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Hamilton High #3

A Midsummer's Nightmare

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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.

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.

291 pages, Hardcover

First published June 5, 2012

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About the author

Kody Keplinger

19 books6,773 followers
I'm a 19-year-old college student and young adult author. My first book, THE DUFF, debuted on September 7, 2010. I write books for teenagers and strive to be honest and true-to-life. For more info, check out my website.

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5 stars
6,055 (30%)
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3 stars
5,230 (25%)
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Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,826 reviews2,186 followers
September 3, 2015
4 stars

“Anger was less painful than abandonment.”

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It's official, Kody Keplinger is awesome! I picked up this book after meeting the author and overheard her telling my friend Anna that this book was her favorite one that she's written. So of course I had to read it and see why. While I didn't love this as much as The DUFF, I can see why it would be special to her because this book packed quite a few emotional punches.

A Midsummer's Nightmare starts off with the main character Whitley waking up after a one night stand at a graduation party. Whitley may fool around a bit, but it's rare when she goes all the way with a guy, so when he expresses interest in getting to know her, she gets the heck out of there. Soon, Whitley is off to spend the summer with her dad, away from her toxic shit-talking mother and she's incredibly excited to get some quality time with her dad. Instead, she discovers her father has a fiance she didn't know about, and two soon to be step siblings. Even worse, the fiance's son was her one night stand. Now what was supposed to be a fun summer is one navigating new people and relationships while her father just drops off the radar.

“I was supposed to be at the condo, wasting time on the beach, just Dad and me, figuring out college and my life and spending time together. Instead, I was in a new house with new people - including a future stepbrother who'd seen me naked.”

There's something about the way Keplinger writes that just speaks to me, I can pick up her books and reading 100 pages in one sitting and not even blink an eye. I become engrossed in her stories and cannot get enough. Keplinger writes complicated and strong female characters with issues, just the way I like my heroines. Whitley was a great example of how much being a child of divorce can fuck someone up, and she had trouble trusting anyone around her because she learned to never rely on anyone, that they just let you down.

One of my favorite parts of the story was the tentative sisterly relationship between Whitley and Bailey. It's so beyond obvious that Bailey adores Whitley, even though Whitley's a total bitch to her. But I loved seeing Bailey slowly break down Whitley's walls and worm her way into a friendship. Their dynamic was so fun to watch, the good girl looking up to the bad girl.

“Go take out the trash, Potty Mouth.'
She laughed and headed into the kitchen. 'Pissed!' she shouted as she walked through the dining room. 'Shit! Damn!”

Nathan was also a decent book boyfriend. Not as great as Wesley, but he was there for Whitley when she needed him, and he saw through all of the walls she had built and saw her for her true self. And he genuinely cared about her, whether they were step-siblings, friends or more. That's a keeper right there.

And Whitley's parents were fucking awful! I mean, the majority of the angst in this book came from the fact that her parents were selfish assholes who only cared about themselves and never factored in how they were affecting their daughter. UGH! They made me so mad!!!

A great, angsty young adult book for those of you out there who want to be absorbed into a story. It kind of reminded me of YA Tijan, just without all the weird political BS.
Profile Image for Melissa.
356 reviews625 followers
September 16, 2015

I don't know what it is about YA Contemporary that I refuse to like. I mean if we have a conversation about it, I'll initially say I hate it. It always feel juvenile and then-I'm going to showcase the perv I am here- the lack of sex is just such a turn off, teenagers are freaking drama queens and plots feel contrived. This will always be my automatic response. But then if we dig a little deeper and start talking about Kasie West and Kody Keplinger, I see how their stories always bring something out in me. Be it anger, giddiness, mayor swoon, sadness or any other overwhelming emotion; they are always able to move me. In the end, I think it kinda weirds me out to be able to fall in love with high school stories being this mature person that I am (don't you dare laugh :P).
"Fun? Fun was not the word I would have chosen. Unbearable, awkward, torturous… Anything but fun.
This was a nightmare."

