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The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  5,436 ratings  ·  683 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, wh
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Tor Teen
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For a book that initially sounded so original, I hate to say that I found The Nightmare Affair to be helplessly average. Enjoyable? Yes--hence my three star rating. I did have fun reading The Nightmare Affair, and, overall, I did enjoy it, but as a whole I found it to be an ultimately familiar read.

The paranormal lore aspect to The Nightmare Affair is for the most part fresh, bringing new and fun ideas to the table, and the world-building is somewhat thorough and interesting, albeit not entirel
Nightmares! We all know what they are, we've all gotten them, but for Dusty, this is a little more literal than you would think. She IS a Nightmare, meaning she "feeds" by hopping into people's dreams. However she soon learns that that's not all there is to it--especially in her case.

For the lore and originality, this book gets all its points. I enjoyed learning about all the different paranormal beings in this book. While some are not what you would consider original--werewolves and faeries ar
EDIT 30/07/2012:
"He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing."

No way!!!


This one sounds like an amazing mystery and the main character, Dusty is a nightmare, so cool!
sunset shimmer
This review is also available over at my blog.


This was a very fun read!

Obviously what first lured me into wanting to read this book was the Nightmare concept, which I thought was very interesting, and I'm always intrigued when an author creates their own species of paranormal creatures. Nightmares feed on dreams, and the stuff that dreams are made of, called fictus. But Dusty isn't just any Nightmare. She's also a dream-seer, which means she can see the future through drea
Rating: 2 Stars/DNF

From first glance, Arnett's debut seems to have a lot going for it. An eye-catching cover? Check. Gorgeous title fonts and imagery? Check. A fascinating new idea? Check. Unfortunately, however, The Nightmare Affair is - no pun intended - a nightmare to read. While it starts off promising enough with a unique premises, it soon deteriorates into nothing more than a stereotypical paranormal mystery, riddled with a Hogwarts-eque boarding school and topped off with silly, unrealis
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars Dusty is a girl who is literally a nightmare. Reading the synopsis about this girl who feeds off bad dreams (based on mythical mares in folklore), I didn't expect to find that this story would have a more lighthearted tone. The overall feel of the book is pretty humorous and the story is fast-paced, and both the writing style and the set-up of a school for magical creatures reminded me quite a bit of Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall series.

I have to admit that while I enjoyed the story while
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)

I'm so happy to have read this book after the glut of horrible, unoriginal YA paranormal I've been encountering lately. I love the concept, premise, and execution. The characters are well-balanced and believable, the mystery is well thought out, and even if it's not terribly difficult to figure out whodunnit, this is one of the far better YA books I've read in awhile.

The summary: Dusty (Destiny) is a Nightmare, one of the only ones left in the world, attending Arkwell school. She's rather inf
I believe my first words were, "I want to have this book's babies." And I stand by them.
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I've seen the Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett around and the premise was enticing enough for me to pick it up. Dusty is a Nightmare in the most literal sense, and she has to feed on dreams of people for energy/magic/fictus. She feeds one night on a hot guy from her old school, Eli, but he notices her in the dream and forcefully wakes them up. Turns out they are a Dream-Seer duo, and now both attend a magical school. From ther
Victoria Scott
THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR is a fast-paced paranormal mystery with flesh and blood characters and intrigue galore. Arnett has a fresh, witty voice that keeps you turning pages with lightening speed.

Eli was my favorite character (and not just because he's smoking hot), and every time he and Dusty shared a dream I couldn't help holding my breath. What I really loved about this book is the way it wrapped up so neatly, but left you wanting MORE. There's definitely enough world-building to have multiple b
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A copy of The Nightmare Affair was provided to me by Tor Teen/Netgalley for review purposes.

Mare or Nightmare
1. an evil spirit or goblin in Germanic folklore which rides on people's chests while they sleep, bringing on bad dreams (or "nightmares").

