Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

A Night Twice as Long

Rate this book
What do you call the difference between what you should feel and what you do feel? Life?

The blackout has been going on for three weeks. But Alex feels like she's been living in the dark for a year, ever since her brother, who has autism, was removed from the house, something Alex blames herself for. So when her best friend, Anthony, asks her to trek to another town to figure out the truth about the blackout, Alex says yes.

On a journey that ultimately takes all day and night, Alex's relationships with Anthony, her brother, and herself will transform in ways that change them all forever.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Andrew Simonet

5 books34 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
5 (8%)
4 stars
22 (39%)
3 stars
19 (33%)
2 stars
10 (17%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Karen M.
602 reviews11 followers
June 16, 2021
A blackout that seems like it may never end and life may never be the same again. Alex and her Mother have isolated themselves from the world but it has more to do with Alex’s autistic brother, Georgie, than the blackout. In the guise of helping her best friend, Anthony, Alex intentionally or is it unintentionally ends up changing everything.

Sixteen year old Alex has been taking care of her brother for as long as she can remember and now she’s free of responsibility but for all the wrong reasons and it’s all her own fault. One mistake has devastated her and her Mother and left them struggling to continue their lives.

Such a good read like this does not come along everyday. It was interesting and informative and hit all the right emotional notes with me. You know where Alex and Anthony’s relationship is probably headed but that’s just a tiny part of this complex story. You feel for the sense of hopelessness for a family that just doesn’t seem to catch a break in life.

This was an engrossing original storyline that kept me compulsively reading until I finished the book.

This book was won in a First Reads giveaway. Thank you to Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, LLC and the author Andrew Simonet.
Profile Image for Melanie.
994 reviews19 followers
April 30, 2021
Content warnings at end of review.

Thank you to Netgalley and Fierce Reads for an arc of this book!

After 3 weeks of blackout and no communication about what is happening, Anthony convinces Alex to leave her self-imposed solitude and walk 10 miles with him to try and get ahold of his mother. Alexandra has been a shut-in for long before the blackout started, since last year when an accident she feels responsible for caused her mother to lose guardianship of her autistic brother. Throughout the journey, Alex's understanding of her life and relationships will be forever altered.

The writing in this book is absolutely visceral. The brutal honesty behind the words reminds me of Mindy McGinnis or Rory Powers. I had a hard time putting this book down, and then was left thinking about it for hours afterward.

I like that this book took a apocalypse-esque setting but that's not what it's about at all. This book is completely about relationships and our understanding of the world. I thought that was done really well.

As far as the autistic representation goes, it is my understanding that the author has an autistic sibling which he based the relationship between Alex and Georgie on. I don't really feel qualified to speak to the authenticity of the representation here, so I will definitely be looking into ownvoices reviews once they are available.

Some of the descriptions in this were a little off-putting to me because it was a male writer vividly discussing a teenage girl's connection with her own body. It felt a little strange in that way. I also thought that some times it got a little too bogged down in memories instead of the present, but not overly so.

Pub date: June 1, 2021

Content Warnings:
Graphic: Ableism, Grief, and Kidnapping
Minor: Racism, Sexual content, and Violence
Profile Image for Beth.
678 reviews28 followers
July 18, 2021
Thank you Net Galley and Macmillian Children's Publishing Group for this ebook.

The summary of this book sounded like a dystopian story, and it sort of was, but not as much as I was hoping for.

Alexandra Waters has been hiding out in her house for the past 3 weeks during a nationwide blackout. She and her mother have been going through the motions of living for the past year, ever since Alex's brother, Georgie - who has autism, was removed from the home after an accident at the lake.

One day during the blackout, Alex's good friend Anthony asks her to walk miles and miles to the closest town to try and connect with his mom via a radio someone supposedly has at the VFW. They encounter some interesting people on their journey and ultimately end up at Georgie's school and take him along on their quest.

The story jumps around from the action taking place during Alex and Anthony's journey - including their budding romance, Alex's rants about how the special needs community is treated by "Normies", and the challenges of caring for a child/sibling with special needs.