You see, there's this thing about Kody. She doesn't really write likable characters. She writes teenagers in all their glory and gritty detail and honestly, when was the last time you met one that was overbearingly nice or mature? She writes flawed characters, selfish brats, conceited minds, sarcastic tongues, and dramatic attitudes.
"Anger was less painful than abandonment. Anger, I could deal with."

I kid you not, Whitley will not make it easy for you. She will have you rolling your eyes and cussing her out. She doesn't care about anyone besides herself. She's constantly condescending and isn't able to look beyond her needs and anger. She wouldn't know a good thing if it hit her between the eyes.
"Since I could remember, I’d always been a night person. My burst of energy came right around the time the sun set. I lived in the darkness. Loved the darkness. My world came alive when the stars came out. But for the first time in my life, I wanted the night to end."

But that's the thing about loneliness. It creeps slowly and by the time you think to lift your eyes to see, you're surrounded by nothing. Your shields didn't protect you, they kept you isolated. Your attitude didn't make you strong, it made you crumble. And your careless didn't make you happy, it made you naive.

Kody writes one hell of a character growth and after reading this, I'm going to go on a limb here and say, I liked this just as much as The DUFF....If not more. It had me tearing up constantly because I felt her every emotion; from her pain that lead to desperate cries of attention, to the bitterness that refused to leave, to the joy brought by people who cared. I was moved by every single one. What more can you ask for in a book?
"People cared about me here. Nathan, Bailey, Sylvia—I’d given them every reason in the world to hate me, but they didn’t. They’d tried so hard to make me feel welcome in this house, even when Dad had ignored me. And slowly, I’d come to care about them, too. Maybe I didn’t fit in, but they were willing to make room for me here. And I was ready to take them up on that."

This book is filled to the brim with amazing characters. From the male lead that's bound to make you swoon, to the friend that resisted being put aside, to the sister that demanded a true bond, to the stepmother that insisted on being there. It had them all.
"Screw nightmares. I was waking up."

Pre review:
Guess who stayed up until 4 AM to read this?
Yup, that would be me.

Guess who has to wake up at 6 AM later?
Yup, that would also be me.

Guess who regrets losing hours of sleep over this?
Nope, that would NOT be me!

Review to come, sometime soon ^_^

PS: I had to rate it before writing a review cause I just know my over-analytical and cynical brain would start reducing stars if I let it fester.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,364 followers
June 4, 2012
After hearing so much about Kody Keplinger, I finally took the plunge and picked this one up - it will not be my last. It may be a bit formulaic, but I enjoyed the characters immensely, and Whitley's story is full of drama, attitude, and misgivings that makes it a real page turner.

Whitley's constant partying and flirting has given her quite the reputation, and her only vacation from all of this has turned out to be more of a nightmare. Whitley's problems are intense. She's the kind of character that is not necessarily likeable as she makes dumb, reckless choices and complains incessantly. Strangely, however, I didn't find this irritating; her less than endearing qualities is what makes the story all the more appealing. It gets us to care, to hope that she can come out of it unscathed. She's got a great, compelling voice that leads us to understand her behaviour even when we don't approve of it. She's battling a lot of issues that keep piling up on her; partying. drinking, meaningless hookups is how she escapes her inner demons. I found her emotions to be very raw and genuine, making her easy to connect and sympathize with.

I also enjoyed the side characters a great deal: Fabulous and supporting friend, Harrison; adorable, caring Bailey; geeky, sweet Nathan; even her dad who is largely present by his absence. These people are just as empowering, just as realistically flawed as Whitley, providing us with genuine cast of supporting characters who develop and grow throughout the story as well.

