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Readers' Comments for That Night

In October, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Special Contests won copies of THAT NIGHT by Chevy Stevens. It’s about Toni Murphy, who is finally leaving prison after 15 years. Jailed for a crime she didn't commit, the murder of her sister, she just wants to get on with her life. But her ex-boyfriend Ryan, who was also set up for the murder, is determined to clear their name and get revenge on those who wronged them. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this heart-wrenching thriller --- and make sure to watch out for SPOILERS!

In THAT NIGHT, Chevy Stevens tells a tale of what happens when mean girls never change, a story of the main character’s grit and intensity and also how difficult it is to live down the reputation of a felon. The book begins when a young girl and her boyfriend are sent to prison for her sister’s murder. After 17 years on the inside, they are both released and the book is told in chapters alternating with what led up to the murder and what happened after Toni (the older sister) and Ryan (her boyfriend) were released from prison.

I can’t remember how I found Chevy Stevens’ first book, but I’ve read and savored each one and think this must be the best one so far. She draws living, breathing characters that you feel like you know. I didn’t get much done these last couple of days because I wanted to see how my “friend” Toni was doing and what she’d found out, or what kind of trouble she was exposing herself to and would she be able to get out of it. Besides realistic characters, Stevens has mastered the art of the thriller plot.

Although in retrospect I see clues had been peppered throughout the story, twice I said to myself, “I did not see that coming.” That, to me, means a well-thought-out plotline and the right threads to connect it. At one point or another, she cast reasons to mistrust almost everybody in the book, another sign of an excellent thriller plot.

Her descriptions of the locations on Vancouver Island seemed spot on, but I also thought she must have done some heavy research on what it was like inside prison to be able to bring those details to the reader.

I have nothing but praise for THAT NIGHT, and am eagerly awaiting Stevens’ next thriller.

Once I started THAT NIGHT, I couldn't put it down...typical Chevy Stevens! I loved the twists the story took, especially the ending that I never saw coming. Loved it and highly recommend it!

THAT NIGHT was emotionally draining and I loved it! The book starts out with Toni Murphy getting processed into prison after being convicted for the murder of her sister. Then we find out she and her boyfriend Ryan are innocent but have each been sentenced to 15 years. I can't think of many things more terrible than a person being convicted of a crime he or she didn't commit. Girls who bullied her in school lied during the trial, and since one was a cop's daughter, everyone believed her.
The book goes back and forth from the time of the murder to present day with Toni telling her story. She has to learn to cope in prison and accept what she can't change. Even her mother thinks she's guilty after hearing the evidence at the trial. Eventually, she's paroled, but most people in her hometown treat her as guilty. She isn't even allowed to associate with Ryan since he's a convicted felon. Doing so would break her parole and put her back in prison. She's wrongfully accused of stealing money at the restaurant where she works and then one of the girls who lied at her trial turns up dead. She ends up back in prison while her parole officer tries to get things straightened out. That was just heartbreaking to me. When she gets out again, she has to decide to either let things go or try and find out who really killed her sister. When the reason for her sister's death is finally revealed, it came as a complete surprise, which made a great ending. I'd definitely recommend this book.

I loved THAT NIGHT by Chevy Stephens! It was so hard to put down...and I thought I had it figured out and was totally wrong. I love when that happens!

I really enjoyed THAT NIGHT by Chevy Stevens. This was definitely one that I could not put down. While I didn't believe that Toni and Ryan were guilty, the author found a way to keep me guessing until the end. The book is so much more than a murder mystery. THAT NIGHT is simultaneously about hope and hopelessness. It shows that the smallest decision can change your life's path in an instant. It also makes you think often about Aesop's "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Kudos to author Chevy Stevens for keeping the characters realistic. The responses of the parents throughout the book rang true. While it seemed obvious who the killer and/or killers might be, the author added one more twist near the end of the book...always a nice surprise for the reader. Thanks again for the opportunity to preview this book.

THAT NIGHT spoke to me about my biggest fear --- to be sent to jail for a crime I didn't commit. My husband and I watch and read so many murder mysteries. This book addressed our fears. It was about two high school kids who were really in love and were wrongfully convicted of a crime and did their full time. The description of the female's time in prison was painful. This book also addressed high school bullying, a mother and daughter's conflicts and love/hate relationship, two sisters' relationships and even brought in the healing power of a shelter dog (which I, too, have adopted and totally love).

I loved this book for its realism, and was very drawn to all the characters. I couldn't put the book down, and was captivated by the anger so many of the characters felt. This book addressed all that is going on in today's society, except for the fact that the events occurred prior to today's social media.

I would highly recommend this book to parents and teenagers alike, as well as anyone who really enjoys a great murder mystery with plot twists.

I loved this book and devoured it in one day because I could not put it down. I would classify this as a real page-turner that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. Bravo!

