AUTHOR Kody Keplinger
PUBLICATION June 5, 2012 by Poppy
READ July 4, 2012
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.This is my first time reading Kody Keplinger's work and I can safely say that it will not be the last. A Midsummer's Nightmare is a perfect summer read that I devoured in one day. The pacing is great and the characters are very well developed. Whitley Johnson has slowly been on a downward spiral, she drinks way too much and likes to escape into the party scene where she often makes some less than stellar decisions. She looks forward to her summer's when she gets to spend time at her father's condo, rather than at home with her downer mother. But once her father picks her up she is thrown a curve ball, her father is now engaged and she has soon to be step siblings. This is the story of Whitley acting out and learning to deal with the change.
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.
I really enjoyed Whitley, she was a funny, sassy character. Even though she definitely had her issues and I didn't agree with some of the choices she made, I could always see where she was coming from. Yeah, her actions were pretty selfish but that's what made the novel so good, we get to watch her change. It is safe to say that Whitley Johnson starts out as one person and ends the novel having done a complete 180. Her father's "new" family consists of his fiancee Sylvia and her two kids Bailey and Nathan. Sylvia's character was given a lot of depth and I really felt for her as she tried to bring Whitley into her life despite Whitley's behaviour. Bailey was also a great addition to the story as she was a big part of Whitley growing up and realising that she needed to be more of a role model to her future step sister. A stark contrast to the loving, supportive Caulfields is Whitley's father and mother. They are pretty selfish and don't always put their children first. I was so angry at both of her parents for putting her in the position that she was in and just overall not caring about her.
The romance in this one is swoon worthy for sure. I can honestly say that I read the last 50 pages of this novel with a stupid grin plastered across my face. While the romance does start off with a bang (pun intended) it does have a nice progression that really makes you connect with it and long for more. Every time there was a scene with Nathan and Whit I got so excited! At this point it takes a lot for me to actually swoon over the romance, and it seems as though a lot of authors have a completely different idea about what makes a hot romance than I do. Nathan is so sweet and he wants nothing more than for Whitley to find herself and be happy with herself. He doesn't take advantage and he doesn't push her. I also respected his brutal honesty towards her and thought he handled everything so well.
Kody Keplinger has put together a sweet romance that also deals with some heavy teenage issues. It's all handled in a very real way and I can't even tell you how much I loved this story. The characters are great, the plot is fun and there is the perfect amount of romance. This one should definitely be on your summer reading list!