doesn't comply. While the fear journal makes an enticing (if not entirely believable) plot device, the dares themselves are generally so banal—asking a gorgeous jerk to dance at a club, singing karaoke, kissing another jerk at a party, posting a bikini picture online—that there's no real opportunity for Eliza to achieve any significant emotional growth. A lack of character development may further deflate readers' emotional investment in Eliza's drama, as well as the series of events that is supposed to shepherd her back into the arms of her ex-boyfriend, who both broke her heart and played a role in her notebook's going missing in the first place. Ages 14–up. (July)