Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.
Michelle & Leslie's Review:
We were really excited when we received Kody Keplinger's A Midsummer's Nightmare, especially since we enjoyed her previous book(s) (Michelle read both The Duff and Shut Out; Leslie only read the former). We each took turns and read A Midsummer's Nightmare last week and, just as we hoped, this one was another winner by Kody Keplinger.
Writing style and narration-wise this book was basically the same as Keplinger's The Duff. But other than that, the two books' aspects differentiate. In A Midsummer's Nightmare, we have Whitley, a party girl with an attitude who planned on spending her last summer before going to college with her father--unbeknownst to her, her father recently got engaged and she was actually spending the summer with him, his new fiance and her two kids--and surprise, surprise she had a one-night stand with her son, Nathan.
We also really liked Whitley's love-interest Nathan. He was honest, caring, protective and a hot-jock-on-the-outside-yet-dorky-on-the-inside swoon-worthy sweetheart. He was perfect for Whitley who needs someone steady like Nathan in her life. There were some really sweet scenes between them and we loved reading about the two of them.
But even though the romance was a big part of the novel, equally as big was Whitley dealing with her family. With her father who only seemed to care about his perfect new family, her mom who was still very bitter about the divorce even after many years and her brother who now has his own new family on the other side of the country, Whitley was left alone with no one to really care for her.
Whitley's thoughts and actions throughout the book revolved around her feelings of abandonment (she's a product of a bitter divorce), unlike in The Duff where Bianca's thoughts revolved around her feeling of insecurity. But, just like with Bianca, we were able to feel for Whitley when we recognized her through her emotions. Whitley wasn't an easy heroine to like (we both agreed that we wouldn't get along with her in real life) but we ended up liking her anyway. As we got to know her, read her thoughts and see things through her eyes, we couldn't help but like and sympathize with her. And that's one of the things we really liked about this book and specifically Kody Keplinger's heroines (Bianca and Whitley in particular)--she is able to take these girls who were unlikeable on the surface, who you know you're not going to get along with and who would skewer you (if not verbally, then in thought) if they met you but you like them anyway and even find something in common with them.
Like we said, A Midsummer's Nightmare was another winner by Kody Keplinger. It was a fast read from start to finish with equal amounts of humor, drama and serious moments complete with an unlikeable-yet-likable heroine and a sweet boy to balance her out. A Midsummer's Nightmare is compulsive reading. We highly recommend it, especially to fans of contemporary young adult--you won't want to miss this.