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 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.
Kody Keplinger is rapidly becoming one of my must read authors. I loved her other books The Duff and Shut Out, so I couldn't wait to get a hold of her latest book A Midsummer's Nightmare!
This story proves to provide the perfect amount of drama, angst and emotional entertainment great for a lazy warm summers day.
The morning after a grad party, Whitley wakes in a bed, hungover and next to a guy she can't even recall his name. But it does't matter, she's off to college in the fall and is on her way to spend her fun-filled summer with her dad at the beach condo and away from her self-absorbed mother. Little does she know that her summer plans are about to rapidly change. Instead of the condo, her dad informs her that he moved to suburban Hamilton. And the surprises keeps coming. Her bachelor dad is engaged to a women named Sylvia who has two teenagers. Thirteen year old Bailey who's been looking forward to having another girl around and Nathan....the nameless hookup from grad. They were going to be one big happy family.
Thus begins, Whitley Johnson's midsummer nightmare.
The first thought that pops in my head after reading this book would have to be cringe-worthy.
I felt so nervous and afraid of the things that would fly out Whitley's mouth. She comes off with more attitude then what I usually like in my characters. I'm not a big fan of bitter and cynical and Whitley has it in spades. She has a very strong 'my life sucks and so do all the people in it' vibe that I really wanted to shake straight.
So even thought she may not be the most likable character I still found her to be very realistic and easy to connect with. I mean I get it, her mother was so busy being wrapped up in her own issues with the divorce that she didn't give Whitley the attention she desperately deserves. Her father is more like a best friend/brother then an actual dad and past friends have always let her down. So Whitley turned to drinking, partying, flirting and flings to escape and find happiness where she can get it. While the whole 'I don't care about anyone or the consequences' wasn't always easy to read (cringe-worthy stuff my friends) I was still very much invested to see how things would play out. Especially with Nathan. For someone who puts on a big show about not caring, the reader knows the truth, Whitley cares to much even if she doesn't show it. It was really good to see Nathan brake down some of those walls and help her develop a healthy outlook into her life. She really needed the Caulfields and Harrison to show her that there is more to life then meaningless escapes.
I also really loved the other characters. Harrison was hilarious and such a positive force in Whitley life. Bailey is a sweetie, it was good to see Whitley care about her the way she did.
As for Nathan, I really adored him to bits. He has some old fashion views that we don't normally see in male characters. It was refreshing and honestly sexy. He's written to be some kind of geek, but quite frankly all I saw was swoon. He understand what Whitley is going through and despite all the crap that she put him through, he still wants and accepts her for her and that's something ya just gotta love. It was pretty amusing to see these two try to deal with the obvious attraction but given there unique situation made the dilemma even harder.
The Duff fans will be happy to see Wesley and Bianca. They make a small cameo appearance in this one, but it was still great to see them even for a short scene.
The only thing I didn't really care for was Whitley's dad and thought the ending smoothed out a little to nicely. We also didn't get to see her resolve anything with her mom, but on the other hand it's not hard to guess that better days are ahead for this girl.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It's a great story about family, finding yourself and first love. I love reading one of Keplinger books. I never know what to expect. Her stories are always filled with flawed and real character that you can't help care about.
I can't wait to see what she comes up next!
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