Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard
"Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.”

On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most."- summary from Amazon

I'm going to say this upfront- I HATED this book's ending. When I started this book, I thought it was a stand-alone. I mean, it's a mystery, so the mystery should be wrapped up by the book's end, right? I know there are mystery series, but there's the overarching plotlines and then there's the mystery which is solved at the end of the book with a new one cropping up in the next book. But that's not how this series works; instead, Mitchard stretches out this mystery to fill up however many books there will be, so this book ends rather abruptly and with no real conclusion. Now I have to wait a year to find out how this mystery either ends or continues. You find out who the murderer is, but with no evidence by the end of the book, he's not arrested. Do you hear that? NOT. ARRESTED. OMGWTFBBQ?!!?! Even just writing this up, I'm getting angry all over again. There was absolutely no need to stretch out this mystery; it should've and could've ended with this book.

I could go on and on about the ending but I'll stop because I've said enough. You get the point. On to some good things. I liked the whole idea of the kids having XP, which I'd never actually heard of and Mitchard does a good job of explaining it and showing us how it works and how it affects these kids. I liked their interactions and seeing the romance bloom between Allie and Rob. Throwing in the sport of Parkour made things even more interesting. I enjoyed reading about their various adventures doing it and learning more about the sport.

The mystery too is intriguing and kept me reading, which I think is part of the reason why I'm so angry about the ending. I had expectations (valid ones, I should point out) and was disappointed when they didn't come to fruition. Instead, the reader is given a brief sample of the second book, which doesn't do much of anything in the 12 pages or so that I read.

Overall, this book was good up until the ending, which really left a sour taste in my mouth and ruined the whole book for me. If you want to give it a shot, wait until all the books are out and read them back-to-back.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.


  1. I agree with the ending ruining the whole book. There just didn't feel like enough mystery for another book. Everything was ready to wrap up, then . . . no.

  2. That ending made me so mad! I can't believe nothing was resolved at all. And not only that, it was like it ended in the middle of a scene, which wasn't even finished. I too thought it was a standalone. You are right, if she wanted to make a series it would have made more sense to start up with a new mystery in the next book. Very thoughtful review.