A Midsummer’s Nightmare
By Kody Keplinger
Publication date: June 5, 2012
Poppy, 304 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
Whitley Johnson’s dream summer with her divorced 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.
— Goodreads.com description
The third time must be a charm, because A Midsummer’s Nightmare is the third Kody Keplinger book I’ve read, and it’s also the first one I’ve LOVED.
I think my problem in the past is that her main characters definitely have a “type.” They’re wilder, more sexually active and angrier than I ever was as a teen, and I just have a hard time relating to them.
But not with Whitley Johnson.
I think Keplinger’s writing has progressed so much because, though Whitley is similar in many ways to the main characters in The DUFF and Shut Out, I cared about her so much more. Keplinger wrote Whitley to be tough and reckless, sure, but the layers in her personality were so much more evident. She’s just so hurt and lonesome and sad that you can’t help but feel for her.
Plus, I gotta admit: I love that Whitley’s latest one-night-stand turns out to be her future stepbrother. It’s sort of gross, but also SORT OF AMAZING. You can’t not be dying to find out how that turns out. And her future stepsister? One of my favorite characters I’ve read in a while.
There are some surprises in there that longtime Keplinger fans will love. And for those on the fence about her writing? Give this one a try. I’m pretty glad I did!