I was definitely looking for something different with this book than what it was. It was just ok.
Profile Image for Kym's Open Books.
819 reviews2 followers
May 19, 2021
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what this story was about. There was some great character development for one but I don’t feel she was developed at the beginning. I kept wanting more backstory, more details, just more. The story abruptly starts one day and and I don’t feel like I got to know her.

A blackout has covered the country, possibly farther. Life is redefined when electricity and cars and such are not available. Alex finds a new freedom and clarity with her new environment and is able to embrace most aspects of this new life.

I loved hearing about Georgie. This book is REAL about caring for disabilities. Alex’s brother is severely autistic and non-verbal and it is hard. I love the realism. This book is the first I’ve read about the realities about autism and how it affects family members. Props to Simonet for adding that to his story.

Thank you to Fierce Reads for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

The book releases June 1, 2021.
Profile Image for nebula.
3 reviews
April 18, 2022
I was expecting a dark, brooding post-apocalyptic journey, but instead got a contemporary YA romance with not much going on in terms of action. I think the synopsis is misleading, and I might have enjoyed it more if I had known ahead of time what the story was truly about.

The blackout is so inconsequential that the narrator tells us in the beginning what caused it and how it'll end in a week, so all tension is instantly removed. I get that the author wanted the focus to be on the relationships between the main character and her autistic brother and her best friend, but it was a huge let-down considering what was promised on the back of the book.

Where the book truly shines is how unapologetically honest and raw the MC is regarding the difficulties of having an autistic non-verbal family member, while also celebrating their differences. However, it wasn't enough to carry us through the pretty mild 24h journey, all things considered.

There is also a very awkward scene towards the end that made me feel like the author doesn't really understand teenage girls' sexuality, and it made me cringe really really hard.
Profile Image for Happy.
460 reviews24 followers
January 1, 2022
I chose this because the synopsis has something to do with a 'blackout' and thought that I could relate with it but it turns out that this is more about about a teenage girl's journey towards self discovery.
Profile Image for Arlen.
97 reviews3 followers
December 20, 2020
Book Review: A Night Twice as Long
by Andrew Simonet
Pub Date: 01 Jun 2021
read courtesy of http://netgalley.com

Andrew Simonet represented what it is like to live with a sibling who has autism in a genuinely authentic way. We learn much about the main character, Alex, through her interactions with and thoughts about her non-verbal brother, Georgie, in comparison with how the people around her respond to him. It make her both a likable character and a character with depth. Through Alex we get the perspective of the "Normies," people without disabilities who are strange in their own ways, and of the progression of an autistic child as he grows up and figures out how to "impose his will."

But that's only part of the story... Alex and her neighbor/best friend/boyfriend, Anthony, and from what they can tell, the entire United States, are in an electrical blackout from an unknown origin. They don't know how long it will last, either. Anthony's mother is in the military, and he hasn't seen her in a while, so when he gets word that someone actually has a working telephone, he jumps at the chance to try to connect with his mom. But without transportation (gas pumps don't work), he'll have to walk to another town to find the person with the phone. He cajoles Alex into taking the trek with him, and what they encounter on their journey makes for great reading.

Complicating their journey beyond transportation is the fact that Alex's mother told her she couldn't go (she does anyway), and Alex is white, while Anthony is black. On top of that, Alex decided to chop off all of her hair and is often mistaken for a boy.

The author provides vivid descriptions that help the reader picture what's going on; my favorite was a descriptively interesting way of describing hair at one point. Simonet also gives great onomatopoeia.

Profile Image for Lelia Taylor.
872 reviews16 followers
June 3, 2021
3.5 stars

Many of us, if not most, have lived through a blackout and we know they’re no fun, for a lot of reasons, chief of which is the uncertainty of just how long it will last. In this case, the weeks-long outage has the feel of a post-apocalyptic scenario but without the tension I expect to find in such a story. That lack is detrimental to my way of thinking, creating a plot that’s a little too nebulous for me but the author has done a nice job with his characters, bringing them to life with significant issues that today’s teens face in real life.