As I mentioned, the plot can seem a bit formulaic. Lashing out, craving parental attention, hitting rock bottom and bouncing back, with everything resolved nicely with a bow at the end. Regardless of its predictability, the journey is poignant, thrilling, and awfully romantic. I was surprised at what started out being hugely family oriented, the story ended up revolving mostly around the romance: An impractical, but impassioned romance. At the beginning Nathan seems very bland and I had a hard time taking hold of his personality. Was he a jock, a geek, someone who parties incessantly, someone tame? As the book moves along, however, we get to know how very atypical of a guy he is. And easily the most warmhearted, kind soul in Whitley's life. The romance itself emits plenty of chemistry, but I'm not sure I was ever truly comfortable with the unorthodox situation. The family seemed to not make much of it either, and we didn't dwell on any future circumstances - the ending left me wanting to know more about the ramifications of this relationship. But as it's meant to be a more breezy summer read I simply rolled with it. Weird situation aside, it's got plenty of swoon-worthy goodness!

It's always risky to write about such strong, controversial topics. Teenage issues can be quite serious and a lot of authors don't want to go too far down that road. I'm very impressed by how Kody addresses it. She wrote an intense, captivating novel with real problems that teenagers can relate to, all the while leaving it into an effortless read.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
May 5, 2015
*4.5 Stars*

"Ready?" Nathan asked, pulling car keys from his pocket.
"You kids have fun," Dad said from the sofa, turning a page in the novel he was reading. "Get to know each other. You're family now."
Yeah, I thought. Family who've banged each other.

Many people found themselves comparing this story to DUFF and some of Keplinger's other works. Now, while I did say, "This was so good! But I loved DUFF more," I never once felt the need to compare while I was reading. I believe each book has it's own characters, problems, and merits. Even if there are moments where we get glimpses of the DUFF world we all love (or hate, if you're one of those), it doesn't, by any means, have to be anything the same or surrounded by old characters all the time-That's just an added bonus when we get to see Wesley and my lovely bitch., Bianca. I loved seeing them, if only for brief moments!

"Buckle up," he [Nathan] said to me, hitting the button for the radio.
He waited until my seat belt had clicked before he even pulled out of the driveway. As if traveling those three extra feet without restraints might actually kill me or something. I didn't expect someone who had one-night stands with strangers or threw crazy parties to have such a stick up his ass.

This story was exactly what I needed-Light, sarcastic, funny, and heartwarming. Hell, I even found myself tearing up a few times, to which I replied while blinking rapidly, "What the hell?" It's not enough to merely create an interesting plot. You have to add warmth and love and laughter to these characters and make us unable to dislike them. With this author, I find that I am always in love with her characters. Whether they're offhandedly witty and snarky like Bianca, controlled, composed and in charge like Lissa, or just a plain old bitch like Whit (Daaaawww, Whit) I always find that they have me laughing or giggling out loud-which I RARELY do.

"Hey," he said, folding his arms over his chest, only barely obscuring the image of a hand making the Vulcan salute on his T-shirt. "I thought you were giving this whole being-nice thing a try."
"I am," I told him. "But come on. You want to major in computer science, you're practically swooning over some ancient movie about a time-traveling car, and you have a freaking Darth Vader bobblehead in your room. I thought jocks beat up geeks, not aspired to be them."
"What can I say? I'm a complicated guy."

And then her boys. Talk. About. Butterflies. That's another thing-I don't know if it's the author's younger age or if she just has an unwitty knack to create all the boys in the world I'd love to gather and keep for myself, but I don't think she has created a boy that hasn't broken my heart or made my tummy erupt into butterflies, yet. They are always kind, caring, and over-the-moon sweet, no matter their status *Cough* Wesley, the manwhore *Cough Cough* and they always stay in my heart long after I have turned (swiped) the last page. It's not that they are different than what we see all the time, per se, but it's the heart that goes into writing their characters-It leaps off the page and gives you multiple opportunities to grab onto it and feel that visceral connection that is so within your reach. If that's not incentive enough, I don't know what is.

My head began to spin. My whole body felt alive, like it was on fire. I gasped for breath between each kiss, my fingers digging into his soft cotton T-shirt. Something like euphoria swept over me, and I couldn't think about anything anymore. It was just Nathan and me and way too many layers of clothing between us. I wanted to touch every inch of him. I wanted to melt into him. I wanted him. So much.

