November 20, 2015
by Lisa McManus
On what was to be just another Monday morning at school, Luke’s girlfriend Jessica is nowhere to be found. Names like ‘psycho lover’ follow Luke to his locker, even from his best friend. Luke soon learns Jessica tried to kill herself at a party from the previous Saturday night, and she’s blaming him. With posts on FaceBook feeding the rumors of what happened that night, the school has to investigate.
Torn between worry, guilt, loyalty, priorities, and an urgency to clear his name and protect hers, he has to find her—he loves her no matter what. The teacher in the middle of the investigation is also the same one to provide academic and character references for Luke’s college applications due by the end of the week. Luke knows he’s not to blame, but with no contact from Jessica and everyone blaming him for what happened, he’s at risk of losing everything—Jessica and his dreams of being a mechanic—all because of what happened that night.
"4.5 STARS!!" By Terrill Rosado 1 year ago
That Night is a short novella that focuses on high school relationships, mental illness and cyber-bullying.
It's a Monday morning and Luke, a grade 12 student, enters his high school and is immediately struck by the odd looks and attitude he is given by most of the other students. He's unsure what has happened between Friday and Monday to bring about this odd behavior. He didn't know until his best friend divulges the source of the animosity--Luke's girlfriend has tried to hurt herself and it's all over Facebook. Most of the school blames Luke and he's now worried about his girlfriend as well as his future beyond high school.
I was mesmerized by this story. It was like unwrapping a mystery layer by layer with no idea of the outcome. I was worried, angry, frustrated and feeling defeated right along with Luke. In fact, I felt like I was almost angrier than Luke. I would catch myself thinking about what I wanted to say or do if I was in Luke's shoes. I couldn't stand the judgement by those who didn't have all of the facts.
I tend to stay away from short stories or novellas, because I worry that the they will leave me feeling unsatisfied. There was no need to worry about that with this one. I was immediately enmeshed with Luke and his dilemma. I hoped for the best outcome, went along for the ride, and I was ultimately satisfied. This is a great story for everyone, but especially young people who are quick to judge without discretion and ostracize those with any kind of mental illness.