Author: Kody Keplinger
Release Date: June 5, 2012 (hardcover)
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 4 Stars
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.
Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.
Kody Keplinger has written yet another addicting contemporary novel which had my eyes completely glued to every single page! The chemistry between Nathan and Whitley is electric and leaves you waiting for the moment they'll give into their feelings for each other. If you loved reading Kody Keplinger's novels in the past, I'm sure you'll be loving A Midsummer's Nightmare too!
Whitley is angry with the world and upset that her father doesn't seem to bother noticing her anymore. So instead of being grateful for the supportive people she already has by her side, she tries to push everyone away, even when she actually needs them more than ever. Sometimes, I just wanted to knock some sense into her, but I guess part of the appeal of A Midsummer's Nightmare was trying to relate to someone who could be just so unlikeable sometimes.
I know Nathan and Whitley weren't related by blood or anything, but I was still rather unsettled by their slowly blossoming relationship because they would soon be step-siblings. Nathan was sweet and genuinely cared about Whitley, even during the times she probably didn't deserve it. His little sister, Bailey, was adorable and endeared herself to me with her innocence!
If I had to fault A Midsummer's Nightmare though, I'd have to say a part of me is exasperated with the way Kody Keplinger has once again used similar elements that can also be found in her previous two novels. Whitley is like a cross between Bianca from The DUFF and Lisa from Shut Out with her attitude problems and making assumptions about people's actions that lead her to poor decisions. And once again, the conclusion is wrapped up too neatly with a heart-to-heart conversation. I'm going to give the novel a free pass this time around, but I'll be definitely looking for more originality in Kody Keplinger's next novel, Goldfish!
Thanks so much to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing this review copy! You can learn more about Kody Keplinger's A Midsummer's Nightmare on Hachette's website, and if you're not already doing so, don't forget to follow HBG Canada on Twitter and "like" their Facebook page!