Monday, 28 April 2014

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication date: February 6th 2014.
My rating: 3 stars.  



Sun, sex, and ... step-brothers. Another sizzling story from Hamilton High. Whitley Johnson's dream summer of shopping, partying and tanning on the beach has just turned into a nightmare. Because Dad didn't tell her he doesn't live by the beach anymore, or that he's no longer a bachelor. He's picked up and moved to a tiny, lame town called Hamilton and gotten himself a fiance. A fiance whose son just happens to be what's-his-name from last week's drunken graduation party one night stand. Just freakin' great. As if the summer couldn't get worse, Dad seems to forget Whitley's even there. She doesn't fit in with his perfect new country club family, and Whitley does what any kid lucky enough to go all summer unsupervised does: she parties. Hard. So hard that she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a younger future step-sister 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, sweet guy who isn't her step brother (yet) and who actually seems to care for her. It will take all three of them to convince her that they're not phoneys, and to get Whitley to get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

A Midsummer’s Nightmare ended up surprising me in so many ways. I had only read one book previously by Keplinger (Shut Out) and whilst I remember sitting there with a dopey grin on my face throughout, A Midsummer’s Nightmare definitely took a different approach. Whitley is a fun girl, she likes going out and having fun, partying, and so when its time for her to go to her dad’s for the summer (a yearly tradition) she can’t wait to relax, her dad has a cool condo, and they normally just sit back, relax and drink. So it’s kind of a shock when her dad ends up taking her to his home, which isn’t his condo, but a house with his fiancé and kids living there and her future step brother ends up being the guy she slept with the night before! How awkward is that. 

Right away I knew Whitley’s dad was going to be an annoying character, which dad doesn’t tell his daughter before that he got rid of the condo, a place Whitley loved and that he’s engaged? His excuse was he didn’t have the right opportunity. Seriously? Also the fact that Whitley only gets to see him once a year, shouldn’t he make the most of this time with her? No instead he never seems to have time for Whitley, he either has errands to run, or he’s forgotten that he meant to spend time with her and ends up arranging something with his future step children instead. And then also when things start going crazy for Whitley who steps into make sure she’s doing okay? His fiancé! He ignores her current fiasco, not thinking that she would need some support. And only steps in when he thought his reputation was on the line. Who does that? Okay ranting about Whitley’s dad aside, this was one of the reasons that I could understand Whitley wanting to go out and have a good time, her dad didn’t ever give her the time of day and all her mum wanted to do was moan about her dad all the time. So despite Whitley feeling as if she was disregarded, the move with her dad’s future family was actually what Whitley needed. She didn’t really have anyone back at home she could talk to, and although things were awkward with Sylvia’s son Nathan, at least he understood her and made time for her. Also she ended up making some great friends in Hamilton and having fun with her future step sister Bailey. 

Despite doing some crazy things along the way, Whitley did show some great growth and maturity by the end of this book. I liked the fact that she took charge of the situation and confronted her problems head on. My only complaint is that (highlight to view spoiler) she resolved her issues with her dad way too quickly, if she had to just talk to her dad to get everything sorted in a jiffy, then the situation could have been sorted out much quicker, instead of fretting away. I think I’m more annoyed with how easily she was able to forgive him; I think I would have preferred a slower progress of development between the two  But other than that I really enjoyed A Midsummer’s Nightmare, there was also a cameo appearance from Wes and Bianca from The Duff. I know everyone has been on at me to give that book a go. So this book has definitely given me a push in the right direction to do so.



14 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed all of Keplinger's books quite a bit, simply because they're so compulsively readable. I found this to be no exception, though like you I thought her father was a piece of work. -.- Wonderful review, Jasprit, and I can't wait for you to pick up The DUFF. :)

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  2. Ah, I was hoping for better than three stars from this one! It's on my summer TBR and I sneak peeked the first couple chapters a while back and was hooked. I haven't read any of Keplinger's books but I've heard good things so looking forward to this!

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  3. This is the only book of Keplinger's I've read so far, and I really loved it. I think a lot of teens can likely relate to Whitley very well. I adored Nate, too.
    I'm glad you liked AMN!

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  4. I've loved all of Keplinger's books and come to think of it, this one is most definitely my least favorite. I was annoyed by her dad too and I definitely think that resolution came too fast. But I did love Nathan though and the bond she had with her future step sister. I'm glad you still enjoyed this, Jasprit. Hopefully, you'll enjoy The DUFF as well.

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  5. I think Kody Kiplinger should just start writing something that's not inspired by a Shakespeare work. She's talented enough. That's just me, though. :)

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  6. I loved this book, Duff too, but I have to agree with Joyous Reads - she should really try something new.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit. Great review.

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  7. I really loved The Duff. I read it a few years back, I guess. I want to read more by Kody, so thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one!

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  8. I wanted to read this, but now I don't think so. The whole thing with the dad would irritate me to no end. The dad needs a good swift kick in the arse.

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  9. Great to hear that Whitney did show some growth and development despite her dad. I have been debating this one for a while.

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  10. I haven't read anything by this author, but I know she's popular. However, this one sounds like a little too much drama for me right now. And I'm already annoyed at that dad. He sounds awful. I'm kind of wondering what that fiancé sees in him if he's going to be such a dick. I'm assuming the romance is with the future step brother? That's a little interesting...

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  11. I've only read The Duff by Keplinger so far, but I really enjoyed it. Like a lot more than I thought I would. I definitely encourage you to give that one a try next, Jasprit! That's really cool those characters make an appearance in this one. I think this one will be my next Keplinger read. From my experience reading The Duff, she writes unlikable protagonists very well, so I'm eager to experience Whitley's story.
    Also: I like the UK cover better than the US one, I think. This cover model looks far more age-appropriate. :)

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  12. No wonder it has the word "Nightmare" in the title. Can you even imagine sleeping with your stepbrother (even though you didn't know he was your step) and then having to spend the rest of the summer with him?

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  13. I haven't read anything by this author before, Jasprit and while I really like the sound of the book description, I think this would be a read like Anything to Have You. Nothing particularly special about the characters or story but an enjoyable, easy read all the same. Lovely review, Jasprit! :)

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  14. I tried to read The Duff via audio but found the narrator to be really annoying and I think I almost let me put that off the author, but I think I'll give this a go because it sounds quite different from that one

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