I mentioned the author's age, earlier, and I wanted to say a little more on that. I still can't believe a girl so young creates such simply amazing books. They have no typos. They are witty. They are snarky. They have VERY swoon-worthy lines from those aforementioned boys (Cash, Wesley, and now, Nathan). And I just have the hardest time wrapping my brain around that-not that young people can't write, no, that's not what I mean-it's that she's so young, yet has more accuracy and clarity in her writing (whether or not you admire the funny cliches and content) than some of the more seasoned authors that sell 10x more books than this girl does. I don't get that. These books are light, care-free, and they have lots of heart and passion in every page. And the drama actually makes you feel because it's not long and drawn out. These books are short, sweet, and to the point. I'm sorry, but what more can you ask for?

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So, you know, I really loved this one. And while I only gave it a 4.5, it doesn't change the fact that my heart is light as air and I have the hugest smile on my face. I can't put my finger on why I didn't feel the same 'hard-core connection' as I did with the last two I read (maybe my mood?), but there was a strong connection, nonetheless. But that's where the .5 star went. Merely a case of not just slapping on the same rating for the hell of it...eh, I dunno. I'm weird.

Since I could remember, I'd always been a night person. My burst of energy came right around the time the sun set. I lived in the darkness. Loved the darkness. My world came alive when the stars came out.
But for the first time in my life, I wanted the night to end.

Nathan and Whitley will likely bury themselves deep under your skin and stick with you long after the last page. There's a twist with Nathan (You're asking, wait, aside from him being her future step-brother?) that made me smile and squee so loud, it was unreal. I don't know why I loved it that much, but I did. It was adorable, swoon-worthy, and without a doubt something I wholeheartedly did not expect. Whether you'll feel the same or not is merely opinion and speculation-I just severely enjoyed it. Whitley and Nathan were beyond adorable-I hope you'll give them a chance on a rainy, depressing day. If nothing else, you'll get lots of laughs.

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Because holy fucksicles I need something at least with a tiny resemblance of happiness-YES MY SOUL HURTS.
Profile Image for Aimen.
212 reviews157 followers
May 18, 2013
A while ago, I was in desperate need of a book. I needed something to lift up my spirits, needed something that would make me laugh, needed something that would make me swoon. I needed all that in one book. And then it hit me. Kody Keplinger. This woman is an absolute genius! I honestly don't understand how A Midsummer's Nightmare has such low ratings. What's not to like in this book? Absolutely nothing. What's to like in this book? Well, I'll tell you.


This is the girl who has no family. I mean she does, but she might as well not because they're never there for her. All her mom does is complain about the husband who she left. That's right, the husband she left. Confusing much? Whitley always loved her dad. She was his little Munchkin. Everyday, she'd spend the summer at her dad's condo. They'd laugh, drink, share stories, basically create unforgettable summers. When it wasn't summer, Whitley had to deal with her horrible non-existent family. She had a lot going on. How did she get away? Drugs, partying, boys. Including a one-night stand on graduation. After graduation, she goes to her dad to visit for the summer and receives shocking news. Her dad is getting married to Sylvia, Whitley's to-be step-mom. What's worse is Sylvia has kids and Whitley fears she might just be replaced. Of course, nothing ever goes right for this girl and Sylvia's son, Nathan, turns out to be Whitley's one-night stand.


Nathan has a past-life of his own. A bad one at that. He used to do what Whitley did. Drugs, partying, girls. Then he stopped, thanks to his one-night stand who rejected him the next morning. Now he realizes he needs to get his act together or things will only go downhill from there. Just when things are looking up, Whitley walks in as his to-be step-sister. Karma sucks.

Although the plot might be seen as common and predictable, doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good story when you see one. I loved this witty, sarcastic, romantic, kinky book so much! It was enough to make me laugh my head off and cry my eyes out.

The humour was brilliant.

“Are you guys getting to know each other pretty well? I'm sure it's a little bit awkward at first."
"Yeah," I said. "I'd say we're getting to know each other really well. Wouldn't you, Nathan?"
He kicked me under the table and mouthed, Not funny

The hard-times were thoughtful.

