Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Midsummer's Nightmare, by Kody Keplinger

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 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.

I liked this book, but I didn't love it.  Which sucks because I like Kody Keplinger: her writing is real and full of showing-not-telling; she has great YA appeal; and she wrote The DUFF!

It was a nice touch to set this book in Hamilton, the same town where The DUFF takes place; I was happy to see Wesley and Bianca again, but the other characters didn't act the same (in their bit parts) as they did in Keplinger's previous novel.  Harrison, in particular, didn't stand out as being a flamboyant homosexual in The DUFF, but he acted like a stereotypical gay guy in this book.

If that been the only thing that irked me, I would have given this book a higher rating, but there was one major flaw in the book: I disliked almost all of the characters.  Whitley is someone I would have hated in high school.  (And college.)  (And now.)  Nathan is a hypocrite.  Whitley's parents are both major douches.  Bailey is needy and clingy.  The only person I really liked was Sylvia, Whitley's stepmother-to-be.  

It was nice that everyone grew up in the end, but it all happened so quickly.  It really should have taken more than a few conversations/situations for everyone to see the error of their ways.  This was a quick read, but it would have been nice if it had been fleshed out more.

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