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That Night

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  999 ratings  ·  189 reviews
An emotional sophomore YA novel from acclaimed author Amy Giles, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven, about tragedy, love, and learning to heal.

The year since a mass shooting shook their Queens neighborhood has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar and deeply personal ways.

As Jess struggles to
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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destiny ♡ howling libraries
You might have noticed I have a very specific “type” when it comes to YA contemporary: if it isn’t tragic, I probably won’t like it, but if it can yank at my heart strings and make me cry (and maybe rage) a few times? Well, that’s my idea of a good time. Given how Amy’s last release Now is Everything destroyed my entire life for days after I finished it, I had high hopes for this story, and wow, did it deliver. Amy Giles is flawless when it comes to these gut-punch, heart-wrenching contempor ...more
It's been a year since the shooting in their town changed everything, and Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi are each trying to manage in their own way. Jess is trying to care for her severely depressed mom, who can barely get out of bed. That means helping pay the bills, cook the meals, and generally take care of everything. She misses her best friend desperately, but Marissa is across the country at a school for those suffering post traumatic stress. Meanwhile, Lucas is coping by taking up boxing. ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars.

I think Giles is a new favorite author. I read NOW IS EVERYTHING by her last year and absolutely loved it, and this the same. She's one of the few authors that you can tell cares immensely about the necessary research that needs to be done when handling tough topics, and it definitely helped because as far as I can tell, the representation was stunning.

Gun violence is *sadly* something happens more often than not, therefore, a lot of books are written about it, THAT NIGHT will forever s
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
I loved this so much more than I expected. I loved that it wasn't meet a person and boom! everyone is fixed.

Instead this was real. It felt like it was something that we could all relate to. Whether in losing someone in tragedy or learning how to move on and forgive. It was a beautifully raw written story and I adored both Lucas and Jess.
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Where to start on this review? This book is so deep and so relevant to today's society that I cried while I was reading this book because young adult shootings are happening more often. Kills killing kids for no reason. This is a senseless act that needs to stop.

In this story we meet Lucas and Jess. They have been involved in a shooting and they have both lost loved ones. They are dealing with it differently and both know what pain and loss is but they don't know how to deal with it.

Lucas loses
This was a really lovely, quiet YA about grief, love, survivor's guilt, and moving on. I'm usually really iffy on books where people "recover" thanks to a romantic relationship, but especially for Lucas, this book is so heavy on coping mechanisms, therapy, medication, etc. that I don't think it ever gives the impression that love alone will "save" you. In truth, I didn't get quite as much of a character arc from Jess, but having a male main character in YA who openly cries, is in therapy, is on ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-health
3.85/5 Stars.

Life is either about moving forward or looking back. We're moving forward again, but we'll never forget what's back there behind us. We can't. Because if we forget, it could happen again.

I wasn't prepared to experience different kinds of emotions from this book. It is filled with grief, guilt, heartbreak, losss and mental health, in the mean time, it also proves that always living in the past or looking back won't change anything, instead always stepping forward and be hopeful.

I fin
Amber Smith
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, swanky-seventeens
I was a huge fan of Amy's first book, NOW IS EVERYTHING, and I love this one even more! It was one of those books where I found myself thinking about Jess and Lucas even when I wasn't reading. They just felt so real, and my emotions for them were real too. Amy Giles has such a powerful, authentic voice -- I am in awe! ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 4.5 Stars

That night everything changed. That night they both lost their brothers, but that wasn't all they lost. Jess and Lucas were struggling to heal in the aftermath, and maybe their best bet was each other.

• Pro: This story was about the aftermath. How a community was broken, and how they were trying to pick up the pieces and move on. There are so many different ways a tragedy can affect people, and Giles explored many of them in a thoughtful and sensitive way.

