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June 16, 2012

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger - Juhina

A Midsummer's Nightmare
Title: A Midsummer's Nightmare
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy (HBG Canada)
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Format: Finished Copy
Pages: 304
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.
Kody Keplinger has become one of my favorite authors when it comes to contemporaries that portray the realistic everyday life of teen girls. I have to say, I do not relate with the girls from The DUFF, Shut Out, or even A Midsummer's Nightmare; I come from a religious background you see. However, I LOVED every single one of the protagonists of Kody's novels. They are so real, and independent, but also want to be loved, and don't want to get hurt. They are just raw and real. As for the plot, every one of them are logically built up, secondary characters are given depth and importance, but at the same time do not overtake the story. For A Midsummer's Nightmare, I loved the pace of the story. I dare say, it was perfect for me. The complications, the problems between Whitley and her mom, then her dad. I am proud to say I did not cringe once. In honesty I actually teared up a bit when the confrontations happened. I just want to stress how nothing was rushed at the end of the novel, we didn't get the happily ever after, but the promise of maybe someday they'll get there. Which means there was no last minute, unbelievably fast resolutions happenings. I loved every single minute and page spent and read of A Midsummer's Nightmare.  
Whitley is known as 'easy', as in she's a party girl and a hard core partier. She just graduated and was supposed to spend her last summer before university with her father. However, he drops a bomb on her: He's engaged, moved to another city with his fiancé, and will get married in the fall. To top it all, one of Sylvia's (the fiancé) children is Nathan, the guy Whitley drunkly hooked up with on graduation night. Also, the other sibling, Bailey, is a 13 year old soon to be high school freshman that somehow branded Whitley as her idol, so to speak. Even though Whitley hated this arrangement, she did not once hurt Bailey's feelings, or was outright rude to Sylvia. I liked her even more because of this. Often we see characters being straight up rude and just hateful, but I feel that Whitley's snarky, but still within the limits personalty was a good portrayal of how a person in her position would act. 
You might think the story's main plot is about Whitley and Nathan, but it is in fact about family dynamics, relationships, and how in order to feel like a family, you don't really have to be blood related. As long as you love someone, care for them and want the best for them, that's all that matters. You see so many relationship dynamics in this novel. The broken kind with her mom, the distant one with her married brother, the growing friendship with Harrison, and the sisterly relationship with Bailey. The other three main relationships are between her and Sylvia, in which she puts the best fictional step moms to shame, the fragile relationship between her dad, and finally her romantic relationship with Nathan. I do believe this book is Kody Keplinger's best novel to date. I honestly can't wait to see what else she will bring to the YA world with her next novel! I recommend it to all contemporary fans and if you haven't read a Kody Keplinger novel yet, then shame on you! Go to the nearest bookstore, library, online store and get a copy now! 
5 musical notes


  1. I've read Keplinger's The DUFF and unfortunately didn't' come away with this "wow" feeling, mostly because I couldn't connect with her writing (I felt she was writing about issues for the sake of it, and nothing else).

    I've glad you enjoyed it though.

    1. Oh I understand, I read The DUFF a long time ago, but I think this book would give you the wow feeling! try it !! :D

      - juhina

  2. I've still yet to read a book by Kody Keplinger - I think I might start with Shut Out! - but all these reviews are convincing me I need to soon! I'm so glad you liked this, Juhina. It's good to know that there is an emphasis on family and a bigger picture than Whitley and Nathan. Awesome review! :)

  3. This was my first book by the author but I totally loved it! It was amazing! You are totally right, while I didn't necessarily identify with the character myself, I felt like she was so real and that many other people could identify with her. I really felt for her though, those parent's of hers. *sighs* Great review and so glad you enjoyed this one too! :)

  4. This book looks awesome! I am adding it to my wishlist asap. Thanks so much for the great review! :)

    Oh and I LOVE the new blog color scheme and your name signatures. So cute

  5. This one sounds like a brilliant novel!! I really enjoyed Shut Out, and have been meaning to read The Duff. This one really sounds like one I'd enjoy! I need more contemporary in my life.

  6. this one sounds great! i've been meaning to read something from kody keplinger. but this one appeals me the most. definitely will be getting it soon

  7. Aww... This one just sound awesomely GREAT! I've been dying to read at least ONE Kody Keplinger's book. Awesome review! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books

  8. I have been seeing this book EVERYWHERE. I don't know but something about the cover put me off. But after reading your review, I'm so going to get this one. Thanks a bunch!

  9. What I love most about A Midsummer's Nightmare is how honest Kody Keplinger is. She doesn't shy away from drinking or sex or anything else teenagers do, because it's so real. I mean, I'm not saying I approved with Whitley's choices, because damn, she made some terrible decisions. But I had friends just like her in high school (even eighth grade) and that's why I love Kody Keplinger so much.

    Also because A Midsummer's Nightmare was steamy and swoony and I loved Nathan so much. I feel like after watching Clueless so many times, I'm totally jaded to the stepbrother dilemma, but I can see some people having an issue with that.