Title: Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer
Published: May 19th, 2012 by Bold Print Press
Source: Provided by the author for review
Grade rate: B+
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.
A NOTE ABOUT CONTENT: in this book, some characters use profanity, engage in nonexplicit sexual activity, or take illegal drugs.
I previously participated in the tour for The Wedding Cake Girl (see my review here) from this author and I was happy when the opportunity presented for the tour of Any Other Night. I really enjoyed this book.
You can get the gist of the plot by reading the synopsis. The story is told from Ryan’s point of view; I always enjoy when the male character has a strong voice in the story and Ryan was no exception. I really like Ryan’s character and even though he is a boy, it is very easy to identify with him and his angst and tribulations. Michael was more than Ryan’s best friend; he was like a brother, being raised almost together by the Mill’s housekeeper and his death leaves Ryan feeling guilty and responsible. At the same time Ryan’s relationship with Emily starts to develop into something real and new for both of them.
Ryan is such a good person. He is really good with kids and almost acts as a father figure to his little sisters. He is also loyal and loving and tries to do best he can at everything he does. Emily is a very smart girl that brings out the best in Ryan. As a gentle warning I have to let you know that the book contains non-explicit sexual scenes and other sexual content, it also talks about drugs.
Overall the characterization is well developed. We learn more about Michael from the times he is remembered by Ryan. Ro (the housekeeper) is a good influence for the kids and tries to do her best to fill in for their absentee parents. Chrissie is a riot and Jonathan is a good friend too. Ryan’s parents are not exactly bad people but they do have their priorities all messed up.
The setting of the story is very interesting since it takes place in LA and at the heart of Hollywood royalty. This opulent lifestyle is what the stuff of dreams, but the Mill family has the same problems as other families do; lack of communication and time together as a unit. The plot is simple and well carried out. The pacing of the story is good and the writing flows very easily. Ms. Pfeffer is a great story teller; her writing in Any Other Night is bursting with felling and at the same time very funny and realistic. The ending was kind of open, as we don’t know what the future holds for Ryan and Emily. I think this story lends itself for a sequel (*hint*)
I leave you with an excerpt from Any Other Night:
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!"
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 is the author of Any Other Night and The Wedding Cake Girl. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*