• Pro: With this book
Jun 06, 2022 rated it liked it

This was in no means groundbreaking or the best book i’ve ever read but it was beautiful. I appreciate the way Amy Giles depicts grief, especially anxiety in Lucas specifically. I thought the characters were sweet and they were definitely made for one another, Jess deserves everything wonderful in life.

While I don’t think it’s the most interesting book, it was worth my time and I enjoyed reading about these characters.

The setting was nicely described and I really liked the side characters a
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction, arc
Oh, wow, this book.

I loved Giles's debut, NOW IS EVERYTHING, so I was really looking forward to this one. And it did not disappoint. The book begins a year after the tragedy, so we see how things have changed for Jess and Lucas and everyone around them, how grief has twisted a tight hold. The characters are so richly imagined, so true to life. I felt so many things for them, wanted to wrap them in a hug, tell them, "I know, I know."

The book is filled with poignant moments of tiny heartbreak. A
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

• Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings

- - -

I was wowed by this book. I went into it without any expectations, really, because I haven't read Amy's other book (her debut from 2017). I was hooked immediately upon starting this one. This book is told from two perspectives; Jess and Lucas. Both of these teens lost a brother in a mass shooting a year prior. Both of them are coping in different ways; both were effected in different ways. Jess' mother is gravely depressed and barely leaves her be
What happens when you survived but your brother didn’t? What do you do when your family is falling apart or panic grips you by the throat, when you are not sure why you were the one who survived? That Night by Amy Giles presents a unique perspective on gun violence, focusing entirely on the survivors and the emotional fallout from the loss. That Night is romantic and a powerful, emotional story of surviving and learning to live again.

Everything changed that night. Families. The way people looked
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
That Night is great book that gives us a look at the grief process and how it is handled by different people.

I was a little confused at the start and I actually thought that 'That Night' was a sequel, I wasn't quite sure what had happened as we only get bits and pieces throughout the book of the tragedy that happened on that fateful night.

Our main characters are Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi, both have experienced great loss and are dealing with it in different ways; we also see how their famili
Megan Fortas
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-2018
"That Night" by Amy Giles is an intriguing book! This is very powerful and moving with the main characters points of view! This book deals with grief of losing a sibling and the parents grief of losing a child. This book also deals with them trying to take control of their life after their loss and tragic event! Amy Giles writes beautifully about grief and how the parents and child handle grief on different levels. The way Amy Giles writes about family dynamics is captivating! The type of topics ...more
Joanne O'Sullivan
A heartbreakingly real look at how grief unfolds over the course of time, crafted with nuance, depth and tenderness. Jess and Lucas both lose their siblings to random, senseless gun violence. That Night doesn't focus on the single dramatic episode of violence, but rather much more difficult terrain that follows a loss. Family dynamics shift, as do the characters sense of self. Because the shooting affected so many in the community, everyone knows about it, but each character wants to be be seen ...more
Stephanie Elliot
Amy Giles writes about grief like it's a punch to the gut... Powerfully and all-encompassing. Her characters in That Night are singed with grief and it shows... In their relationships, in their actions, in their words. That Night will change the way you think about how a person grieves and the different ways family members cope with the most difficult loss...how a person can also get through such immense loss. Not an easy topic but an important one, and Amy Giles follow-up to Now is Everything i ...more
Kathleen Glasgow
I love this book for its honest portrayal of teens in the aftermath of tragedy. Jess and Lucas are wonderfully written, the story will make you ache and hope for them. I think this would be an excellent book for discussion in classrooms and teen book groups.
Beulah Jenifer
A must read book! It's about surviving after tragedy, living after accident. The life of Jess and Lucas is painful and tough. How both confront the painful life by being together despite mentally, emotionally crushed is penned in absolute brilliance. ...more
This is how you do a romance, ladies and gents. Young adult romance is a pretty rocky genre, often full of problematic messages, controlling, abusive partners, and generally unhealthy relationships that are portrayed as positive. Not here. That Night is a wonderful story about two teenagers who fall in love in the aftermath of a shooting where both of them lost siblings, and together manage to pull their lives back together and overcome their grief. It's heartwarming, wholesome, and makes for so ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I have read this year. I didn't want to read it. I thought it was about another shooting, and it was, but it also wasn't. It was about two teens who lost older brothers in a shooting the year before and it was a tender look at the aftermath of trauma in the lives of survivors and their families. The main characters were believable and their modes of survival are realistic. This would be a great book for anyone who has suffered trauma. It doesn't paint a pretty picture, but ...more
Lucy S
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shows two different points of view of grief and how to deal with it. I've become OBSESSED with YA realistic fiction about grief for some reason and this one is one of my favorites. I TOTALLY recommend reading. ...more
Carlie Sorosiak
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will read anything Amy Giles writes. This book is tender and gut-punching and life-affirming. I loved it.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I don't know why it never occurred to me that this book could have been a huge political statement about gun control. Whatever the reason I didn't consider that doesn't really matter. What matters is That Night barely even mentions the event itself. I praise Amy Giles for taking this route. I was thinking toward the end of the book how glad I was that she didn't take the approach of turning this into some big political statement. The story is about how these characters overcome trauma and grief
This started much stronger than it finished. I was really excited about the "boxing as an outlet for anxiety" storyline but felt it took a backseat to the romance.