Alex’s autistic brother, Georgie, was removed from her mother’s care a year earlier and Alex has become almost a shut-in because of how it happened. The truth is he may be in an environment that’s more suitable for his needs but her guilt interferes with her ability to see this; on the other hand, the blackout has given her a sort of new look at life and the journey she takes with Anthony opens her eyes even more.

Besides his depiction of severe autism and the effect it has on those around the disabled person, the author touches on racial animosity and parental issues and watching Alex learn to understand the world and herself is what makes this book tick.
Profile Image for Robin.
385 reviews4 followers
May 29, 2021
Teen friends Alex and Anthony are three weeks into a blackout but no one is sure if it's only affecting their community, their state, the whole country, or even the whole world. No one is sure what caused it either. Alex is missing her brother Georgie. Georgie has autism and is living with a foster family in a neighboring town following an accident. Alex and Anthony set out to see if they can get answers about the blackout. Along the way, Alex confronts her grief over being abandoned by her father and the role she played in her brother being removed from her home.

This is definitely a character-driven novel without a lot of action. It gives a nice explanation of what it's like to have a sibling with a disability. While I appreciated that aspect and the few snippets of racism that it featured, it was just too slow-moving and uneventful for my liking.

Thanks to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.
1,580 reviews4 followers
April 28, 2022
This book was an unexpected surprise. Alex's town has been in a blackout for the past couple weeks. No electricity, no cell phones, no news of what's happening. When her best friend Anthony wants to take a day trip to see if the VFW knows anything about his mom in the Navy, Alex and Anthony embark on a short adventure. While this is the main plot, there is a side plot that is equally essential. Alex's younger brother, George, has autism. George was taken from their home a year ago by Child Protective Services, and Alex wants to get him back more than anything.

Some readers will love this book for the adventure, but I hope that others will love this book for the perspective of Alex and her relationship with her brother with autism.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,418 reviews41 followers
December 9, 2022
There has been a black out for three weeks now, even though it seems longer. Alex is really worried about her younger brother. He has autism and has been sent to live in a foster home. She and her friend Anthony decide to get to the nearby town to figure out what has caused the black out and also check in on her brother along the way. Things go terribly wrong.
There wouldn't be a book without Alex making bad decisions but there are so many bad decisions! And it just goes from bad to worse. I don't know if students will cringe as much as I did while reading this; maybe they will get drawn into the drama of it all.
Profile Image for Chanda Spaulding.
72 reviews1 follower
June 23, 2021
I won a copy of this book through a good reads giveaway. This was a cute little story about a young girl trying to find her way. The power had gone out and there are no signs of it returning anytime soon. Alex and her mother live alone. Alex and her friend Anthony leave town one night on a mission to talk to Anthony’s mom. Along the way Alex steals her autistic brother from his school and brings him back home. This was a heartwarming story of a young girl who just wants her brother back and electricity to be returned.
1,984 reviews
March 14, 2023
If you're looking for some survivalist, apocalyptic work, this isn't it--so I understand why people feel misled. What bumped this up for me was the sincere and honest portrayal of what it's like to have a sibling with a disability. My brother has intellectual and disabilities and is autistic, and Simonet nails the complicated feelings that happen as a sibling. Yes, there's love and pride, but there's also frustration and anger. For that, I'm bumping it up a star, because I really did feel like my thoughts and feelings were on the page.
Profile Image for Doree Weller.
Author 3 books6 followers
March 7, 2022
I enjoyed this book and the relationships in it, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

I was expecting more about the blackout, but that seems to be the MacGuffin of the story. Ultimately, what caused the blackout isn't that interesting. And what happens during the blackout is mostly background. This story is about the relationships.

The pace is leisurely and not a lot happens. Ultimately, I enjoyed it for what it was. But again, it wasn't what I expected.
530 reviews2 followers
January 20, 2022
This was a Goodreads win. This is a blackout but no one seems to know how far it goes. Alex’s brother has been removed from their home, he is also handicapped. Alex and Anthony decide to travel to a town who has a short wave radio to see if they can reach Anthony’s mom who is in the service and on a ship. The things that happen will surprise you.
Profile Image for Kristel.
366 reviews1 follower
November 15, 2021
In the world where there is no power, and you have lots of teenage issues. What will happen?
177 reviews4 followers
August 15, 2021
This book takes place during a fictional nation-wide emergency, in this case a total and unexplained blackout. It definitely has resonance for all of us living through a pandemic:

"Imagine a blank, muddled future. It's not a catastrophe, but it is rickety. Always, there's this background question: am I the right amount of worried about this?"

