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What We Saw At Night Hardcover

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What We Saw At Night + What We Lost in the Dark (What We Saw at Night) + All We Know of Heaven: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: What We Saw at Night
  • Hardcover: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Teen; Advance Uncorrected edition (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616951419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616951412
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sixteen-year-olds Allie, Rob, and Juliet are the tres compadres. They live in Iron Mountain, Minnesota, where there is a medical center researching the disease that they all have: xeroderma pigmentosum, a severe allergy to the sun. Night is their day. Juliet, the most fearless of the trio, gets them into parkour, an extreme sport that involves scaling structures and leaping off tall buildings. But while out doing stunt dives, Allie thinks she sees a woman being murdered, and a whole new dangerous world is opened, one that keeps Allie—and readers—guessing until . . . well, even after the book’s close, since this turns out to be the beginning of a trilogy. This is problematic because the convoluted plot, which moves in fits and starts, seems to demand some sort of conclusion, at least one that could lead into the next title. Instead, this is more of a cliff-hanger. What does work here is Allie’s narrator voice, honest and real, and the fascinating looks at both parkour and a disease so unconventional it turns the lives of patients and their families upside down. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Mitchard’s well-known name should be enough to draw a crowd for this one. Grades 8-12. --Ilene Cooper


Spring 2013 Kids’ Indie Next Pick

“Allie’s...voice [is] honest and real...fascinating looks at both Parkour and a disease so unconventional that it turns the lives of patients and families upside down.”
Booklist, High Demand Review
“Dangerously addictive, breathtakingly beautiful, terminally awesome.”
Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of Shine
“A thrilling ride through the darkness... Dark, suspenseful and quietly beautiful.”
Melissa Walker, author of Small Town Sinners

"The plot is intricately woven, with twists at every turn. Mitchard's exemplary writing takes a masterful detour into young adult territory."
Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Criminal

What We Saw at Night is an engaging blend of real-world drama involving a life-and-death illness and a whodunit thriller. Imagine John Green's recent The Fault in Our Stars in a mashup with a Nancy Drew mystery. Plus some roof jumping and wall scaling.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"The fast pace is set from the beginning with Juliet’s dazzling jump across the buildings... recommended for readers who enjoy a unique twist on realistic fiction."
VOYA Magazine

"Atmospheric, melancholy... breathtaking."
Publishers Weekly

“This latest from Mitchard is quickly paced and intricately plotted, with flares of humor cobbled into the dialogue…. The suspense will keep [readers] engrossed.”

“An interesting page-turner…the cliff-hanger ending will have most readers waiting for the next installment.”
School Library Journal

“Allie seizes control of her life, complete with the risks it contains... although the pace of the book accelerates and dangers press close—whatever’s ahead, Allie can face it.”
—Beth Kanell, Kingdom Books Bookstore

“WHAT WE SAW AT NIGHT is a well-crafted, well-paced crime thriller about friendship, disability, first love and the choices we make about how to spend our short time on this earth.”

“What We Saw At Night is a very unique book in many ways. I loved the writing, the mystery, the suspense, and the characters. There is nothing formulaic about it at all, which was also refreshing.”
One Day YA

Praise for Jacquelyn Mitchard
“Will make you thankful...will make you think...will make you feel.”—Oprah Winfrey
“Keeps you reading to the last page”—Jodi Picoult
“Dangerous and Powerful”—Booklist
“[Mitchard] writes with grace and authority”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Deep End of the Ocean

"[A] wrenching first novel, flies in the face of everything movies and your better class of talk shows say about bad things that happen to good people . . . wonderfully written."─The New York Times Book Review
Praise for All We Know of Heaven:
"Riveting, compassionate and psychologically nuanced . . . utterly gripping."─Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Praise for Now You See Her:
"Chick lit for the teen set that rewards the reader."─USA Today

More About the Author

Jacquelyn Mitchard was born in Chicago. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was published in 1996, becoming the first selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and a number one New York Times bestseller. Eight other novels, four children's books and six young adult novels followed, including The Midnight Twins, Still Summer, All We Know of Heaven, and The Breakdown Lane. A former daily newspaper reporter, Mitchard now is a contributing editor for Parade Magazine, and frequently writes for such publications as More magazine and Real Simple. Her essays and short stories have been widely anthologized. An adjunct professor in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Fairfield University, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their nine children