-Lucas and his struggle with anxiety. I'm going through my own struggle with anxiety right now, so I could relate.
-Boxing. The training scenes were a lot of fun because I know enough about boxing from my own martial arts classes to understand what was going on.
-Jess's home life/her mom's struggle with depression. It was easy to em
K.E. Woodruff
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up That Night, I had my own set of expectations. It seemed natural that the author would give her readers the full details on what happened the night of the shooting. That we would relive the tragedy that haunts our protagonists.

So when the author took a slightly different direction with her novel, I was a little surprised. In case you have yet to read this contemporary fiction novel, That Night is not meant to highlight the tragedy itself, but the repercussions of it. To focus in
Katy Upperman
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I loved this story about two teens, Jess and Lucas, who’ve each lost a brother in a local mass shooting, and the different paths they take through their grief. I appreciate that the novel doesn’t sensationalize the shooting or the shooter; rather, it focused on the families that were impacted. It features a really lovely romance that reads as realistic and healthy, despite the baggage that Jess and Lucas both carry. Pick this one up if you’re into contemporary young adult romances — it’s truly w ...more
Mel (Reading_obsessively)
I think that my favourite part about this book is that even though it’s about the aftermath of a shooting, we don’t actually talk about the shooting itself.

This book isn’t about the Monster or his/her motivations to commit such a horrid crime. This book is about the survivors. Those left behind who had to go through life everyday asking themselves how they escaped, those who feel guilty, those who lost a brother, a friend, a son, a daughter.

This is a book about accepting good into our lives wh
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this. Mostly because the awful incident at the Balconey is not the main focus of the book. Giles examines the consequences and aftermath of tragedy and the impact it has on the people who are left to pick up the pieces - or not. Crippling depression, loss, denial, grief, anxiety, mental health issues, self-medication, abandonment - all reactions are treated with respect and utter truth. Not once did I feel that any character’s response was manufactured or manipulated.

Jess and Lucas
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
That Night is a powerful novel highlighting one of the most important issues facing the nation today. I was impressed with the fact that the author created a riveting novel without going into details about the school shooting that left the main characters reeling. As her characters explore their feelings of grief, anger, and eventually, love and acceptance, I could not help but to become invested in the lives of both Jess and Lucas. I would definitely recommend That Night to other readers and I ...more
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Amy Giles is a young adult author. Her debut novel, Now Is Everything, was the 2018 winner of the prestigious Buxtehude Bulle award (Jetzt ist alles, was wir haben), a Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2017, and a Georgia Peach Book Award Nominee. Her sophomore novel, That Night, was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard award. She lives on an Island that is Long with her husband, two daughters, ...more

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