Dusty is a relatively normal 16 year-old girl, except for that whole "my mother is a Nightmare". In the most literal sense. Literal meaning she's a mythical creature that feeds on what dreams are made of. One night while Du
Lindsay Cummings
awesome book! such a FRESH concept!! Love the main character, love the writing style...totally enjoyed it! fun read for sure, and thanks to the author for letting me read it early!!!
I Eat Words
AH. This was So. Good. Magic, romance, mystery, suspense--I was on my toes the whole time! This is definitely one to pick up if you liked Hex Hall, Paranormalcy, or Harry Potter. :)
This book is truly an adorable gem. If you're look for a paranormal private investigators type book for a young adult audience, this would be your pick in a heartbeat. Keep in mind it is not for little kids because there are some sexual innuendos. I mean, Dusty has to kneel on a guys chest to feed of of his dreams! Even she refers to the positioning as awkwardly kinky!

I don't know about you guys, but I love magical schools. The Arkwell Academy is ranked up there with Hex Hall if you ask me, thou
Qualche volta abbiamo semplicemente bisogno di una lettura leggera e divertente che ci faccia staccare un pò dalla realtà e passare un paio d'ore tranquille e piacevoli. The Nightmare Affair, iniziato subito dopo lo straziante sequel di Schegge di Me, è proprio una di queste letture, esattamente ciò di cui avevo bisogno in quel momento.

Per certi versi questo libro mi ha ricordato molto Hex Hall di Rachel Hawkins. Quando leggevo nelle recensioni il paragone alla serie della Hawkins, ero un pochi
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Three stars because I am kind and merciful on Superbowl Sunday. There are some good aspects to this, but the execution left a lot to be desired, both in terms of plot and characters.

Review to come.
Miss Bookiverse
Mar 11, 2012 Miss Bookiverse marked it as to-read
The name "Dusty Everhart" really makes me cringe but the rest of the summary sounds pretty unique.
 photo 39111_900_zpsd8cf5a64.gif
This was the kind of book I've wanted, tbh. I knew this book would be this good but it took me a year to get to it. x_X It's also been about a year since I've read a magical academy book! I haven't since the Hex Hall series but I've always enjoyed the genre!

So cheers to finding another!
Our heroine is 16 years old, young, makes dumb decisions because she's a teen (but hey, only a few) she's quite smart otherwise. Dusty Everhart! I love her. She's a halfkind. Half human, half Nightmare. A supern
3.5 stars

It's hard being 16 years old, but it's even harder when you just came into your powers and start to crave the 'fictus' that is needed to replenish magic. So, that's why we begin this story with Destiny (Dusty) Everhart breaking into a house ready to sit on her subjects chest and enter his dreams. See, she's a Nightmare. Literally, and needs to dream-feed to live. Only she wasn't thrilled with the idea when she learned that the subject is no other then Elijah Booker, the really cute popu
3.5 stars

One of my most anticipated reads of 2013, this book didn't disappoint. While it didn't blow me away, I still enjoyed it quite a lot.

There were just a few issues I had with it. The story is built around a lot of mystery and suspense but I found it to be really predictable. I worked it out almost from the beginning and found that the character that I suspected was bland uninteresting and there seemed to be no other reason for him to be there, but for him to be the bad guy when it came to
INT Giveaway on the blog! http://somelikeitparanormall.blogspot...

Dusty is a nightmare that feeds on dreams. The Will is the power that controls the paranormals and sets her feeding schedule for every other week. While out on a feed run she realizes she will have to feed on one of her old classmates, Eli. Straddling him, she enters his dreams where she sees the death of one of her new classmates. Eli notices her, touches her and she is lifted from the dream. Her magic bounces off him and she tak
Mar 02, 2013 Devyani rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Devyani by: Read-along with Zemira.

I would be cheating myself and this book if I didn't say that I enjoyed this book.

I actually quite liked the whole concept of this book. For me, it was something I hadn't about or read before. So it was really refreshing. It was fast-paced and didn't have a single dull moment. I flew through the entire book and it was really fun.

The pretty cover and the synopsis of the book had attracted me to it almost instantly as soon as I saw it. Hello, we have a nightmare in the house? How much m
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Thanks to Netgalley and Tor/Forge for giving this book to review.