Customer Reviews

I constantly felt like I was either missing something or just simply not being told the whole truth.
J. Wiles Parker
The characters had depth and the story took me places I have never been but still I believed it all as the narrative was so fully developed.
Bingo-Karen Haney
I don't even want to read the next book, WE LOST IN THE DARK, because WHAT WE SAW AT NIGHT's ending is so lame.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By kacunnin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jacquelyn Mitchard is best known for her 1999 best seller THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, a gripping story about kidnapping and loss. Her latest novel, WHAT WE SAW AT NIGHT, is part murder mystery, part love story, part coming-of-age tale, aimed at the YA market. Seventeen-year-old Allie Kim and her friends Juliet and Rob suffer from Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a genetic disorder that keeps them prisoners of the night - any exposure to sunlight could kill them. So Allie, Juliet, and Rob spend their nights together, exploring the world that exists when all the "Daytimers" (those free to go out during the day) are asleep. When Juliet suggests they start training for Parkour, a dangerous but exhilarating sport in which participants defy gravity and leap tall buildings at a single bound, Allie and Rob are all for it. But during one of their jumps, Allie sees what might very well be a murder. And after that, nothing is ever the same again.

Mitchard is a good writer, and Allie is a great character. She's real and believable and very, very interesting. The challenges she has faced living with XP are both fascinating and poignant, and her relationships with best friend Juliet and true love Rob make for a very compelling story. There's plenty of mystery in this novel - it's suggested right from the start that Juliet knows more than she's saying about the supposed murder, as well as the supposed murderer. And when something terrifying happens when Allie and Rob are jumping buildings alone, we begin to suspect that it isn't exactly an accident.

So I liked WHAT WE SAW AT NIGHT. I couldn't put it down. Mitchard had me from the first page, and I couldn't wait to find out what was really going on. Because a lot was really going on!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly C on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Allie Kim and her friends suffer from a genetic disorder called XP that makes sunlight deadly to them. They live in the town where specialists are there to study the genetic disorder and help them cope with the lack of sunlight, living on nighttime hours, and their adjusting families.
So one night, when Allie and her friends are participating in Parkour, they witness a scene that changes everything. Was it a crime? Who was the man and the girl in the window? And why does Allie feel like they're in danger?

The quiet world Mitchard created is eerie and still. Allie and her friends Rob and Juliet study Parkour- a dangerous stunt sport challenge, leaping off tall buildings, falling, flying and pushing their bodies to the limits. They feel alive and free in the dark night they live in. Allie is a typical teenager, experiencing mixed emotions for her friend Rob who she secretly likes, and Juliet, who Rob not so secretly likes. I really like Allie's relationship with Juliet. Unsure, competitive and potentially explosive this friendship rings true for me. I sympathize with Allie's hesitation of Juliet, questioning her motives and knowledge.

I don't like Juliet as a character, but I thought Allie and Juliet's interactions are realisitc. Juliet seems too strung out, too unstable. I didn't believe Allie and Juliet could be real friends, if they hadn't been thrown together because of this disorder.

The story moves slowly through the friends training of Parkour, up until we get to the scene where they see the crime. But that is well into the book and a lot of the first half is given up to setting. The pacing was too slow for me, and the suspense seemed forced and didn't really kick in until the very end of the story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Granfors TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved Mitchard's "The Most Wanted" even more than I loved "The Deep End of the Ocean." I loved one of her first YA's "Now You See Her." But this new book, "What We Saw in the Night" was somewhat of a disappointment.

There is a murder mystery, maybe, because we can't be sure of who died and who did it. It is an awakening, a love story with a kind protagonist. Allie Kim waits for night to fall so that she can go out with her friends. She and Juliet and Rob were born with Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP). This is a genetic disorder. Exposure to sunlight could kill them. They spend their nights together with their parents' knowledge and permission, exploring the world. Juliet is the rebel. She takes off, sometimes for weeks, and then returns to their triad. Juliet begins training for Parkour. This is a real-life and very dangerous sport. The kids must learn to be confident in their every move as well as confident in their partners. They jump from tall buildings and scale impossible cliffs.

Allie is a funny narrator. She has a good relationship with a very "hip" mother, who is a nurse. She has an adopted sister, but her sister doesn't play a role in the story line except to show how much Allie's XP affected her mom--that her strong mother would never risk conceiving another child with XP. Allie can be flippant, but she gets it from her mom. Her friends are harder to like. Juliet is self-centered. Rob is Allie's one true love, but at first, Rob seems to care more about Juliet. Allie's suffering and heartache over him makes her all the more real. The extent to which Mitchard allows Rob and Allie to experiment sexually might make this book a no-go for younger readers.

As the plot rolls on, things get a little muddled and preposterous.
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