Review: A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride
A teen Sliding Doors. One choice creates parallel dual narratives in this romantic contemporary mystery-thriller perfect for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point.
One Night. Two Paths. Infinite Danger.
On the night of the big Spring Break party, Hadley "borrows" her boyfriend Ben's car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.
Now Hadley has a choice: go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture or raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.
Chapters alternate to reveal each possible future as Hadley, her ex-boyfriend, Josh, and her best friends embark on a night of reckless adventure where old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets are uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.
3 Out Of 5 Stars
Genre: Teen, Mystery
On the year anniversary of her best friend’s death, Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend’s car to go visit her memorial. As punishment for taking his car, her boyfriend Ben posts a naked picture of her on Facebook. A picture Hadley did not know existed and has no memory of when it happened. Hadley has a choice to make: to go back to the party and confront her now ex-boyfriend or to take his car and just keep driving.
This was a very original, albeit pretty dark, teen fiction story. I was intrigued with reading the synopsis saying this was a teen version of the movie Sliding Doors, where one choice can completely alter the future. After the initial action occurs and the plot is set in motion, the book takes its twist, with alternating chapters showing what would have happened if she confronted Ben or just drove away. The story jumps around and it is up to the reader to keep track of which alternate reality was occurring. The book deals with some dark realistic subject matter such as date rape, blackmailing, murder, grief, drugs, drug dealing, and lies. But there are some uplifting things happening as well with hope, romance, friendship and forgiveness.
I think my favorite thing about this book was when the two realities would start to bleed together and Hadley would get a flash of a thought or a memory from something that did not happen in her current time line. I love this idea of the two realities intersecting and maybe this is where déjà vu comes into play or intuition in real life. Something to ponder. This was not a supernatural book by any means, just a teen fiction where one choice could shape so much. There were some things that I was not a fan of, like convoluted twists that came out of nowhere to explain a person’s actions when a simpler option could have been employed by the author. I won’t give any examples because it would ruin the reveals, but just know they exist. I am sure the convoluted twists were done partly for intrigue/shock value but they made the story a little less realistic when I could have believed it otherwise.
Hadley was a little lost as to what she wanted from life. She has this relationship with popular loved Ben (the pig) yet her heart seems to have always belonged to her first love Josh (the outsider), who just so happened to have murdered her best friend. Talk about complicated. In one reality Hadley runs away but is completely lost as to where she is going or what she really wants to happen. In the other reality, she faces her problems head on and wants to right wrongs. She was basically split, one action causing her personality and desires to be at odds. I rooted for her personal strength in the reality where she faced Ben and what she accomplishes. In the other reality, there was more of a romance aspect since Hadley and Josh were able to reconnect, but there her friends rectified the wrongs instead of Hadley. Let me just mention here that regardless of what reality occurs, Hadley has the best friends anyone could hope for. I loved those girls, because regardless of their attitudes and desires, they had Hadley’s back no matter what. I thought Josh was king of confusing, helping Hadley yet pushing her away at the same time. At times they seemed to know each other so well, and then it seemed like they were strangers. It was sad what happened to them and made me mad at Josh’s choices. The only thing I will say about Ben is that he needs to be in jail, stat.
I found this to be an interesting approach to a teen novel about choices and the impact they can have, and completely unlike anything else I have read. I am intrigued to see what else the author can come up with in her future books. Overall, this was a good solid read that I would recommend to older teen readers (and you know, those of us who are not teens but still like to read teen books).
I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.