Finished today quite pleasantly relieved that this one was back on par with STILL MISSING. Each of Chevy Stevens’ books that I’ve read since that one I've liked less, but this one shot right back up for me! I loved the story and the way it was told back and forth between the past leading up to “that night” and the aftermath in the years since. Great storytelling and characters that you root for. Chevy Stevens is back and I recommend everyone get a copy of this book as soon as it's released in June --- you won't be disappointed!!

I really enjoyed reading THAT NIGHT by Chevy Stevens. I couldn't wait to pick it up and start reading. This is the first book by Chevy Stevens that I had the pleasure of reading, and I am looking forward to reading many more.

THAT NIGHT has the feel of other Stevens novels I have read. It covers a lot of emotions, from bullying to parents who you really can't talk to because they have already made up their mind that you are in the wrong to working so hard to do the right thing and getting knocked down again and again. This book goes to the extreme with how far things can go wrong. Looking forward to how you picture your life will be until your world falls apart, having to really look at yourself and do what is best for you. I think it also shows that no matter how old you are, bullies never lose their need to control and bully you. Even adults revert to petty games and the meanness of middle or high school at all ages. You really get invested in Toni and Ryan; they take you from one extreme of emotion to another. Really quick read because the story moves along so smoothly and leaves you wanting to know more. I would suggest this book to anyone who wants to read an excellent book. A book that takes you to all kind of extremes.

I loved THAT NIGHT by Chevy Stevens! Hard to put down...and I thought I had it figured out and was totally wrong. I love when that happens!

Sara --- This comment contains SPOILERS.
I just finished reading THAT NIGHT and loved it. Several times while I was reading I stopped to think, "Wow this really happens to people." I think Chevy was spot on with the characters --- how they related to each other and the circumstances they found themselves in. I was very happy to read that is was not an all-happy ending. I thought it was great that Toni and Ryan actually served their entire sentences (made it more heartbreaking!), and that Toni’s mother did not want to forget and move on with their relationship.  

Mary E.
I finished THAT NIGHT today. I liked it a lot. There were lots of twists and turns...and I didn't expect the twist at the end at all. I liked how it went back and forth. I wondered if Chevy visited a prison for research.

I loved THAT NIGHT, and could not put it down. It was a very compelling story with unexpected twists. It goes back and forth between Toni's time in high school, prison and the present, but it's easy to follow. A story of how high school bullying, combined with "problem teens" and secrets, escalates into something much more serious and there are repercussions long after.

I read Chevy Stevens' first book and loved it, but somehow missed the next two. They are on my to-read list.

The book was excellent. I have read all Chevy Stevens’ books and loved them all. The book had a real twist at the end that I was not expecting, so the whole time I was reading it the plot had me guessing.

Jane Ann
The book was wonderful. It was very well written; at no place did you not want to turn the page and lay it down. At no point did it drag like some I have read. I would love to have seen maybe two more chapters, maybe about Ryan and Toni 10 years later. 

If you see the book next spring, pick it up --- I promise you won’t be sorry. I have read a couple of the others she has written, and enjoyed them. Keep up the good work, Chevy.

Susan --- This comment contains mild SPOILERS.
This novel held me in its grip --- I could not stop reading it. It allows Toni, a teenager, to tell us her story of life before prison, in prison and after prison, including parole. A much too simple explanation of a novel that made me care about the characters in it. The story is pertinent to today's life in society as it addresses how bullying can affect someone, what a bully really is and, perhaps, the consequences of being a bully. I liked how the story is broken up into the past and the present. It was done in a nice and clear way, so one does not get confused.

Toni is not the bully. However she does have a short fuse to her temper. Her boyfriend tries to help her to see things differently than she does. Her younger sister, Nicole, tries to help her at home. Sadly, Nicole is murdered. Who murdered her? You know that Toni and Ryan didn't. Yet, they are found guilty of murdering Nicole and sent to prison. Toni discovers how difficult life is in prison...It doesn't get easier when she gets paroled.

I cared about the main characters in this novel so much. When I had to stop reading, I could not stop thinking about them.

I am so glad to have read this author who was new to me. I plan on getting her other books and reading them too!

Mary C.
Chevy Steven's latest book is about a high school couple who were  wrongly convicted of killing the girl's sister. The book moves between the present and past. The time leading up to the murder is visited and reveals how bullying can get out of control and destroy lives. When the couple. Toni and Ryan, are released from prison, they set out to discover the truth. The killer will do whatever it takes to stop them from discovering the truth.

I loved THAT NIGHT! It was the first book I ever read Chevy Stevens. (Not true for a woman in my book club...when she saw I had the Advanced Reader Copy, she borrowed it first, as she is already a fan!)

It struck me funny that I found almost no one in the book likable, especially not Toni and Ryan...and that I could not get enough of it. High class praise…it was so tense and compelling that I read parts of it too quickly, and had to go back and read again.