“You are my family," he said.
The tears almost started up again. Those four little words meant so much to me - which was stupid, really. They were just words. But they were words I'd been wanting to hear, wanting to believe. You are my family.”

The romance was swoon-worthy!

“Graduation night was my last party," he said. "Or at least my last drink. After that night, I decided I was done with all of it."
"Why? What changed?"
A sly grin crept across Nathan's face. "I got really, really wasted graduation night, and when I woke up, some sassy, sexy vixen had stolen my virginity.”


“I want more. I want everything. I want you."
"I'm not settling for less, Whitley," he said. "And neither should you.”

This book was amazeballs! Everything about it was enjoyable. Actually, Whitley was pretty irritating with her whining and constant guy-to-guy play but the overall story was enough to cancel that out for me. Especially Harrison! Whitley tried to hit on him and later realized he was on the other team, *wink wink*. He was an amazing person whom Whitley was hesitant to let in at first, but later realized he was worth it. So this book was really great, as you can see. From Whitley's sarcastic and humorous side, to the oh, so adorable romance.

“How would you know?" I demanded, splashing water in Harrison's face. "You were watching him, too."
"Too!" he cried. "I got you! Ha. You just admitted you were watching him. You love him. You so love him.”

Doesn't that line get to you? My heart hurts from all that mushiness. Good thing I'm a cheesy person or this book might've been annoying. But it wasn't. It was a great book! Going 3 days without a book was an absolute nightmare but then I read this and it opened up my eyes.

“Screw nightmares. I was waking up.”


Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews906 followers
March 31, 2016
Warning, this book may have: swearing, slut-shaming, under-age drinking etc.

Meh.. This main character is way too whiny and selfish for me. Sure she gets it from both her parents who are insanely immature, but once she's with the Caulfields she starts to realize how wrong she was. Even though she was at her worst and things happened to her so quickly, it had to do with her Daddy Issues, I still couldn't like anything about her. Even if she redeemed herself in the end. I think she was just too selfish to like. And being with her step-brother is just way too Gossip Girl for me. I dunno, but this one annoyed the heck out of me. I know she's young, I know she's going to do stupid immature things, but I couldn't help but dislike her. There's also absolutely no plot. No big dance to go to where the final plot climax would be revealed, just her family issues really. They were the most interesting to say the least. Maybe I'm just not in the most relatable mood but good God this is one of those teenage characters that have the "it's-all-about-me" and IDAF about-anyone-else" mentality. I hope everyone else has better luck with this one.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,898 reviews634 followers
June 26, 2022
I found a copy of this old YA novel on my TBR. After I am finished, I am shocked to learn that I like it very much. Miss Keplinger' Whit is perfection.

I think many YA women out there can relate to Whit. Her anger, loneliness, frustration and bitterness is perfectly written. I love Whit. She is sometimes attention seaker but I can understand why.

Her journey to find the right family for her, at the end is very sweet.
Love A Midsummer Nightmare.

4 stars
Profile Image for Laura.
559 reviews331 followers
June 24, 2015
5 stars!!

Wow. A Midsummer's Nightmare surprised me in so many ways and I can easily say that it's my favorite Kody Keplinger book yet. I definitely expected to like it, but I didn't expect to be so hooked and so emotionally invested. I expected a fun, flirty read, but most definitely not the emotional roller coaster I got on top of that. I started it this morning and finished this evening and I think that alone speaks for itself.

Since I could remember, I'd always been a night person. My burst of energy came right around the time the sun set. I lived in the darkness. Loved the darkness. My world came alive when the stars came out.

Whitley Johnson... Where do I even start? See, I had issues with both Bianca and Lissa in The Duff and Shut Out. Both girls frustrated me immensely and kept me from completely loving those books, but Whitley? She made me love her story. I could relate to her so much and adored being in her head.
First and foremost I loved that the heroine is NOT awkward, NOT inexperienced, NOT uncomfortable in her skin and so on. It just seems like these kinds of MC's are much rarer in YA than the awkward, blushing virgins and it's always refreshing to find another one.
AND bonus points because the hero actually is the inexperienced one. Yay for cute, blushing heroes! Again, I feel like they're kind of rare. And Kody Keplinger gave me both in one book! It was glorious.

