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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Night Road a bad road, April 21, 2011
This review is from: Night Road (Hardcover)

This book pretends to be about love, and oddly enough the only ones who actually had pure, unselfish hearts were the "bad" one, the one who never had had a chance, the outcast, and her aunt, also one of the "have nots." The Farradays had everything, including toxic relationships with each other. Jude wasn't just a "helicopter mother," she was obsessive with running and arranging and controlling every SINGLE aspect of her children's lives. I don't know how Mia got out of bed in the morning without three people having to prop her up. I don't know how Jude thought she was going to manipulate people to be there for Mia throughout her adult life, but she would have tried. She went through the roof if her children did or thought anything that wasn't the way she planned it, including whether she would allow Mia and Lexi to be friends, warning Lexi not to hurt Mia, because "another friend had disappointed her and hurt her." GASP! or engineering both Zach and Mia going to the college Mia wanted, even though Zach didn't want to, because Mia "couldn't do it alone" or being furious that Zach and Lexi fell in love, putting a crimp in her plans. There was no way life was gonna hurt or disappoint HER children, by God! There was nothing that Jude did that I didn't find sickening, and enraging.

Then, the fateful night, when Jude's children got in THEIR car, drunk, refusing to call Jude "because they almost got grounded last time," oh the horror!!!...and Zach, who was the designated driver, also was drunk. Lexi was the least drunk, and was wrong to have tried to drive, but she was not the only one at fault in the accident. It was Zach and Mia's car, their car keys, and Zach had promised not to drink. Yes, Mia died after being thrown out of the car, not wearing her seatbelt, but Zach was able to go merrily about his life, fulfilling his dreams, raising his and Lexi's daughter, while Lexi sat in prison, paying with everything she had, every day of her life. Even after she had been crucified by everyone for "murdering" Mia, except for the one person she had in her life, her aunt, she managed to keep a loving heart., and a shred of hope. I really admired Lexi..she was so courageous and strong. Not ONCE was there any Farraday effort whatsoever to atone in any way for their parts in ruining Lexi's life. I can guarantee that had Zach or Mia been driving, and Lexi killed, it would have been unimaginably different in consequence. They wouldn't have been branded "murderer" and become a town pariah. They probably wouldn't have even seen the inside of a jail cell.

The book ends with Lexi out of prison, homeless with no job prospects, Jude opposing even supervised visits with her child, all her dreams destroyed, and then Zach wanders by, nearly out of medical school, with his life intact, and "takes Lexi back." The idea is sickening to me, after what he and his family had done to her, and everything they took from her, that she would just welcome him back with open arms. I thought that this book described the worst of people, that Jude was lightyears from being a "good" mother, that they were fine with ruining other people's lives if theirs were touched in any way, Zach's and Mia's emotionally crippled and self absorbed states, and that Lexi would have been so much better off if she had never known any of them. It also described the love Lexi had with her aunt Eva, who had nothing in the way of an easy life or material things, yet sheltered and loved Lexi, and was willing to sacrifice her life for her. It is too bad there wasn't alot more Aunt Eva and alot less Farraday.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 3, 2011 8:34:57 AM PDT
momof2 says:
what an idiotic post..... posting your thoughts is one thing but ruining the entire plot is selfish and idiotic.
It is amazing that a BOOK can bring out such hatred in someone...........

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2011 3:53:25 PM PDT
susannah says:
Thanks so much for your input. I guess you didn't see the clearly marked SPOILERS at the beginning of my review which MEANS I am going to discuss the book. To go on and read the spoilers, then accuse me of "ruining" the book is...idiotic.

It seems sad that a BOOK has never brought out any strong emotions in you, but only hatefulness toward other people and their opinions. Very sad.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2011 2:27:04 PM PDT
Mom of 3 says:
Hi Susannah - After reading your post, I decided not to buy the book. I read everyone else's opinions but yours seemed to capture the ultimate shallowness of the novel. Thanks for saving me the "three hours" (to quote another post) of reading a teen romance that does not even deliver the right morals!

Posted on May 8, 2011 11:12:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2011 11:47:14 AM PDT
I'm so glad you wrote your review. I felt that some of the book (the prose) was well-written, and emotional, yet I couldn't get past the exact things that you mention, and it drove me crazy that the other reviews didn't discuss them, and considered it a great book despite them! I read through 8 pages of reviews to see if anyone was bothered by these things until I finally hit yours.