I was certain, four or five different times during the book, that I knew just what had happened. Certain, but wrong. LOVE when that happens.

I work for the courts, and I thought the police interrogation techniques and the dynamic from inside prison felt most true. If I had to pick something that seemed least true, it was the total hatred Shauna had for Toni, and how successful she was in long-term manipulation of everyone around her. Key to the plot, but it just seemed a little forced to me. (The manipulation of her father seemed believable, because it was rooted in something so specific and horrible.)

I know the power of mean girls...I just had a hard time with that aspect of the book.

This would --- in addition to being a great discussion book generally --- be a GREAT mother/daughter book club book. The reign of terror popular girls can create? Daughters hating mothers? Mothers not believing/trusting their daughters? The triumph of Ashley? Book discussion heaven!

I read THAT NIGHT on the 7-hour drive to see our daughter. I usually nap during the ride, but THAT NIGHT kept me captive the entire trip and I read the entire way! I enjoyed the book so much that I finished the book that night when we got to our hotel. I haven enjoyed every book Chevy Stevens has written, even her novella, even though I do not usually care for short stories.

The entire theme going through the book is that “public opinion” is the truth. Toni must be bad since she smokes, wears black and hangs out with Ryan, whose father is scum. Nicole is the apple of her mom’s eye and can never do anything wrong. Shauna can’t be as bad as Toni says since she does not have a mom and her dad is a busy police officer. People know these opinions are all illusions, especially since in the case of Shauna, many have been hurt by Shauna in the past, but they continue to believe what Shauna says is the truth. Even Toni succumbed to the “truth” that Ryan cheated on her with Nicole since he was in a bedroom with Nicole for a long time.

The book opens with Toni about to be released after being in prison for 15 years for killing her sister, Nicole. A crime she says she did not commit. She leaves jail with no one on her side. Her mother never believed that she was innocent. Her dad did in the beginning, but succumbed to her mother’s “truth” that Toni was bad. Her boyfriend Ryan, who was incarcerated for the same crime, is being released around the same time, but she is not allowed to see him for fear of breaking her parole.

Every time Toni tries to get beyond the past and build a future, Shauna meddles in and pushes Toni back down. Until, encourages by Ryan, Toni takes measures into her own hands and decides to search for the real truth about Nicole’s murder.

I was shocked at the twisted ending when I read about Nicole’s death. I did not see that coming at all! Chevy Stevens once again amazed me with her ability to draw me under her spell. I am in awe of her talent! The only sad part is now I have to wait until 2015 for her next book!

THAT NIGHT is an extremely engaging thriller. The author weaves the justice system, teen angst, bullying, prison culture and parole living into a fast-paced plot. Toni is a full-blown believable character. The plot twists and turns until you have to read what comes next.

After reading the first chapter and a half I almost put THAT NIGHT down and didn't read anymore. I'm glad I decided to keep reading. I loved the style of going back and forth, telling the story from when Toni was in prison and out of prison. I also liked the way it held close the story of what happened to Nicole until the very end --- and what an ending it was! I NEVER saw any of that coming.

It always annoys me when a storyteller has people who aren't working, but still manage to do all the things they want to do. In reality, a cook in a small town is going to be living hand to mouth. If he or she gets fired, he or she doesn’t have money to pay rent for months and gas, let alone do all the driving around in a truck that Toni was doing. The part about stopping and buying things at the little stores for an alibi if she needed it would break a real person. It verbally touched on this fact a few times saying things like there isn't much money left and so on, which is better than a lot of stories I have read or watched, but still to me it's annoying.

The last three words Ryan spoke in the book left me feeling triumphant and made me smile.


I'm passing this onto a friend who I know will enjoy it, too!

Esther --- This comment contains SPOILERS.
My primary reaction to this book was frustration that Toni kept doing stupid things over and over, even though she had a role model (her sister) to show her how to get along with her mother and make her life easier. Even when she was older, she still had that chip on her shoulder, which brought unnecessary problems her way.  

I've been a huge fan of Chevy Stevens since her first book, STILL MISSING, came out. She takes a situation that is improbable but possible and creates a very believable story. In THAT NIGHT, she does the same thing. I'm a middle school teacher and have seen many bullying situations similar to what Stevens relates in the story, and it's terrifying to think of how they can escalate. I enjoyed the story immensely, but found the ending to be bit weak and hard to believe. However, it often seems like just when one thinks something couldn't possibly happen, you suddenly hear on the news about it happening. Unfortunately, I think that is probably the case with the ending of this book.

The lead character in this book underwent such torment in her life and related it in first person but in a vey dispassionate way. As a result, while I wanted everything to be resolved for her, I did not identify with her very much and could not relate to her. There was just a total lack of emotion in most of the book, so it felt a bit flat.

It did not make me want to read anything else by this author.