Our protagonist, Alex, is a 16 year old with a very complicated life. She is a parentified older sister to a brother with special needs. Her dad has left and her mom is depressed. Her best friend Anthony, is dealing with racism on top of everything else.

Alex is wise beyond her years, and immature, all at the same time. While serious issues are addressed, there is plenty of humor in the book, the kind that will make  you will laugh out loud. There's also romance and adventure and budding sexuality and clueless social workers  and  family drama and just about everything else. You'll find that you can't put it down.

While we get a view of the world that only a skeptical adolescent can give, we also are left in a place that is hopeful. As Alex says,

" We are all strange. And we are all going to be okay. You're not like everybody else. But neither is everybody else."

Thanks to the publisher and Goodreads for a review copy of this book.
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,324 reviews102 followers
June 7, 2021
When I first opened A Night Twice as Long I got the feeling that it was going to be a dystopian novel which I love by the way as the lights were out and had been out for about three weeks. A Night Twice as Long tells the story of three people, Alex her brother Georgie and her best friend, Anthony.

Alex and Anthony are sitting around disusing why the lights were out one day and wondering how far the blackout went. Was it just them and their little part of the world or was it everywhere? Was the whole world sitting in the dark?

Anthony’s mother is in the military and he wants to go see her and find out more about the blackout as well. The thing is that his mother is miles away and the only way they can get there is by walking. When Alex asks her mother for permission she says no but Alex goes anyway.

On their journey, Alex decides that she wants to go visit her brother Georgie at his school. Georgie has autism and was removed from their home because of an accident and sent away to live with foster parents. It has been a long time since Alex has seen her brother and she feels guilty for her brother being taken away.

Once they arrive at Georgie’s school there is a miss communication. Instead of just visiting Georgie, they take him on their journey with them and without permission. Alex, Georgie, and Anthony embark on a journey of self-discovery.

A Night Twice as Long has more than one story to tell. It is a journey of three people getting to know each other and themselves better on a deeper level and learning more about the real world and how people see things differently. They learn how cruel some people can be and how ignorant they happen to be.

The author did a great job of telling Alex, Anthony, and Georgie’s story. The story is written in such a way that made me feel what the characters were feeling. I could see each and every scene playing out in my head as if I was standing right there with them on this journey of theirs, watching and observing everything that went on. There were a few times I would like to have reached into the book and hand out a shake or two.

I really enjoyed reading A Night Twice as Long and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great read! One-click your copy of A Night Twice as Long today!
Profile Image for Samantha.
400 reviews39 followers
May 21, 2021
Thank you to Fierce Reads and Netgalley for a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

In this heartwarming story we see from Alex's point of view. When the story opens, Alex has been living in a blackout for weeks. There is no estimation of when or if the lights will come back on so life can return to normal. One day Alex agrees to go on an adventure with a friend that results in them kidnapping her younger autistic brother who was removed from the home due to an incident involving Alex. Before they return home Alex will learn not only about herself, but also about those closest to her and the secrets they've been keeping.

I thought this was very well written. There were transitions from present to past and back again that felt effortless to navigate. The writing had a smooth flow that carried the story along nicely. It was the perfect pace to make the story equally engaging and sad. (Pace is a big thing for me and I personally think it can make or break a book.)

Alex was a solid main character. I enjoyed seeing her growth and watching her find and forgive herself. I really felt bad for her throughout a good portion of this story. Her anger at herself and her mother really came through the page and seeped into my soul. Anthony was a really strong supporting character. I found he was developed enough to be enjoyed as the second next to Alex but yet not so focused on as to take away from the MC.

In the end I ended up giving this one 4 stars instead of 5 because I found it just didn't have that BOOM. I still recommend this book. I still think a lot of teens and adults alike would enjoy what this story has to offer.
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.