A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Release: June 5, 2012
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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.
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She has looked forward to spending time with her dad--just the two of them--when he picks her up and surprises her with with a new fiancé and future step-siblings.
It's safe to say that Whitley is very, very bitter. She parties hard to forget her pain and loneliness. What I loved about this book, however, was Whitley's voice. It's very distinctive and believable. From the first page, I was hooked---and this is coming from someone who's actually pretty conservative and the total opposite of Whitley. But she's not the only character I grew to love.
Bailey, her future stepsister, was sweet and adorable. Harrison, Whitley's friend, was charming and funny. And Nathan, her future stepbrother, was...a far more complicated character than I expected him to be. And I liked him. A lot. I didn't care too much for Whitley's parents or her future step-mother, Sylvia (although, I am glad Kelpinger made a step-mother that was actually nice.)
Was this book cliched? Yes. In a lot of ways. But Keplinger's writing and Whitley's voice made the read so enjoyable and worthwhile. I really feel like I should write more, but honestly, the book is pretty short, simple, and fun. Can't wait to see what else Keplinger comes up with next.
**ARC provided by NYMBC. Thank you!**
RATING: 4 SLICES