Title: What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery
Length: 328 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Griffin Tomlin is dead. And Clara’s sister killed him . . .
Four months after the murder, the entire town of Shiloh is still in shock. For Clara Porterfield, the normal world has crumbled around her in a million chaotic pieces. Now Clara lives in a new reality, where her sister awaits trial for murder, her mother obsessively digs in a dead, frozen garden, and her father lives and breathes denial. At school, Clara is haunted by her classmates’ morbid curiosity―and all of the unspoken questions they won’t ask.
But none of them knows what she knows . . .
Now Clara’s sister wants something from her―the one thing in all of this that Clara isn’t ready to face: the truth about what really happened that night. Because this story didn’t die with Griffin Tomlin. There’s another story that needs to be told. And sometimes, the lies we’re told are nowhere near as deadly as the lies we tell ourselves . . .
What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron is a compelling young adult mystery.
Clara Porterfield thinks she knows why her popular sister Emily murdered their neighbor, golden boy Griffin Tomlin. But she is afraid no one will believe her, so she keeps her secret to herself. In addition to dealing with being a social outcast at school, life at home is a minefield because of the divide between her parents. So when she is approached by classmate Aniston Hale for an interview about Emily, Clara initially brushes her off. But Aniston is persistent and Clara eventually becomes her reluctant partner in a surprising investigation that leads to a very shocking discovery.
Written from Clara’s perspective, the story unfolds from two timelines. In the present, Clara is trying to come to terms with what she perceives to be her role in Emily’s inexplicable decision. She is also navigating a tricky new romance with Griffin’s best friend Kolby Rutledge, who is everything that Griffin was not.
Chapters dealing with events from the past are absolutely heartbreaking as Clara’s longtime crush on Griffin takes a violent turn. In the months leading up to his murder, Griffin’s relentless attention is extremely frightening. Although Clara hides the truth from nearly everyone, Emily eventually learns what happened between her sister and Griffin. But is uncovering Clara’s secret the only motive Emily has for murdering Griffin?
What Happened That Night is a fast-paced and engrossing young adult mystery. The main characters are well-developed and interesting. The storyline is intriguing but it does take a bit of an unrealistic and unexpected turn. With some very jaw-dropping plot twists, Deanna Cameron brings this riveting mystery to a satisfying conclusion. Recommended to older teen and adult readers due to graphic descriptions of sexual violence.