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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.
Wow. A Midsummer’s Nightmare surprised me in so many ways and I can easily say that it’s my favorite Kody Keplinger book yet. I definitely expected to like it, but I didn’t expect to be so hooked and so emotionally invested. I expected a fun, flirty read, but most definitely not the emotional roller coaster I got on top of that. I started it this morning and finished this evening and I think that alone speaks for itself.
Since I could remember, I’d always been a night person. My burst of energy came right around the time the sun set. I lived in the darkness. Loved the darkness. My world came alive when the stars came out.
Whitley Johnson… Where do I even start? See, I had issues with both Bianca and Lissa in The Duff and Shut Out. Both girls frustrated me immensely and kept me from completely loving those books, but Whitley? She made me love her story. I could relate to her so much and adored being in her head.
First and foremost I loved that the heroine is not awkward, not inexperienced, not uncomfortable in her skin. It just seems like these kinds of MC’s are much rarer in YA than the awkward, blushing, insecure girls, and it’s always refreshing to find another confident heroine.
And bonus points because the hero is actually the inexperienced one. Yay for cute, blushing heroes! Again, I feel like they’re kind of rare. And Kody Keplinger gave me both in one book! It was glorious.
“I want more. I want everything. I want you.”
“I’m not settling for less, Whitley,” he said. “And neither should you.”
Nathan is everything. One of my favorite YA heroes for sure. I mean, he’s a little geeky (again, extra points for that), caring and SUCH a sweetheart. I couldn’t get enough of him. That whole family is so nice and adorable actually and Whitley’s asshole of a father doesn’t deserve them one bit. Whitley though.. they were so right for her and I loved being right there with her on the journey until she finally realized it too.
A Midsummer’s Nightmare is such a powerful coming of age story, consisting of Whitley trying to find her place in a world where her parents just don’t really give a shit. This is so much more than just a cute romance story. It’s about family and growing up and all that. Whitley finds herself in a confusing identity crisis that probably everyone experiences at some point in their life. That’s just what growing up is all about. Who am I? Where do I belong? And Kody Keplinger packed all that in this fun, touching story that I couldn’t help but completely fall in love with.
I didn’t know who I was without the parties or drinking or boys that had been my life for the past four years. I had nothing. No one. I didn’t know where I belonged any more.
Oh and how I loved Nathan and Bailey’s mom, Sylvia! She tries so hard with Whitley and her own kids, the way she’s so caring with such a big heart! My favorite time was when she defended Whitley and literally screamed at Whitley’s dad, who was worried what people might think, ‘Who gives a shit if they talk?’ Sylvia, who never swears or raises her voice. I was cheering her on so bad at that point. Because really, who gives a shit if people talk? They always do either way, so better do whatever the hell you want.
“Why do you have to be so damn nice?” I asked, annoyed. “Why can’t you get pissed off, too? It would make my life so much easier.” He kissed my forehead – so freaking condescending – and said, with that same old smile, “Because being pissed won’t solve anything.”
And yes, besides all that inspirational and insightful stuff, this book was just so much fun. Step-sibling stories are some of my absolute favorite type of stories and this one obviously didn’t disappoint. I mean, I read it in a day and didn’t stop once. I just couldn’t. It was too much fun and nothing could compare to me sitting on my bed and reading it. There were tons of scenes that put a smile on my face, especially when Whitley interacted with either Nathan, Bailey or Harrison. Which was basically all the time. And Harrison! Oh how much I adore that guy. It already started when Whitley tried to flirt with him in their first scene. I was a goner. It was just too much. If you’ve read The Duff like I did, you might know what I’m talking about. If not, well you’re out of luck, because I’m not telling. Go, read the book. It’s better than reading my review anyway.
‘Are you guys getting to know each other pretty well? I’m sure it’s a little bit awkward at first.’
‘Yeah,’ I said. ‘I’d say we’re getting to know each other *really* well. Wouldn’t you, Nathan?’
He kicked me under the table and mouthed, ‘Not funny’.
Really, I loved this book so much that I feel like I can’t do it any justice at all with my review. I can’t wait to get a real copy of it, as soon as I’m back in Germany and then I’m going to re-read the shit out of it. Yes, you heard me correctly, I’m definitely planning to read this again, multiple times. Because it was just my cup of tea. I kind of feel like Kody wrote this book especially for me. I loved it that much. So read it or don’t read it, I really don’t care, because this book is MINE either way. Tehehehe.