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“The thing about lying is that if you do it enough, it becomes something you don’t even have to think about. Just like breathing. I would know. I’ve been doing it my whole life, for them. My family.” Kat. –That Weekend

That Weekend

by Kara Thomas
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Three best friends. A lake house. And a secret trip—what could possibly go wrong?  

It was supposed to be the perfect prom weekend getaway. But it’s clear that something terrible has happened when Claire wakes up alone and covered with blood on a hiking trail with no memory of the past forty-eight hours. Now everyone wants answers—most of all, Claire. She remembers Friday night, but after that . . . nothing. And now Kat and Jesse—her best friends—are missing.

What happened on that mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory. But as she’s quickly finding out, everyone has secrets—even her best friends. And she’s pretty sure she’s not going to like what she finds out. 

That Weekend begins by following Claire, who wakes up in the middle of the woods and cannot remember anything. Right from the start, suspense is created due to Claire’s missing friends.  

Although readers may sympathize with Claire’s situation, Claire is so wrapped up in herself and her romantic feelings for Jesse that it is often difficult to feel sorry for her. This makes her an unreliable narrator, leaving readers wondering if she is telling the whole truth. All of this creates a character that readers may struggle to like. 

The book’s timeline isn’t consistent, which causes confusion. For example, the first chapter begins in the present, but then jumps to a flashback from three days earlier, then two days earlier, and then one day earlier. Later, the second half of the book jumps from the present to flashbacks, while also changing to another character’s perspective. Keeping track of the narrator and various flashbacks means the reader has to pay close attention to the titles at the beginning of each chapter in order to understand what is happening.  

Another flaw is that the conclusion of the story isn’t very convincing. For instance, the FBI is unable to find Kat and Jesse, however Claire is able to locate her missing friends without difficulty. To make matters worse, the reader discovers that Kat and Jesse planned their own kidnapping because Kat’s father was abusive and Kat’s grandmother demanded that Kat break up with Jesse. However, in the end, Kat and Jesse part ways and Kat returns to her controlling family. Plus, it can be hard to sympathize with Kat because her actions are responsible for three deaths.  

Because of the forgettable characters, the complicated timeline, and the strange plot twists, That Weekend is a confusing story that readers may want to leave on the shelf. If you’re looking for a suspenseful book that is more entertaining, read Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards or We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 

Sexual Content 

  • There is a rumor that Jesse “had hooked up with some girl from Westhampton beach after Battle of the Bands.” 
  • After breaking up with Ben, Claire tells Jesse that sex “doesn’t have to be a big deal. Ben turned out to be an asshole, but I don’t regret that he was my first.” Jesse is surprised that Ben was Claire’s first.  
  • At school, Jesse gets into a fight with “some asshole sophomore who’d been teasing him. Jesse was white in the face when a teacher pulled the other kid off him. When Jesse looked down at his hands, drenched in the blood spurting from his nose, he’d started to tremble . . .” 
  • When Claire was fifteen, she went to a party and met up with Amos, who “at seventeen, was practically a man to me.” Amos “runs his hands down my sides, tugs the waist of my jeans. I’m in my brand-new red bra. . . Amos flipped me onto his bed. The Captain Morgan shots roiled in my gut; his sheets, too cool . . .” When Amos tries to undo the zipper of Claire’s jeans, she stops him and says she wants to go home. 
  • On New Year’s Eve, Claire goes home with her ex-boyfriend, Ben. They’re sitting on the couch when Claire notices Ben watching her. “I feel my lips part as he reaches. . . I climb onto Ben so I’m facing him. He pulls my face to his and kisses me. . . he flips me over, pushing my shirt up to kiss my belly button. He moves lower, and I close my eyes. . .” It is implied that they have sex. The scene is described over one and a half pages.  
  • Ben drives Claire home. Before she leaves, Claire is “brushing my lips over his. . . but the urgency in Ben’s body as he kisses me back makes it clear. This time, things will be on my own terms.” 
  • After Claire and Kat have a fight, Amos tells Claire, “[The fight] almost made me pop a boner.” 
  • Kat babysits for a woman who “disappears so fast there’s no doubt she’s off to get laid.”  


