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.
LONG STORY SHORT:
If you find yourself kneeling in front of a bookshelf in your favorite bookstore on the hottest day of summer trying to find just one, single book that fits the weather and your exhausted - because boiling - brain cells you should pick this book up. And I promise you will devour it, forget the energy your brain needs to come up with to read and even let the pool wait for hours :) If - for any reason - you don't find yourself in the midst of summer right now you might not be able to enjoy it as much, but nonetheless Kody Keplinger wrote a fantastic novel here!
This review is going to suck. I know it. Because from the very first pages of A Midsummer's Nightmare I had one sentence in my mind that this review should be based on. I read on and added thought after thought to this one sentence...I wanted to say how much I loved Whitley's dad's new family and their house and how welcoming they were and how Bailey's first steps in her teenager-shoes were described and how the dialogue was just so realistic and how everything could've happened just the way it did and - and this is the point! - I wanted to tell you guys that all these things would've made the novel perfect if it weren't for the main character and the fact that I could absolutely not stand her - and not relate to her at all.
Well...that was a silly thought for me to want to begin a review with. Because, you know what? Characters can grow. And Kody Keplinger not only knows how to make her characters grow and develop - she has the ability to make them grow on you!
For me that meant that throughout a huge part of the book I tried to ignore Whitley and her mean commemts and her stubborn attitude because I was convinced I hated her and that everything else in A Midsummer's Nightmare was totally awesome.
Until - all of a sudden - I couldn't deny it anymore. I liked Whitley. Or rather I liked the girl behind the facade, the girl that we got to see as soon as some people came into her life and ripped her mask off. Beneath I saw the great personality that she has and the good friend she can be.
To cut this short I must say: Even if Whitley and the voice with which she tells her story turn you off at first as they did turn me off - give her a chance and don't start hating her by page 3. Then again, you probably won't be able to put the book down anyway because the story just flows in front of you, never comes to a boring hold and especially during the second part I learned quite a lot of things about my life and the way I deal with people and how a real parent should behave - AND I even found one thing - or rather a person - I really, honestly do not like. Whitley's dad. Even at the end (which - of course I won't spoil) I still hated him and probably wouldn't speak to him any more than necessary for the rest of my life.
All in all, I would suggest you buy this book as long as summer is still with us - I think this just screams hot weather and a pool or beach and it wouldn't be the same if you read it in winter :)
RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties