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Sunday, May 13, 2018

REVIEW: What Happened That Night by Sandra Block @sbkslandmark @block_sandra

What Happened That Night
by Sandra Block

Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Landmark and Astoria Bookshop for this gorgeous book - I was absolutely glued to the pages from beginning to end.

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date:  June 5, 2018
352 Pages
Genres:  Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

One moment Dahlia is a successful Harvard student. The next, she wakes up from a party, the victim of a brutal assault. Her life veers into a tailspin, and what’s worse, her memory of the attack has been ripped away, leaving a cold rage in its wake.

Now, years later, Dahlia is a tattooed paralegal suffering from PTSD, still haunted by that night. Until one day, a video surfaces online, and Dahlia sees her attack for the first time. Now she knows what happened to her. And she knows who to blame. Her rage is no longer cold, but burning, red hot.

And she is about to make everyone pay.

My Review:

I could not, in a million years, imagine what it's like to go through the trauma that Dahlia did, have PTSD of the event (that she cannot remember) and then see the attack come online years later.  UFF.  What I LOVE about this book is that the revenge factor is clear - but it's executed with the code of not killing anyone.  

The characters - how do you NOT fall in love with James?!  Absolutely LOVE his character.  The build up of friendship with Dahlia to something more was so much better than any instalove I've had to endure through.  This felt so real and sincere between two people who have dealt with tragedy and can understand and accept the other's quirks.  What's not to love?!  Dahlia is also such a strong character.  The ups and downs she goes through, the backlash after the attack of blaming the victim (her) from even her own family and how she deals with the consequences of her emotional roller coaster - really heart wrenching and I felt so MUCH for her throughout this read.  My favorite secondary character? Has to be Natasha - I think if you read this book you'll totally understand why. 

Told from the point of view of Dahlia and James with a few chat room chats between the demons of the story, the short chapters keep your attention from page one to the very end.  I felt my eyes drooping at one point but could NOT stop so fought my way through, stayed awake and finished the book.  The author does a great job in putting you right inside the mind of and portraying Dahlia's heartache, James's Asberger Syndrome and even the pathetic and entitled minds of the Hawk Club.  
There are some graphic parts regarding the attack that may be hard for some readers.  I think the author did it tastefully though and it was necessary to really get you inside Dahlia's head.

If I had to be picky in any way about this, the ending did feel a teeny bit rushed after all the detail given throughout the rest of the book.  I was so engaged in the characters that I didn't quite see the little twist!  I knew there was one heading in that direction but my mind, weirdly, wasn't trying to figure it out and was enjoying the read outside of the twisty part.  I am completely satisfied and could NOT put this book down.  It gave me a little bit of "The Accused" movie with Jody Foster throughout.  

Oh sweet, sweet revenge - sometimes it is just SO satisfying.


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