That Weekend by Kara Thomas

If you’re still looking for the hit of the summer, or you’re looking for that final hurrah pseudo-thriller that’s perfect to curl up with while everyone else is getting salty and sunburned at the beach, That Weekend by Kara Thomas is the book for you.

This is pretty much a roller coaster ride from cover to end.

Claire Keough just dumped her boyfriend, and instead of spending prom weekend with him and his friends, she decides to join her best friend Kat and her boyfriend Jesse on a camping trip. What she doesn’t know is that her weekend is going to end up with her in the hospital from head trauma, and her bff’s missing and later presumed dead.

Claire wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the last two days. Her parents are pissed, she takes a very bad trip down Ambien Lane, and her nurse is a nightmare. Soon, the local sheriff comes knocking to ask questions, the FBI gets involved, and secret after secret is revealed in solid twists and turns. The third act is stunning in a way that isn’t too sensationalistic, something that YA authors don’t typically master well.

I’m a little stunned, a little shook up, and so, so glad That Weekend turned up on my social media. Kara Thomas just became a pre-order author for me. She’s going to be hard to top for sure.

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

It doesn’t feel like summer until a Morgan Matson book is released. Matson has been quintessential summer reading for me since Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour (released 2010), when I first discovered the author. She’s had hit after hit with Second Chance Summer, Since You’ve Been Gone, and Save the Date. Take Me Home Tonight is supposed to be a mash up of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Nick and Norah’s Infintie Playlist, but I’ve seen neither movie (Gasp! Shock!), so I began the book with no knowledge of what I was diving into.

Our main characters, Kat and Stevie, were just going into the city for a few hours.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s Stevie’s birthday – and her dad ditched their plans, again, so what else was there to do but head into New York City for the most magical night of their lives?

After a series of unfortunate events the two friends end up separated, their cover story friend gets kidnapped, laundry delivery with a cute boy uncovers an underground poker game, and a dramatic performance is made to keep a dog from being evicted from a dorm room. And that’s when shit gets real.

Funny, engaging, quick – Take Me Home Tonight is a fast little read about theater kids – best friends, who are growing up and not quite ready to move into the unknown world of adulthood. With fantastical situations and an outlandish side story, the pace moves swiftly but there’s a bit of whiplash if you’re too invested. It’s not my favorite Matson, but it does have an interesting little surprise at the end if you’re a fan of her work. She does love to weave former characters into her latest books.

All in all, as someone who works in the city, I’m not very impressed with the descriptions of New York glamour; however, I was completely enamored with the idea of being alone in the MET at night. Points to calling back Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.