“I want more. I want everything. I want you."
"I'm not settling for less, Whitley," he said. "And neither should you.”

Nathan is everything. One of my favorite YA heroes for sure. I mean, he's a little geeky (again, extra points for that), caring and SUCH a sweetheart. I couldn't get enough of him. That whole family is so nice and adorable actually and Whitley's asshole of a father doesn't deserve them one bit. Whitley though.. they were so right for her and I loved being right there with her on the journey until she finally realized it too.
A Midsummer's Nightmare is such a powerful coming of age story, consisting of Whitley trying to find her place in a world where her parents just don't really give a shit. This is so much more than just a cute romance story. It's about family and growing up and all that. Whitley finds herself in a confusing identity crisis that probably everyone experiences at some point. That's just what growing up is all about. Who am I? Where do I belong? Etc. And Kody Keplinger packed all that in this fun, touching story that I couldn't help but completely fall in love with.

I tried to call Trace after Nathan had gone, but I only got his voice mail. Trace had a family now, too. A gorgeous wife and daughter. A family of his own. One I wasn't part of. And no matter whose fault it was, Mom and I hadn't been a family in a long time. I didn't know who I was without the parties or drinking or boys that had been my life for the past four years. I had nothing. No one. I din't know where I belonged any more.

Oh and how I loved Nathan and Bailey's mom, Sylvia! She tries so hard with Whitley and her own kids, the way she's so caring with such a big heart! My favorite time was when she defended Whitley and literally screamed at Whitley's dad, who was worried what people might think, 'Who gives a shit if they talk?' Sylvia, who never swears or raises her voice. I was cheering her on so bad at that point. Because really, who gives a shit if people talk? They always do either way, so better do whatever the hell you want.

"Why do you have to be so damn nice?" I asked, annoyed. "Why can't you get pissed off, too? It would make my life so much easier." He kissed my forehead - so freaking condescending - and said, with that same old smile, "Because being pissed won't solve anything."

And yes, besides all that inspirational and insightful stuff, this book was just so much fun. Step-sibling stories are some of my absolute favorite type of stories and this one obviously didn't disappoint. I mean, I read it in a day and didn't stop once. I just couldn't. It was too much fun and nothing could compare to me sitting on my bed and reading it. There were tons of scenes that put a smile on my face, especially when Whitley interacted with either Nathan, Bailey or Harrison. Which was basically all the time. And Harrison! Oh how much I adore that guy. It already started when Whitley tried to flirt with him in their first scene. I was a goner. It was just too much. If you've read The Duff like I did, you might know what I'm talking about. If not, well you're out of luck, because I'm not telling. Go, read the book. It's better than reading my review for sure.

“Are you guys getting to know each other pretty well? I'm sure it's a little bit awkward at first.'
'Yeah,' I said. 'I'd say we're getting to know each other *really* well. Wouldn't you, Nathan?'
He kicked me under the table and mouthed, 'Not funny'.”

Really, I loved this book so much that I feel like I can't do it any justice at all with my review. I can't wait to get a real copy of it, as soon as I'm back in Germany and then I'm going to re-read the shit out of it. Yes, you heard me correctly, I'm definitely planning to read this again, multiple times. Because it was just my cup of tea. I kind of feel like Kody wrote this book especially for me. I loved it that much. So read it or don't read it, I really don't care, because this book is MINE either way. Tehehehe.


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Profile Image for Yoda.
569 reviews110 followers
April 23, 2017
Hamilton has got to be my favorite High School to read about. Technically it wasn´t set at a high school since it was summer break but still. I absolutely adored this book.
Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,302 followers
December 13, 2014

Kody is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is honest and she puts on paper many things that other authors are afraid to write about. I am not saying that this is good or bad; it’s just my way of seeing things, my way of enjoying her stories. The first two novels written by Kody are on my list of favorite books and I could read them all over again. Yes, they had their flaws, but their hotness didn’t go unnoticed by me.