The Farradays destroy Lexi's life, and and are 100% guilty of negligence by not showing any responsibility towards her. (Miles, especially, should have stood up for what was right, in opposition of Jude). And considering how much Lexi gave to their children, it is the ultimate level of ingratitude. Hannah has Zach saying something about it--but really, it sounds like he's going through the motions of saying he's sorry--an "I'm so sorry," doesn't make up for the fact that neither he nor his father fought for Lexi. Shallow! It felt like a very selfish, self-absorbed love. Throughout the book, he really doesn't give of himself to Lexi--which is what true love should be--his attempt to attend university with her especially sounds like he's thinking of himself: he can't live without her. And that Lexi has absolutely no bitterness, and steps right back into his arms, he, who went on with his life, ignoring her suffering and doing nothing to take care of his "true love," did bother me greatly. Despite her self-effacing personality, it seemed unrealistic and annoying. (And one can argue that he was insecure of her love, and that's why he didn't reach out, at least in the hospital: sorry, if you give a promise ring to your girlfriend, you should be strong enough to have real communication with her and avow your love, no matter what she says).

It also drove me crazy that the general assumption of most characters in the book was that Lexi was to blame in the accident. If anything, out of all three, she was the least, in my opinion. (I don't want to sound heartless, but Mia, in my opinion, essentially killed herself). This is barely acknowledged. Eva is really the only one who does, and perhaps Scot. Hannah does have several people say, vaguely, that Lexi wasn't only to blame. However, this counter-argument felt very weak, and no one, especially Zach or Miles, follows through with it in her defense. Very lame.

The last point you brought up, about social inequality, and the fact that the Farradays would not have gone to jail, was also something that I felt should have been emphasized much more in Hannah's writing. That is true poignancy, unlike some of the other shallow love relationships in the book.

I did cry--for Lexi, and felt her pain. In that way, the book does tug at your heartstrings. But intellectually, I couldn't get past the shallowness of too many things (and the Farradays absolutely don't deserve her, and that is also painful) and for that reason, do not recommend this book.
This is the first time I've posted a comment or review, and actually, I feel so strongly about the negatives in this book that I'll probably post a review. I've never been compelled to do that before...

Posted on May 8, 2011 11:27:11 AM PDT
I forgot: By the way, aside from all the other weaknesses, the Jude plot in the second half is to me almost disgusting. I can feel for her excessive pain and reaction; I can't deal with the way she points everything towards Lexi. That dishonesty is supremely annoying and makes for a very dissatisfying book. While it's also very annoying that her road to recovery is so rushed and feels unrealistic, I thought it was interesting that after years of her being practically comatose, it is Lexi coming back to face her that snaps her out of it and is the catalyst for her (instant) recovery process.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2011 12:06:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 1:39:27 AM PST
susannah says:
Thanks much, brittanicapark! I was reading the reviews again and still amazed at how people are raving about what a wonderful book it is and what a wonderful mother Jude is, how much she loves her children, and going on about the pain of losing a child etc etc. Not one of the family, nor any of the reviewers apparently, care one bit about the destruction of Lexi's life at their hands. Such great examples of human decency here! I think the thing that makes me the most upset and angry is that as noted, if Mia or Zach had killed Lexi, none of them would have felt responsibility for or taken responsibility for it for a second. I also agree that Mia was responsible for her own death..she chose to drink and not have her seat belt on. People want to use this book as a cautionary tale for their own teens against drinking and driving. I think a better lesson is one in how to take responsibility for oneself and how to treat others.

At any rate, will you let me know when you post your review? I would love to read it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2011 12:08:11 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 8, 2011 12:08:36 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2011 5:05:40 AM PDT
N. Douglas says:
I agree with you 100%. I'm in the last 1/3 of this book and after reading your review I am glad I will NOT be finishing it. Thank you for saving me another day of reading it. "Jude" real name Judith and sounds more adult---is the most self absorbed person---I am sick to death of her. Little does she ever realize, she is just like her own self absorbed mother. She did little parenting, she was a pal and when her daughter/friend was killed she fell apart, forever. She does remind me of the mom's these days that want to be more friend than parent. I won't be reading any other Krisitin Hannah books as I like strong women characters. The strong characters in this book---Lexi and Eva were very ill treated. No happy ending when you've struggled so hard is not the book for me. I like the English authors one especially Catherine Cookson who writes about women facing alot of tragedies but in the end the characters are made stronger for it and not still wallowing in it. Thanks again for your great review!

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2011 5:08:45 AM PDT
N. Douglas says:
You made a wise decision. I am not finishing this book. I have labored over it as it is and when I saw where it was continuing to go I am opting OUT! I purposely wanted the truth about this book and thank heavens Susannah provided it!

Posted on May 31, 2011 1:36:55 PM PDT
Seriously - I am so glad I found this review. I am half way through the book and needed to know that Lexi was going to get her daughter back. The Farradays (especially Jude) are so toxic and horrible - I can't believe the sympathy for them in the reviews. Jude has taken no responsibility in the accident and has - without apparent regret - allowed Lexi to shoulder all of the blame. Aunt Eva and, to a lesser extent Miles, are the only voices of reason and true clarity in this book. I am not looking forward to the last half, but I will make it knowing that Lexi and Grace have a chance . . .
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