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The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy #2)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,396 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
The second in a thrilling new fantastical mystery series

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybod
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Tor Teen
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Afinished copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way.

This was definitely one of my most awaited sequels for the year and when I got a copy in the mail, you would not believe how loud I screamed. When I finally got around to reading the book, I was so glad to not have been let down. I wouldn’t say it got better or worse, it was just the same level as awesome as T
Alex B.
Sep 15, 2013 Alex B. rated it it was amazing
Soon, Mindee, SOON
Jan 05, 2015 Louisa rated it it was amazing
Such a great book! Really enjoyed it a lot, love the stuff with Atlantis, and the effects of the Will being gone, and then Dusty's dreams, and how that helps! Can't wait for the final book!
Sierra the Nerdgirl
Aug 02, 2016 Sierra the Nerdgirl rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
3.5 Stars.

I read the first book, "The Nightmare Affair" for the "Cover 2 Cover Book Club" and rather enjoyed it so I figured I would give the second book a shot.

The beginning was a little rough and felt quite different than the first book, but as I continued to read it, it definitely improved and started to have more of the feel that I enjoyed from the first book. One thing that I thought was very interesting was the idea of prejudice among the different magic kinds. It reminded me of how the
Penny Raspenny

Hmmmm, It was more like a 2* book for me but the last few pages made me feel generous!

I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. I thought I'd give it a day for it to settle in my mind so I could be sure it wasn't the enthusiasm of the moment that wrote this review. But right now, all I can remember is how much Dusty annoyed me in this book. She was constantly worrying about her boy problems and wasn't even paying attention to all the serious clues that were right in front of her eyes. And

Sophia C
Mar 11, 2014 Sophia C rated it liked it
This book was good, don’t get me wrong, but it was not exempt from “sequel syndrome”. You know, when the second book is not as good as the first? I loved the first Arkwell Academy book, and it was so nice to get into the series again. I also like how, unlike a lot of mystery novels, this was a continuation of the first mystery and added more mystery on top. Meaning: it’s complicated, but I like it. The beginning of the book eased me back into this incredible magical world, and I had no trouble r ...more
Mar 13, 2014 Pili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed The Nightmare Affair and thankfully The Nightmare Dilemma was even better!

Dusty, Eli and the rest of the Dream Team and for that matters the rest of the hiding magical society, are still recovering from the consequences of the battle with the evil sorcerer with the black phoenix pet and the break of the Will.

If I had liked Dusty before, I simply adored her in this one. She's got this quirky and sarcastic sense of humour and she's beginning to try and learn to put a filter betwee
Mar 29, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
The Nightmare Dilemma is a solid, entertaining sequel to The Nightmare Affair, beautifully avoiding some of the pitfalls so common in second books of a series and taking us on a complete journey with Dusty instead of leaving us on the final page but only mid-story overall. The synopsis is a bit misleading in a way that doesn’t do this book justice, giving readers the idea that we’ll have to deal with a love triangle when Dusty’s ex-boyfriend reenters the picture to give Eli a run for his money, ...more
Alice Liu
Jun 14, 2014 Alice Liu rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I didn't read the first book, so I was a somewhat of a disadvantage reading The Nightmare Dilemma. There was enough information for me to follow the story, but I was a bit perplexed at the very opening when Dusty is so rebellious that she isn't trying to help a friend who has been attacked. Not having read Nightmare Affair, I wasn't sure if there was a reason for her reluctance, or if she was just being immature. Throughout the book, her rebellious nature is often reactive, but as she ...more
Maryam Dinzly
Dec 15, 2015 Maryam Dinzly rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the Akwell Academy series, and I was so excited when I stumbled upon it in the library. I actually loved Paul in the first book, and knowing that he would be back in this book got me all hyped up. Of course, I wasn’t too happy that he was one of the bad guys, but hey, people could change, right? But anyway, this book was amazing, and honestly, it was better than the first book. I felt that there was so much more action in it, and not just romance.

