Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Title: A Midsummer's Nightmare
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: 6th February 2014

Tell Me About It
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.

From the author of The Duff comes another Hamilton High story.
My Thoughts
While I have seen and heard a lot about Kody online, but I had yet to pick up one of her books. When I saw A Midsummer's Nightmare was available for review from the UK publisher I jumped at the chance to pick up a copy, I love the cover but the synopsis definitly leaves me wanting to know more.
Whitley's parents are divorced, she lives with her Mum, and spends summer holidays with Dad at their condo. This year however is different, she gets to spend it with her Dad, his fiancé, Sylvia, and her two children, Nathan and Bailey, at a small town where he now lives. To make matters worse, Nathan is the boy Whitley slept with the night before.

I had no idea what to expect from A Midsummer's Nightmare, and from Kody herself, but when I began reading I quickly found myself hooked, wanting to know how Whitley can fix this messed up situation she has found herself in, and to see if she ever finds herself truly belonging in a family that she feels like she has no part of at all.

Whitley's life isn't easy, she has no friends, and her Mum is stuck wallowing in the past, either grieving over the divorce that happened years ago, or questioning Whitley about what her Dad is up to, and if he is spending time with her. I was surprised to find myself feeling sorry for Whitley. Yes she is reckless, and can be a drunk floozy, but given her home situation you can see how her actions are screaming out for attention of any kind, unfortunately she gets the attention that isn't exactly wanted. I wanted her Mum to actually take stock of the situation, and open her eyes and see what she was doing to Whitley, and how she was missing out on seeing her daughter grow up.
Whitley's Dad isn't much better, I wanted him to be a Dad, and to be there more for her rather than a 'holiday Dad'. He is too a absorbed in his new life and his new job, to actually 'see' Whitley, and while her antics aren't as severe as they are at home, she is definitly gaining attention in the wrong ways. Even when he becomes aware of what is going on he ignores it and brushes it all under the carpet.
The one person who I think was always there for Whitley is Harrison, he is the only friend that Whitley has, and I love how he has her back, supporting her when she needs support, being for there when she needs rescuing, and basically being an all round amazing friend for her. Nathan took some warming up to after the initial realisation of who they were, but I quickly grew to love him just as much as Harrison as we learn more about him and as he begins to loosen up around Whitley.
I didn't like how Sylvia is initially portrayed, which given the surprise of the situation was relevant to Whitley's reaction, but I did grow to like her quickly and loved seeing what she does to make Whitley feel like she could trust her.

A Midsummer's Nightmare was a quick read for me, each time I came to the end of a chapter I had to keep going, wanting to know what would happen next. I had to keep reading to see if Whitley could dig herself out of the situation she has put herself into to, or if Nathan and Whitley could resolve their differences. A Midsummer's Nightmare isn't part of a series title wise, but it does have companion books that I am definitly interested in reading.

About Kody
I'm a 19-year-old college student and young adult author. My first book, THE DUFF, debuted on September 7, 2010. I write books for teenagers and strive to be honest and true-to-life. For more info, check out my website.

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