Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer
Any other night, Ryan Mills would have driven his best friend, Michael, to Emily’s sweet sixteen party at the Breakers Club. Instead, determined to win over the birthday girl, he goes to the party early and alone, setting off a chain of events that ends with a car accident in which Michael dies.
Ryan blames himself for what happened to Michael. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t deserve to have love or ever be happy again. Then he learns Michael left a secret behind. Ryan feels compelled to take on his friend’s unfinished business, and in the process, changes his life forever and becomes a man.
This book was published in October 2011 under the title Loving Emily. In May 2012, it was reissued with its content unchanged as Any Other Night. Personally I found the title made all the difference in the world. I remember coming across this book when it was titled Loving Emily and didn’t get pass the titled. Any Other Night is a more appropriate title to this book.
Although loving Emily takes a lot of the book, the guilty of his friend’s death drives the novel. It touches on a lot of issues that I remember my brother facing when one of his older friends wrapped himself around a tree. I remember feeling guilty that I couldn’t help my brother deal with this. We have never really talked about it, but I imagine this is definitely how he felt. That summer he changed just like Ryan did. The both found themselves doing better in school.
This is definitely a story to give anyone that has lost a friend too soon. The character of Ryan is truly a mensch. Anne Pfeffer has craft a character that finds himself developing into man because of losing his best friend. I can’t even imagine the future for him but I do know Michael, his best friend’s child, is in great hands.
I give Any Other Night 4 out 5.