Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review ~ A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer's NightmareWhitley 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 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. ~From GoodReads

Here's a first: I'm almost speechless. Not because I didn't like the book (I loved it). Not because I have nothing to say (you know me better than that). I'm struggling because I have so much to say. A Midsummer's Nightmare struck such a nerve with me, and I have a lot of feelings about the themes. Apparently.

So first off, let me start with Whitley. This girl, she's not easy to love. At all. I spent the first half of the book wanting to smack the crap out of her. She's rude, abrasive, swears so much she even got on my nerves (tough feat, as I'm quite the accomplished potty mouth), and is just an all-around beyotch. The girl had a hot, sweet guy who wanted more than a one-night stand; she turns him down, harshly. She has a new almost-step family who genuinely wants to embrace her; she barely tolerates them. She has the opportunity to make true friends; she keeps her distance. All these things about Whitley made me almost struggle with the book.

But then, it hit me, all of these aversions were a reflection of Whitley and the way she uses them in her own life. Because the deal is, if you don't let people close to you, they can't hurt you. In theory. You can pretend that the things people say about you doesn't hurt, because you they're not your friends and you know it's not true. And hey, when your parents pay zero attention to you, any attention is good attention, right?? But the fact of the matter is, words hurt, bad perceptions hurt, can even cause you harm or danger, and that's a lesson the Whitley must learn. That fact that Whitley undergoes this journey towards self-worth, self-esteem was not something that expected when I began reading A Midsummer's Nightmare. But I found it the most moving, thought-provoking theme in the book.

If you haven't read the book yet, you don't know Nathan Caulfield. You must remedy that immediately! And I'll say it, I love good guys in my books. Yes, bad boys can be a lot of fun, but I'll take the good guy any day of the week. Nathan is Whitley's soon-to-be step-brother, with whom she has a funny, and cringe-worthy connection. Nathan was my favorite character in the story. He is practically perfect, in a non-annoying way: handsome, smart, a bit nerdy, athletic, and is so sweet and generous to his family.  But Nathan has a few issues of his own, and Whitley learns that perception does not equal reality. That maybe she's capable of hurting others in the same way she's been hurt.

How I wish more books like A Midsummer's Nightmare had been around when I was a teen. Were there any books like this in the 90s? If they were out there, I didn't know about them. Teen girls now are so lucky. Yes, society is a cruel place sometimes. But they have so many resources now, books out there that can help them in many situations, with characters that can help see them through. Kody Keplinger. Wow. This young lady is brilliant. I've heard a lot about her books, but haven't read any. If A Midsummer's Nightmare is any indication of her talent, I will definitely be reading the rest.

I could talk for days about this book. It took me an hour to read the last few chapters because I kept getting teary-eyed and choked up with emotions. The level of growth that Whitley experiences is remarkable. The amount of love that Whitley finds herself embraced in, despite her best efforts, was almost overwhelming.  A Midsummer's Nightmare is a book that I find myself in awe of and it will be treasured. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Favorite Quote:

"Every second Nathan's hands were on me, another moment from graduation night flooded back into my memory. The way his fingertips had pressed into my hips. The way I'd practically thrown him on the bed. The way he'd kissed me, more passionately than anyone ever had. I remembered the half-crazed feeling when he took his time kissing me, touching me, whispering things in my ear." (pg 72)

" '..-you seemed...real. We laughed a lot that night. And when you led me back to the bedroom and I knew what you wanted to do, I just remember thinking, If this girl isn't perfect for me, no one is.' "  (pg 188)

Published June 5th 2012 by Poppy

You can purchase A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository

Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Yay! Im so glad you really liked it. Nathan is the sweetest guy ever and Whitley is a hot mess. It was so awesome to see her grow. And her best friend was awesome too. This book is one of my favorites and now. Really want to read The Duff. Kick ass review!

  2. Love your review for this book! I haven't read it, but you make it sound sooo good, and yes, who doesn't love a good guy...every once in awhile ;)

  3. I've added it to my tbr! Sounds really good. You always pick the best quotes too!!

  4. Really great review hon!! This book sounds great and I want to read it even more now. :)

  5. Beautiful review Andrea! I already knew Midsummer's Nightmare was a book I was slightly interested in but I had no idea how moving and thought-provoking it was. It sounds like Whitley goes through quite the amount of self-discovery. Now I can't wait to read this one :)

  6. Aw man, now I have to read this even with my aversion to the cover. I guess I'll get it via kindle. :D

  7. Ok, I do want to read this now. I dont' know what I was thinking before. I'd probably like it, right? And you're right, it's weird writing a comment on your blog when you're in my house. :D

  8. I've really been on the fence with this book. But it sounds like it better go on my TBR pile.

    Thanks girl.


  9. I have been wanting to read this! Great review. I really need to get it.

  10. Wow, what a great review! I have been hearing about this book, but I didn't realize the book had so much depth. Thanks for sharing, definitely sounds like one that needs to be on the TBR list!

  11. Kody Kepliner is AMAZING! I relate so well to all her books. The Duff and Shut Out are also both fantastic. I read all three in a week and still need to review them. Like you I just have soooo much to say I don't know where to begin.
    With this book I was a bit of the opposite with most people. I read a couple reviews where they say they didn't like Whitley. I actually liked her right away lol She wasn't always nice but I understood her. Her dad was a big douche and ditched her for another family. I wouldn't have warmed up to them either. I admit I would probably be a bitch to them. But I loved the journey and how much she grew. Nathan is perfection! I'm all about the good guys and I would jump his bones any day.

  12. Wow this sounds really interesting! I'll have to check it out! Awesome review love!

  13. I haven't read anything by Kody Keplinger, but everyone is just raving about this one, so I guess I'll have to pick it up. ;) I agree...I wish there had been more books like this that I could have related to as a teenager. Of course, at that time, I was stuck doing all the required reading for school, so I probably wouldn't have had the time to read it anyway. Some things never change, right? :P Thanks for this awesome review...and for including those quotes...I definitely want to read it now. :D

  14. This sounds great. Awesome review. I will have to get this book.

  15. I wish that there were more books like this one too!! Great review my dear! this one is one of my favorite releases of the year and totally the best summer read!! =D
    Im so glad you love it as much as I!!! =DD kyaaaaaaaa!
    wonderful review my dear!! ^_^


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