I’ve known this for years, since I was, like, fourteen and went to my first party, but the headache I woke up with the morning after graduation was the worst I’d ever experienced. And that says a lot. I mean, it was thrbbing. I felt like someone had beaten me over the head with a freaking baseball bat.”
When Whitley Johnson wakes up next to some guy after her graduation party she feels like death and just wants to get away, go home and hide for the next 24 hours. After that she will be on her way to her dads for a summer of sun, shopping and partying… bliss. But her summer dreams are shattered when she learns the past 8 months have changed her dad. He has moved to the suburbs without telling her, and now has a fiancee and soon-to-be-step kids. He also didn’t warn her that his new stepson just happens to be that guy who’s name she doesn’t know who she woke up next to the day before. Awkward much?
This book was just as brilliant as I expected Kody Keplinger’s latest addition to be. With a realistic 18 year old narrator and a lot of messed up crap going on A Midsummer’s Nightmare looks at the perils of being that age and so completely lonely, and gives us a chance to see that there is a way through the misery if only you want to take it.
The story is pretty damn serious for such a fun loving book, and it definitely seems to take the whole idea of not judging a book by its cover far. At first glance you may think that this will be a fun summer romance type deal but its so much more than that. Whitley has serious issues with her family, especially as her dad seems to be ignoring her and ditching her for his new family this summer. She has absolutely no one to turn to because her parents are so wrapped up in themselves to notice her and she has turned that around to not care about anyone. Its almost like she’s hiding herself away because she doesn’t want anyone to car about her otherwise they’ll notice how totally unhappy she is. Its a tough story because you can see all this right from the start but Whitley doesn’t want to address the issue, she just wants to get drunk and cover it up.
I read Kody Keplinger’s The DUFF and I remember being shocked at how realistic that was and how she managed to make it a lighthearted read even with the amount of serious issues it covers and I she did it again with this. The whole book is really well written with a realistic narrative voice and a flow which allows you to get sucked in. Despite the book being a pretty decent length at 335 pages I had it read in just two sittings because I was totally hooked and I loved every second.
Like I said A Midsummer’s Nightmare really took some deep issues and handled them really well. I loved the characters, especially Harrison and also Sylvia because of how really nice and kind she was. Also I found Bailey adorable and such a brilliant little character, I would have loved her being around when I was Whitley’s age! Whitley herself is a bit off putting at first and I think a lot of readers may be a little shocked with her attitude at the beginning of the book – especially when it comes to her attitude towards sex – but I loved her character development and how becoming a happier person didn’t actually involve a complete personality transplant like it sometimes does in books.
A Midsummer’s Nightmare was a really great book which had me head over heals with some of its characters and made a hard couple of days at work much better knowing I could lose myself within its pages in my downtime. As my second Kody Keplinger book it has cemented the brilliance I thought I saw in the author after reading The DUFF and I will definitely be digging for more info on any of her other books.
A Midsummer’s Nightmare was published by Hodder on February 6th. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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