Dusty is one of my fav
Feb 09, 2014 Adelynne rated it it was ok
Unfortunately, I didn't like this novel as much as I'd hoped I would. The romantic aspect of the book completely ruined it for me. And no offense to Twilight lovers, but it was like reading another Edward and Bella; and we all know how that went.

I was expecting a great paranormal mystery, but what I got instead was a book mainly focused on the romance rather than the actual plot.

Eli and Dusty constantly acted like a couple of rabbits in heat- they would have random spouts of lust and then st
A good follow up for its predecessor, The Nightmare Dilemma is fun and full of trouble!

Tensions are rising in Arkwell Academy with the magical restrictions gone, a mermaid hospitalized by being assaulted, and Lance being the accused. It's also hard to tell who's friend or foe when magic kind start taking sides against each other creating drama. Things get especially complicated for Eli and Dusty when they find out her ex-boyfriend is being released and returning to school.

As usual, Arnet writes
I was really a little worried starting this, since #2 can be a disappointment for me more often than not.

I wasn't really disappointed in this one. It was much like the first, so if you enjoyed that're probably going to like this one.

(Is there a "but" coming? I feel like there is...)

BUT... It took a long time to really get going, and the cast of characters is much more limited this time. There are some interesting things set up for the finale, so I still have hopes. It just didn't grip
Angela ReadingCave
May 29, 2015 Angela ReadingCave rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Whitney Hinckley
Apr 02, 2015 Whitney Hinckley rated it liked it
In this second Arkwell Academy book, Dusty is thrown into a new mystery when Britney, a fellow student, is attacked. Throw in the ex-boyfriend who tried to kill her, a haunting dream, and a rebellion of magickind and the semester gets really interesting, really fast.

The first thing I can say is that Arnett is great at creating a magical society within the world that already exists. While the magickind may have their own government and systems, they still live in the world of "ordinaries"--they u
The Twins Read
Jul 31, 2014 The Twins Read rated it really liked it
Shelves: nicole-s-shelf
This review can originally be found at The Twins Read.

Actual rating: 3.5/5

When one of Dusty's friends is attacked and accusing eyes are cast on resident jock Lance Rathbone, Dusty is doubtful of Lance's participation in the heinous crime. She's all set to find out who the real perpetrator is but it's not as easy as it seems. The dreams she shares with Eli are no help either seeing as how they're more nightmare than prophecy. To complicate things even more Dusty's ex-boyfriend is back and he's a
Monica Williams
Mar 28, 2014 Monica Williams rated it liked it
This is the second book in the series featuring nightmare Dusty Everhart. Dusty is a real nightmare, she can link up with her dream partner Eli Booker to help predict the future through the dreams they share. Dusty and friends go to school at Arkwell Academy- a special school for the magically gifted and other supernatural beings. The story picks up after the events of the first book. Dusty is once again summoned to help. Brittany, a mermaid has been brutally attacked and Dusty is asked to read ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Kinga rated it it was amazing
Mmmm. Mmmm again. I had so much fun reading this book! Beside the pillow punching and tantrums I needed to make.

I swear I'm going to legalize the prescription of sequel in the future for mentally-unable-to-wait patients. I so need the next one. I have a feeling about it, and, well, god help us.

I kind of read this one in a single breath. It never seemed to leave my hands today.

Dusty grew so much. Eli grew on me too, but his mood annoys me. Paul was sweet. I always end up defending the villain,
Well, the truth is this book had quite the boring start. Actually, it wasn't exactly boring. The action was just pretty slow, and I like my books eventful.

I don't think I'm going to be picking up the next book in this series however. It's not because I didn't like the story itself, but because the crossed-lovers story-line was somewhat annoying, especially at the end.

Edit: 07/23/14.

Truth is, I didn't appreciate how super-duper-hot Eli is supposed to be simply because hot guys in YA books are get
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
Apr 04, 2014 Van (Short & Sweet Reviews) rated it really liked it
Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publicist in exchange for a honest review.

