Monday, December 10, 2012

Tour Stop: Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer - Review and Excerpt




Welcome to the blog tour for Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer. The tour is hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.  You can check out the rest of the stops on the tour here.  Today's stop features a review and excerpt.  


YA Contemporary
Title: Any Other Night
Author: Anne Pfeffer
Date Published: 10/2011

Any other night, Ryan Mills would have driven his best friend, Michael, to Emily's sweet sixteen party at the Breakers Club. Instead, determined to win over the birthday girl, he goes to the party early and alone, setting off a chain of events that ends with a car accident in which Michael dies.

Ryan blames himself for what happened to Michael. As far as he's concerned, he doesn't deserve to have love or ever be happy again. Then he learns Michael left a secret behind. Ryan feels compelled to take on his friend's unfinished business, and in the process, changes his life forever and becomes a man.


This book was published in October 2011 under the title Loving Emily. In May 2012, it was reissued with its content unchanged as Any Other Night. The book was named a Finalist in the 2012 Indie Reader Discovery Awards competition.


A NOTE ABOUT CONTENT: in this book, some characters use profanity, engage in nonexplicit sexual activity, or take illegal drugs. 

My Thoughts:  Ryan Mills is a junior in high school an he's had a thing for Emily for quite a while.  It's the night of her 16th birthday party and he's finally decided he's going to make his move.  Instead of riding with his best friend Michael, he asks him to meet him at the party.  Ryan and Michael have grown up together.  They are both from wealthy families. Both of their dad's are big shots in the film industry.  Michael has always been quite the ladies man and everyone likes him  He has a history of drug problems in the past, so Ryan is concerned when he starts hanging out with the new kid, Chance, who is interested in nothing but partying.  Michael finally gets his chance to talk with Emily at the party.  In fact, they are dancing and hitting it off really well, when Michael and Chance show up high as kites, ruining the party in their drunken stupor.  

Frustrated, Ryan tries to help and decides he needs to get Michael, who is in pretty serious shape, home.  After he gets him in the stair well and sits him down so Michael can get over being sick before going to the car.  He leaves him sitting there for a minute so he can apologize and tell Emily he's leaving, but when he gets back, Michael is gone.  He rushes to the exit and asks the valets about Michael, who inform him Michael has already left.  Ryan can't believe they let him drive and rushes to make sure he got home okay.  He doesn't seem him anywhere and when he gets to Michael's house, everything is quite, and he assumes Michael made it home.  It isn't until the next day that he finds out Michael was in a horrible crash and died.  This is the beginning of Ryan Mills story.  Plagued by guilt and feeling like it was his fault that Michael died, he is determined to make up for it by doing good things.  He starts hanging out with Emily, and shares with her some of what he is feeling.  When events begin to unfold regarding the circumstances around Michael's death, and someone Michael was involved with, Ryan steps up to the plate, taking care of things for his friend, taking on responsibility that most adults couldn't handle.  This causes a rift between Ryan and Emily, who have gotten really close, and are in fact in love, and Ryan is forced to make some difficult choices that may cost him the girl he loves. 

This was a good coming of age story.  It is told from Ryan's point of view.  Ryan is a stand-up guy.  One minute he is an average teenager (with a very dysfunctional family), and the next minute he is taking on the responsibilities of a man.  I enjoyed seeing Ryan grow and mature in this novel.  He thinks that everything he is doing is because of guilt, but actually he would have done it anyway, because he's a good guy, one that has a lot of integrity.  He's not perfect and he does make some mistakes, but he also grows in every area of his life and his relationships.  Emily seemed like a nice girl.  I understood where she was coming from with some things, but she frustrated me other times.  I liked her alright, but I wasn't overly impressed with her.  Ryan, however, really loved her, and despite both of their plans for college, the summer, and all that happens in the story, he really wants to work things out with her.  We also get to meet Ryans family, as well as Michael's, and see the struggles that occur with being part of a famous family.  Then their is Chrissie, the girl Michael was involved with, who lives in a completely different world.  Chrissie is a very unique and interesting character.  The story deals with some really tough issues, issues that cross the barriers of wealth and fame, and test the core of who the character really is.  Any Other Night is an emotional contemporary YA read that deals with some difficult life issues, with some romance mixed in.    


Excerpt:
It's almost four o'clock by now. The hallway's empty, except for Emily, who has followed us and sits waiting for me on the long bench across from the Admin Office door. She wears one of those short, tight skirts that all the girls have and is sitting the way all the girls do, with her knees pressed close together. Her hair's pushed off her face, which is pale and serious.
Even in my state of total misery, I think she's beautiful. I'm afraid she thinks I'm an ass, but then she pats the place next to her on the bench. Like a dog, I scramble over to sit beside her.
She puts her hand on my arm. "That was …. eventful."
"Yeah." I touch my temple, where Chase hit me and wince. "I don't usually go around jumping people."
"Just people who deserve it, right?" She leans toward me a little, and I catch the scent of lavender. Her eyes sweep my face, taking in my injuries. "You might have a black eye tomorrow."
             "I feel like an idiot."
"Don't. You were amazing!"
"Really?"
Her lips are the perfect shape and color. I can't stop looking at them.
My head begins to pound, and suddenly, all I can think of is Michael, taking off on his cosmic rocket ride into death. Inside me, I feel a tearing, as if something huge and made of steel—a battleship or a skyscraper—is being pulled apart.
And Emily sees the expression on my face and doesn't ask a bunch of dumb questions about how I feel, but just looks at me, and I say "It's Michael," as the pain rips into me.
              She puts her arm around me and squeezes—hard. Her hand, which grips my right shoulder, is surprisingly strong. I can almost feel strength flowing out of her fingers and into my shoulder, straightening my back. I feel myself relax.
            "I miss him," I say.
The sympathy in her eyes is like a warm bath.
            If girls were flames, most girls would be a single match, a mere Bic lighter. Emily, on the other hand, would be an inferno—a raging, thousand-acre forest fire.


About the Author:  Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles, CA near a large rotating neon chicken head with her daughter and her dachshund, Taco.


Purchase Links:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble


8 comments:

  1. Wow! I'm in love with Ryan already! This story sounds beautiful and heart-wrenching. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely review!

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  2. This sounds like a really emotional read! I love these types of read. I have been eying this one for awhile now. I think I just might have to pick it up after reading that excerpt.

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  3. Oh wow. Any Other Night sounds like a great story. I think I'd heard of Loving Emily. I'm really glad I saw this here, Ellen. Thanks for sharing the excerpt!

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  4. I have hosted Anne on my blog with promotions for this book but I still haven't read it! I wish I could find some time to fit it in. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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    1. I know how you feel, so many great books and not enough time to read them.

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