  • At a party, Claire sees her boyfriend walking up the stairs with another girl. Claire assumes he is cheating on her. When he chases after her, she “slap[s] him across the face.” Claire then leaves the party. 
  • A television personality, Brenda Dean, has a show about real crime. “Twenty years ago, Brenda Dean’s younger sister was abducted off her bike and murdered, the killer never caught. Brenda dedicated her life to justice—first as a lawyer, then with her own cable show.” 
  • Brenda interviewed a woman whose toddler disappeared. Brenda “accused the mom of knowing more than she was saying about what happened to the baby; the woman left the set a sobbing mess, and went home to slit her wrists in the bathtub.” 
  • While at a ransom drop, Kat’s father tries to stop the getaway car and he is dragged behind it. He has surgery but never awakens from his coma. He dies several months afterward. 
  • An FBI agent interviews Claire. During the interview, the agent says, “You ever hear of the plane crash in Queens after September eleventh? . . . My mother and aunt were on that flight.”  
  • Kat comes home late and her dad grabs her. Kat yells, “Get the fuck off me!” Then Kat’s father grabs her and “the world went black when my head smacked against the wall. For a moment I thought I might not come back, that I was dying— when I woke to him shaking me, fear replacing the rage on his face, my mother in the doorway whimpering. . .”  
  • Kat, Jesse, Amos, and another accomplice, Mike, plan a fake kidnapping. However, many things go wrong. Claire, who didn’t know about the plan, gets angry and leaves. She runs into Mike, who panics and attacks Claire, who stabs him with a knife. Afterward, “Mike winced as he lifted the sleeve of his T-shirt . . . Blood poured from an angry slash on his shoulder.” He cleans the wound with Vodka.  
  • Claire is canvassing a house where she thinks Amos is hiding out. “I’m changing gears when my car lurks forward. My forehead knocks into the steering wheel . . . A scream catches in my throat as Amos Fornier pulls me from the car and throws me to the ground, my spine numbing as it hits snow and ice. I see the shovel in his hands at the same moment he brings it down on my head.” Amos takes Claire hostage. 
  • Claire tries to leave, but Kat “blocks my escape through the doorway. When she grabs my arm, something snaps in me. . . I grab a handful of her hair and pull until she’s struggling beneath me like a cat. . . She’s clawing at me; I yank her hair until she’s falls to her knees, smashing her face into the edge of the dresser.” Amos holds a gun to Claire’s head and she stops fighting. 
  • Amos tells Claire about an incident with Kat’s father. Kat’s father found Amos playing with a cigar torch. He “picked me and Kat up by the backs of our shirts. Dragged us outside and held me over the deck railing. He stuck the flame right in my face. He kept saying, ‘You want to see what fire does to a body?’” 
  • Amos, who is drinking heavily, tries to convince Kat to allow him to kill Claire. His plan was to, “Get some booze in her, slip [a fentanyl patch] on while she’s passed out, and bam, overdose.” Kat refuses to let Amos kill Claire, but later Claire puts the fentanyl patch on Amos and he dies. 

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • Both the adults and the teens in the story drink alcohol, so not all instances of alcohol consumption are listed below.  
  • Claire goes to a party and sees her boyfriend in a hot tub sitting on a girl’s lap. In response, she goes inside. Claire’s friend pours her a “few inches of rum into a cup and tops it off with a splash of Coke.” Claire gets drunk. Other teens at the party are also drinking alcohol.  
  • When lost, Claire goes into a bar where a man “raises his beer bottle to his lips, his eyes raking over me.”  
  • When Claire and Kat are alone in the lake house, Kat breaks out a bottle of wine and the two share it and get “giggly-tipsy.” 
  • While in the hospital for a head injury, Claire is given morphine, ibuprofen, and Ambien to help her sleep. Claire is also given a prescription for Ativan, which is supposed to help her with anxiety; however, she is soon taking Ativan in larger doses than recommended.  
  • Claire’s cousin, Amos, smokes weed and eventually becomes a drunk.  
  • Claire finds out that Amos was kicked out of school for selling drugs on campus but he continues to sell drugs afterward.  
  • Someone posts a picture of Claire at a party. “Jamie Liu and I knocking back shots. My eyes are glazed, my head tilted back. Jamie is laughing at me . . . I barely recognize the girl in the picture. She looks like the sloppy chick at the party you never talk to, who hangs on your neck like a spider monkey, crooning into your ear that she’s so wasted.” 
  • A few days after Clarie gets home from the hospital, she sees her mom, “cradling a glass of seltzer that I’d wager has vodka in it.” 
  • Claire is working at a restaurant on New Year’s Eve. One of the customers is her ex-boyfriend’s mother, who is drinking champagne.


  • Profanity is used often and includes ass, crap, damn, goddamn, fuck, hell, piss, and shit. 
  • OMG, Oh God, and Jesus are used several times. 
  • There is some name-calling such as asshole, bitch, bastard, and douchebag.


  • None 

Spiritual Content 

  • Occasionally, Claire quickly prays. For example, after leaving a party, Claire is “praying I won’t cry in front of Jesse . . . I am not religious, but I say a silent prayer to whoever. . . [that] I had the presence of mind to keep my goddamn mouth shut. . .” 
  • When her friends disappear, Claire thinks, “I wasn’t raised with religion, but I don’t know if I accept that it’s all random, that we’re not accountable to anyone. I make a silent bargain with whoever is listening: . . . I’ll be a better friend, if only they come home and be okay.” 
  • Claire is home alone when the doorbell rings. She says “a silent prayer that whoever is at my front door is selling something . . .” and is not someone she knows.
Other books you may enjoy

“The thing about lying is that if you do it enough, it becomes something you don’t even have to think about. Just like breathing. I would know. I’ve been doing it my whole life, for them. My family.” Kat. –That Weekend

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