The Nightmare Dilemma is the sequel to last year’s fun paranormal mystery The Nightmare Affair. Dusty and the gang are all back in the latest installment. It’s been a month since Dusty and her friends defeated the Red Warlock and broken the Will (rule/law governing magic use) enabling everyone the freedom to use magic without any restrictions/consequences. Since Dusty, Eli and Selene worked so well together i
From Children's Literature review:
Dusty Everhart returns in this sequel to The Nightmare Affair (2013). Since high school sophomores Dusty and Eli defeated the evil Marrow and broke The Will, students at Arkwell Academy have been able to practice magic much more freely-- with some disturbing results. Fights between various sects of magickind have increased, and after an attack leaves mermaid Britney Shell in critical condition, Dusty's assistance is requested by a Magi Senate member. As a Nightm
Apr 13, 2014 Bayla rated it liked it
Buzzwords: Dreams, amateur detective work, prejudice, romance (a hint of love triangle, a dash of star-crossed romance), thwarting evil plots

When their friend Britney is attacked, Dusty and Eli are again recruited to use their dreams to solve the mystery. With the help of their friend Selene and an unexpected source, they again stumble into a problem that's much more than they expected - and get ready to save the magic-world. Again.

With humor, action, and some serious teenage drama, this book is
Sarah Huffman
Apr 08, 2015 Sarah Huffman rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sarah by: My own love of YA books
Shelves: read-march-2015
'Nightmare Dilemma' By Mindee Arnett

If you haven't read the first book, then here is a synopsis on the awesomeness that is hidden inside of Mindee's book:

Dusty Everhart is a sarcastic, funny and lively person who just so happens to be a nightmare, literally. In order to feed, she has to straddle a sleeping person and invade their dreams. Imagine her surprise when she is pulled by 'the will' to a hot boy named Eli that she used to go to school with. Dusty quickly realizes that Eli's dreams are
Jul 20, 2015 J rated it liked it
ahhh...I don't know. I didn't feel as happy reading this book as I did the first. The mystery was significantly improved, but I feel the characters took a step backwards and didn't really go anywhere. Plus all of them were hiding secrets so it was really annoying.

Still, it was fun enough to keep me reading to the end and engaging enough to make me want to read the last book.

I compared this series to the Hex Hall series previously, but now my revised opinion is that this series is much less comp
Jun 09, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
such a great read although I am quite heartbroken. I love how this series wraps loose ends up without it seeming forced. I can't wait for the next one
Apr 17, 2014 Griffinyarn rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It may be just me, but the style and pacing of the Arkwell Academy series reminds me of the early Harry Potter books. (Even some of the plot elements are similar.)

Still, this series is able to stand on its own merits and I quite enjoyed following the "dream team" as they sleuthed their way through another mystery. The only fly in the ointment for me was the revelation of (view spoiler)
Jul 04, 2016 Cecilia rated it liked it
3.5 stars A good sequel and a cozy read.
Jul 04, 2014 Samantha rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.75
Another great, quick, fun read. This is the kind of book where the pages just fly by and you can't seem to put it down. Dusty is a supernatural being called a Nightmare who feeds off of the dreams of others to restore her magic. She is a special kind of Nightmare meaning she along with her friend Eli create a dream-seer pair making them able to see the future. After defeating the bad guy and destroying The Will in the last book Dusty and Eli are set in a much more chaotic world than the first bo ...more
Jamie Anderson
Jan 10, 2016 Jamie Anderson rated it really liked it
Hate that it took so long to finish - STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS got me a little sidetracked...
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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 Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1)
  • The Nightmare Charade (The Arkwell Academy, #3)

Share This Book

“No way am I letting you mess around in my brain. You might incinerate it."
I rolled my eyes. "Like you'd even miss it."
"Ha, ha.”
“Eli grinned, a dimple appearing on one cheek. "Could it be you're starting to care whether Lance Rathbone lives or dies? Miracles and wonders abound."
"Shut up”
More quotes…