The Worst Night Ever

Author: Dave Barry
Narrator: Todd Haberkorn
Published: April 26, 2016

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 21-23, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Last year, Wyatt Palmer was the hero of middle school, having foiled a plot against the president of the United States. But now he and his friends are in Coral Cove High School-home of the Fighting Conchs-and Wyatt is no longer a hero: He’s just another undersized freshman, hoping to fit in, or at least not be unpopular. Things start to go wrong when Matt Diaz, who is Wyatt’s best friend but also unfortunately an idiot, decides to bring his pet ferret, Frank, to school. Through an unfortunate series of events Frank ends up in the hands of the Bevin brothers, who are the most popular boys at Coral Cove High, but are also, as Matt soon discovers, the nastiest. When Wyatt and Matt try to get Frank back, they concoct a plan to attend a party for the cool clique at the Bevin’s waterfront mansion and stumble onto the Bevin family’s dark and deadly secret. That’s when Wyatt learns that some things are worse than being unpopular in high school. MUCH worse.

Jessica’s Review:

I listened to The Worst Class Trip Ever at the end of last year and it was a very pleasant surprise (My review is here). I was able to listen to The Worst Night Ever which is the second book in the series. Wyatt and his friends are back for another adventure and this time they are in their freshman year of high school. Wyatt’s friend Matt decides to bring his pet ferret Frank to school, which leads them on a crazy series of events. They stumble upon a dangerous secret involving the family of the biggest bullies of the school. 

Worst Night Ever was enjoyable, but there was not as much magic to it that Worst Class Trip had.  The beginning dragged for me, and it all just seemed too silly.  Even though they are in high school now, Wyatt and friends still came off as middle schoolers.  Maybe this is just ‘boy mentality’/ lack of maturity.  Everything dealing with Frank the ferret just did not work for me, though it all led up to Wyatt’s discovery. When it got to the ‘dangerous secret’ I became interested in the story.

These stories are not believable at all (in a good way); this would be enjoyed by and appropriate for middle schoolers, especially boys.  The narrator Todd Haberkorn portrays Wyatt perfectly. I would like to see what adventure Wyatt and his friends find themselves in next.  I can’t see any adventure being better than the first.

The Worst Night Ever is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus
Published: May 30, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 25- March 1, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Jessica’s Review:

One of Us is Lying (to be referred to OOUIL for the rest of this review) was quite the debut for Karen McManus.  The mystery of who killed Simon never drags and you take turns suspecting each student that was in the room. They all had reasons to kill Simon, but so did most of the school…. This has a similar feel to the movie The Breakfast Club, and we have characters that you grow to like. 

This is one that you do not want to put down. You want to keep reading (or in my case listening)!  These characters start out as the clichés they represent and they grow out of that by the end of the novel.  I did not figure out each student’s secret (one secret I was not surprised about) or who killed Simon (OMG!) until all was revealed.

I listened to the audiobook, which had four different actors narrating for Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper. This helped with the narration as it was a little difficult keeping each student straight.  I did have a post-it note in my car with the names and the stereotype they represented. 

This novel has been a popular one and McManus has written a second book I will be reading (Two Can Keep a Secret).  Two is not a sequel to OOUIL but McManus will have a sequel coming out in 2020. I cannot wait to read it to see what happens next.  According to McMannus’ website, here is a little about the upcoming sequel:

 Bronwyn’s sister Maeve gets main character treatment when Bayview High’s newest gossip game turns deadly. Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy, and Nate aren’t POV characters, but you’ll see plenty of them. As of now the book is scheduled for release in January 2020, but subject to change of course.


OOUIL is highly recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Author Guest Post: Michele Gorman on Differences in UK and USA Book Covers

Today I get to bring you something different: An author guest post! Today author Michele Gorman who also writes under Lilly Bartlett tells us about book covers, specifically the differences between USA and UK covers. She will also show us difference in the US and UK covers of her novel The Truth About Love and Dogs.

How often do you pick up a book because of the cover? I do it all the time. It’s what makes me take the time to look at the description, read the first few paragraphs, and, if I like all that I see, decide to buy it.

So, is it any wonder that covers cause us authors so much angst? They might even make us more nervous than writing the book itself. That’s because writing is an evolutionary process. It takes months to do, plus there are many rounds of editing. But the cover is the instant, one-and-only first impression your book will make. It’s like getting ready for a first date with someone that you really really want to impress! You’ve only got one chance.

Every single author I know holds her breath when that email comes through from the publisher saying “Here’s the cover art and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do.”

So here it is: my one chance. These are the two covers we’ve chosen to make a first impression for The Truth About Love and Dogs. What do you think? They’re very different from one another, aren’t they? That’s because tastes in romcom covers in the UK are so different from preferences in the US.

For the US cover – the basket of pups – we wanted something fun and eye-catching that conveys the book’s tone rather than the story exactly. Publishers go for the look and feel more than an image that literally tells you what the story is about (that’s the job of the title and the description). There are pugs in the book, by the way!

The UK cover might have a very different look, but its tone is the same. There, we wanted to project a cover the reader can fall into, with intriguing groupings of people that provoke curiosity.

I always ask my Facebook friends and newsletter followers for their feedback about my proposed covers, and the US readers mostly go for a photographic cover while UK readers love the illustrated ones. Does that hold true for you? Which do you like better?

Whichever cover grabs you most, I hope you’ll love the story inside!

Happy reading!

Lilly xo

**If you want to connect with me on Facebook or through my newsletter then you can get involved in my next cover choices!**

I (Jessica) may live in the USA, but 9 out of 10 times I prefer the UK cover of books. In the case of The Truth About Love and Dogs I prefer the US cover!  What country are you from and which cover do you prefer?

**Let us know in the comments below!!**

Book Description of The Truth About Love and Dogs:

Four little words, uttered by her husband…
‘Oh my god,’ he gasped into her shoulder. ‘Shannon!’
There’s just one problem: her name isn’t Shannon.

Rewind six months and Scarlett and Rufus aren’t in the honeymoon stage anymore so much as the honey-should-we-bother phase. Desperate to get their sparkle back, Scarlett has plotted, planned and waxed more than any woman should have to, but none of it is working. Which makes it very hard to start the family they want. 

At least her business is going strong, even if her marriage isn’t. She and her best friend spend their days tangled up in dog leads and covered in fur. Scarlett/ is the fairy dogmother, training hopeless pets like compulsive eater Barkley, impulsive Romeo Murphy and bossy Biscuit. Meanwhile, her best friend walks the dogs and pines for the man who doesn’t know she exists. Thank goodness the women have each other. 

If only Scarlett could work out how to get her marriage back on track. But Rufus isn’t sharing his feelings with her. He is, though, sharing with her best friend. Her best friend, Shannon.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Michele writes books packed with heart and humour, best friends and girl power. Call them beach books, summer reads, romantic comedy or chick lit… readers and reviewers call them “feel good”, “thought-provoking” and “laugh out loud”. She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and living in London with her husband. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films.

Michele also writes cosy chick lit under the pen-name Lilly Bartlett. Lilly’s books are full of warmth, romance, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Contact Michele:
Twitter @MicheleGormanUK