Title: A Million Times Goodnight
Author: Kristina McBride
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: July 28, 2015
I was generously provided an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride is written in quite a unique fashion. This book tells two different stories; two different parallel series of events, if you will. Both stories start off the same: Hadley Miller has taken her boyfriend’s car without telling him. Hadley and a few of her close friends (Mia and Brooklyn) are headed to a special place in the woods to honor the anniversary of one of their friend’s deaths. When they arrive, Hadley discovers that Josh Lane, someone she no longer would be caught dead speaking to, is also at this spot. Hadley also makes another surprising discovery when she logs onto Facebook and realizes that her boyfriend, Ben, has posted a naked picture of her in order to get revenge for Hadley stealing his car. When Hadley calls Ben, she realizes that he’s frantic. There’s something more to this then his girlfriend stealing his car. What is Ben so afraid of? It’s then that Hadley, Josh, Mia and Brooklyn all decide one thing: they have to take Ben down. One story follows how the night would unfold if the group went back to the party that Ben is at and confront him face to face, and the other depicts what would happen if they decide to keep Ben’s car a little longer, leading him on a wild chase throughout the country.
Before this book, I had never read anything that featured alternate realities. I was pleasantly surprised about how easy the storyline was to follow. After the first few chapters, the stories alternated between every other chapter. The two stories were unique enough that I could easily discern which reality was which. I really enjoyed how the two stories were quite different, but they still managed to interweave and work together, subtly asserted that they are indeed parallel rather than completely exclusive from each other.
A Million Times Goodnight is described by the publisher as a “contemporary mystery-thriller perfect for fans of Just Like Fate and Pivot Point”. I would definitely have to agree that it is a thriller. I have to admit, I had a pretty good guess as to what was going on with Ben for the most part, but I certainly didn’t guess the entire plot twist. I was on edge, even after the “big reveal”. I was legitimately frightened for the characters at some point.
Speaking of the characters, I really enjoyed them.
- Hadley was likeable, and actually a believable teenage girl. She went through a lot of things in this book emotionally that would have had me curled up in a ball on the floor crying for my mother, but she still managed to stay strong and think straight. She was intelligent, and also witty at times. Sure, her actions weren’t exactly mature, but Hadley’s character is also a senior in high school. Some of the more crazy things that she did were pretty believable for someone who was that age.
- Ben was…unpredictable. He was a jerk, but he was supposed to be. He was part of something that he knew he shouldn’t be, so he was secretive, and at times violent.
- Josh’s character was also written well. He’s someone who has a lot of regret in his past, and you can tell that he’s still trying to face down his demons while the story is unfolding.
- Mia and Brooklyn were pretty typical best friends. Like Hadley, they were up for doing something crazy, so they were more or less along for the ride. They stood by Hadley even after the picture was leaked. Both of them were strong and incredibly brave for facing the things that they had to face.
Overall, I thought A Million Times Goodnight was a great read. It was fast paced, thrilling, and suspenseful. The plot twists and surprises kept me interested right to the very end, and I connected with the characters. I give this title five out of five stars.