Title: A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
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.
Rating: 3 Stars
I went into this read thinking I was going to love it, as I have read The DUFF (review to come), and absolutely loved it. The writing was not beautiful and well-expressed like other novels such as, Wither, but instead was cute, bubbly, and refreshing. I usually read a contemp book every couple reads, just to get my mind back on track from reading the more serious, complex dystopian and paranormal. There isn’t much that could make me not love a contemporary romance such as this, but Keplinger seemed to manage it this time. My problem? I did not fall in love with the characters. I felt no real connection even when the deeper scenes happened. It wasn’t horrible to read, just isn’t a book I will reread or buy.
Who were the Characters?
The main character was a cynical, rude, sharp-witted girl named Whitley. My issue with this character is that there really wasn’t any redeeming qualities about her. She was slutty, always angry, and snotty. She did become friends with the other main characters in the story: her goody-goody (with a history) future step brother, and tag-a-long future step sister Bailey, as well as the gay best friend Harrison. Whitley is a character I would probably never be friends with or approach in real life, as she was UNAPPROACHABLE. I don’t see why I would want to read a character like this. The typical “there’s a reason she’s the way she is” happened in this story, and although her situation did suck, I couldn’t help but think “Oh, boo hoo” and not care that much.
Another issue I had was that the other characters who I actually liked and wanted to know more about – Nathan and Harrison – the readers don’t get to know much about. The author just skimmed the surface of these characters. Everything in this book just seemed superficial.
What was different?
Honestly, not much. It was the typical YA “I’m a bad girl with an issue” contemporary. It was basic and plain, with no extra frills. I don’t necessarily hate the idea of an author writing a basic story, but if it is done I need to love something else about the story – the characters, the setting, the relationships. But none of these were significant enough to make me more than just shrug when someone asks if I liked this book.
The only difference from other stories was the fact that the love interest was the step-brother. This could have been heavily played upon to create a more “forbidden love” aspect to the story, but yet again it was not used to the author’s advantage.
What was similar?
Everything. The setting, the characters, the plot. Although unoriginal and uneventful, I still didn’t absolutely hate the read though.
Where was the setting?
Same place as the DUFF I believe, wherever that is. I can’t remember.
When did this story take place?
Again, contemporary story. Takes place during the summer before the main characters goes off to college.
Why did I like/dislike it?
Overall, I only gave this story 3 stars as I felt it was unnecessarily over sexed. Yes, The DUFF also is all about teen sexuality, but it is explained, fits in with the story, and understandable. The DUFF tackled the difficult subject with humor, character progression, and reason. This book just seemed forced, as though the author is trying to repeat the success of The DUFF. To make it more believable, perhaps the author could have added more depth to the character of Whitley. When the traumatic events occurred in the book, she cared, but not that much. Her “aha!” moment was underwhelming. Her reasoning for why she was the way she was just felt sort of blah to me. The story was not unreadable, but it also was not without its flaws. It was truly just “okay”.
Review by Connie