A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer’s Nightmare

Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 9780316084222
Pages: 304
Websites:

Rating: 5 Stars

Each book that Kody Keplinger releases just gets better and better. A Midsummer’s Nightmare has now replaced Shut Out as my favorite book by her.

 A Midsummer’s Nightmare really showed Keplinger’s growth as a writer. This book is not just a fluffy summer romance book, but delves into Whitley’s very messed up emotional state. Keplinger has such a great range in her writing; she can write a great romance, throw in some humor as well as deal with serious emotional issues, all in one book.

Like Keplinger’s previous books, the characters jump out off the page. Keplinger is really able to capture what it’s like to be a teenager. Almost all the characters have flaws, something I loved, making them feel like an actual person. The characters don’t feel static and their voices flow naturally off the page. Her characters, as always, feel like an actual teenagers.

When I first started this book, I though it would be just a fun contemporary romance novel. Whitley typical summer with her dad gets flipped upside down when he announces he’s getting remarried. To make matters worse, Whitley had a one night stand with her soon to be step brother. Sounds like a fun dramatic read. What A Midsummer’s Nightmare provided was all that plus more. I really loved the book wasn’t all light and fluffy. At times, the book was very serious and Keplinger really delved into the emotional pain that Whitley was feeling and has been feeling for sometime. I loved her exploration of why Whitley acts the way she does and the journey of getting Whiltey to speak up about her feelings.

Whitley was one messed up character, yet I loved her. Her flaws made her relatable and I really empathized with her. She’s an emotional wreck to begin with, and the actions of her dad and what she has to deal with over the summer just make it worse. It was nice to slowly see her open up and accept people into her life. While Whitely feels her dream summer with her dad has turned into a nightmare, but this summer offers her the opportunity to open up and reveal the hurt she keeps buried deep inside. She’s probably my favorite character of Keplinger’s to date. Her emotional pain felt so authentic and it was something many girls could relate to.

Keplinger’s boys in this novel are, of course, awesome. Nathan, as the love interest was not only a hunk, but a sweetheart. I wish every guy was as sweet and caring as he was. Nathan also has his fair share of issues as well, but he’s dealing with them. Whitley’s first best friend, Harrison, is a pretty awesome guy as well. He’s got all the characteristics of a great friend, one I like to have. He’s there for Whitley when she needs him.

The story had me hooked from beginning to end and was very easy to get caught up in. I didn’t want to put the book down until I knew how it would end. I loved how Whitley’s secrets were slowly unveiled and how we got to see the real Whitley. I couldn’t wait to see her finally open up and tell her father how she feels. The romance was cute, but not the star of the book.

A Midsummer’s Nightmare is a perfect summer read. Don’t judge this book by the cover, which I really dislike. The cover doesn’t do the book justice to the wonderful story inside. 

A Midsummer’s Nightmare is everything I wanted and more from a Kody Keplinger book and I highly recommend you pick this one up whether you have read her previous books or now. I can’t wait to see what Kody Keplinger publishes next because each book just gets better than better.

First Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Sea
Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: June 10, 2010
Pages: 336


Rating: 5 Stars


Summary: (from Goodreads)


Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.

And Sea’s real adventure begins.


Wow. What a stunning debut from author Heidi R. Kling. I heard about Sea during the Fall of 2009 and have been anxiously awaiting its release day, and it lived up to my expectation. Sea was beautifully written, full of emotions, and deeply touching.


Sea expertly deals with loss, love and life, all in one book. While reading Sea, I constantly found myself thinking what I would do in the characters situations and wondering what a struggle it is for some people to make it day to day. 


What I really enjoyed about Sea was the characters. All the characters, everyone from Sienna, to Deni, to Spider, were so real and well written. Each character was there own distinct person who had their own issues that they had to deal with throughout the book. For me, I loved Sienna. Her emotions were so real, I felt I could truly connect with her. When Sienna experienced sadness, I felt sad; when she felt joy, I was happy. I love when a book can make you connect with a character on a personal level and in Sea, that is truly what happened. 


What I truly loved about this book was its setting and the topics it dealt with. Heidi truly recreates what it would be like living in Indonesia after the 2006 tsunami. You truly get a feel for Indonesian cultures and traditions thru Sea. Reading this book made me want to hop on a plane and go visit this country to see the beauty for myself. While reading this book, I also realized how catastrophic the tsunami in Indonesia was in 2006 and the struggles and loss that the people had to go through and it deeply saddened me. After reading this, I wished I could have gone back in time to help with the relief efforts in that country to less the pain of characters such as Deni. 


Sea is one of those books that I know will stay in my mind forever. The powerful messages of loss, love and hope are messages that are crucial to living. As Sea reminds us we must Dare to Love and Dare to Live.