Dusty Everhart is a Nightmare, a magical creature who feeds off people’s dreams, and tonight she sneaks into Eli Booker’s House, who is a hot boy from her old school, and sees he is dreaming of a murder. However, when his dream becomes true, Dusty discovers that she and Eli are Dream-Seer’s and that when she feeds off his dreams they can see the future
Dusty Everhart is a nightmare. Late at night she creeps into your house, squats on your chest while you sleep and invades your dreams. 5 Stars right there. I love the idea for this book.

One night she breaks into the home of Eli Booker...she invades his dream but instantly realises something is different. In Eli she has found her dream partner. Using him as a conduit, Dusty is able to look into the future.

When people start dying, it's up to Dusty and Eli to find the killer and stop them from ge
Cait S
I was really excited to get to this book because the summary sounded so great. But at the same time sort of dreading it because I could see how poor writing could lead it to be a complete mess.

Luckily, I was right to be excited! I enjoyed this entire thing, beginning to end. Considering I'm a sucker for mythology and boarding school stories, I don't have a lot to complain about here. It read sort of like a Harry Potter knock off except with more kinds of magic-doers. It was really fun, actually.
The Bodacious Book Babe

I had mixed feelings with this book. The second I read that it’s about a school for witches and wizards and all things paranormal, my inner Harry Potter lover got super excited. Another school with interesting classes on controlling magic, hidden passage ways, and mysterious teachers. Except there was absolutely none of that in here. Sure, Dusty went to her classes, but it’s not like she ever actually did anything besides stare at hottie new guy and get mysterious tingles. I swear, the only reas
There are several reasons why I was drawn to this book. First, look at that gorgeous cover. Second, the summary that reminded me of Hex Hall, which I enjoyed a lot. And last-and most important- how often do you see nightmares featured in YA paranormal lit? That's right, never. Million coolness points for originality in that department.

I clearly remember when my granny told me about the folk tale that, if you sleep on your back and leave the window open, the Nightmare comes to sit on your chest
Words cannot express how sorry I am for being MIA since early this year. My daily routine includes chopping sheep organs and working with radioactive substance for my Honors year. Wish I have more time to hang out here and read more. :(

Anyway, The Midnight Affair was a lovely surprise because I didn't expect to feel this entertained when I was expecting something entirely different from a book. I don't know why but I kept expecting a darker and a more depressing tone of the story even though the
I received this book as an ARC. I was so excited to get it. I have been counting down the days until its release. I am sure if time and family would have allowed, I would have read it all in a day or 2 at the most. It was such a fun read. I loved the murder/mystery aspect of the story. It wasn't at all what I was expecting. I liked the different take on Magickind. I loved that the author focused on magic characters that are usually in the background. She brought secondary magickind creatures to ...more
Experiment BL626
The plot was good. The characters, not so much.

+ the protagonist
The book was written exclusively in 1st person POV from Dusty’s side. I love this type of POV, but I quickly found Dusty lacking as a heroine in many ways. When you remove her special powers and circumstances, she was as plain and uninteresting as her (nick)namesake, dust. More than plain, to my perpetual discomfort, Dusty didn’t exhibit prudence, caution, or any apparent trait that showed she had any sense of self-preservation. I g
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YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.
More about Mindee Arnett...

Other Books in the Series

The Arkwell Academy (3 books)
  • The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy, #2)
  • The Nightmare Charade (The Arkwell Academy, #3)
Avalon (Avalon, #1) The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy, #2) Polaris (Avalon, #2) Proxy (Avalon, #0.5) The Nightmare Charade (The Arkwell Academy, #3)

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“I didn't do anything wrong. I swear.'
He grunted. 'Like I've never heard that before. Funny, but I expected a little more originality from Moira's daughter.'
'Yeah, well, the dog ate my notebook with all my good excuses.”
“I didn't want to be a part of anything special. Bad things happened to special people. Usually failure followed by an early death” 17 likes
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