This one though was not so hot. I am not saying that it is not a good book, there were still many other things to enjoy in this story and many things to think about, but when you have your expectation so high, you might wonder what went wrong along the road.

As usual the theme is well picked and it gives you some insights in the way it might feel:
A. to be neglected by your family;
B. to be consider something that you are not (because – maybe without knowing it – you might be giving all the wrong signs)

The book started pretty good – with a scene Whitley might want to forget, but won’t be able too. Waking up in the arms of some boy she didn’t know wasn’t something that could shake her in any way, but finding out later that he (Nathan, by the way) is in fact her future step-brother.. well, this might be a reason to keep her up at night and make her life a living nightmare.

On the good side, I liked Whitley’s sarcastic voice (even as negative as she always was), I liked the graduation-party boy (damn he was cute and considerate.. and pretty hot even though I am not sure why Kody tried so hard to make us think that he was a nerd – he didn’t act like one) and the messed-up situation they got into (it was fun to see them struggling to keep hidden their feelings when it was so obvious that they cared for each other) and I liked Nathan’s little sister and his mother (aka Whitley’s future stepmother) – as they were really sweet and made Whitley feel like she really had a family. Such a great one, I might add. Too bad she didn’t realize this sooner.

While reading the story, I could really feel Whitley’s loneliness.
She didn’t get along with her mother (oh, wasn’t she annoying?), her brother had other priorities (which she understood even though it hurt quite badly), her father wasn’t the man she thought he was and her life seemed to be a big fat lie. She did what she knew the best in order to forget about the mess that was her life: she partied, and partied, and did all the wrong things because she needed attention and this was the only way to get it.

It’s really sad if you think about it, and this is definitely not the best solution, but at least she found out on her own. It was a lesson she learned and it was good that she at least had some people on her side to help her figure out some things – there was Nathan of course and his little sister, and there was Harrison which we know a bit from The Duff (I rolled my eyes every time he talked about fashion, as I think that being gay has nothing to do with having these kind of interests, but what do I know, right?).

Now my only problem with this story is that it gave me the feeling that nothing really happened.. Yes, I mean quite nothing important. After the graduation party and a few more of the same (when Whitley made a fool of herself) she started to feel so much remorse that she decided to cut any social activity – just like that. Right, put her face on Facebook (and I still wondered how didn’t they report the freaking page) and she becomes an angel without wings.
This being said the conflicts surrounding her father (being a jerk) and Nathan (being so much more than just a step brother) were resolved quite quickly and neatly and I had a hard time believing the happy ending.

Anyways, this was an enjoyable read. I bet many of you will like it better than the first two books while of course others won’t, but that’s ok because this is the beauty of the reading world – we don’t think alike, we don’t feel alike, we all judge the same book differently and it’s a joy to share our thought and find out other people’s opinions.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of it as well; up until then…
Happy midnight reading!

** This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

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Profile Image for Ceitidh.
297 reviews130 followers
June 9, 2012

Read more of my reviews at Dazzling Reads

A Rich and Meaningful Read for Teenagers and Parents Alike

Kody Keplinger is one of my favorite contemporary authors since I fell in love with her first novel The Duff, which is now one of my favorite contemporary reads. Then, I really enjoyed Shut Out and I loved that it focused in very important teenage issues, yet I was still more in love with The Duff. Now, A Midsummer's Nightmare is a whole story to a whole new level. Kody Keplinger's last novel is certainly my favorite one of all of the three novels she has published so far!

This is probably Keplinger's most complex and rich story. I love how thoughtful and emotionally deep this book is. A Midsummer's Nightmare deals with a topic that many children/teenagers (myself included) and parents deal/dealt with: parent's divorce plus the whole lot of consequences and changes that this event brings into children's and parents' life (for better or worst, or both) In addition, I loved to see how Kody Keplinger's writing has become so consistent. Her character, for example, are full of details that enrich their personalities (Specially Wit who is the main character). I feel that in each of Kody Keplinger's books, her characters have become more and more alive and I dare to say that in A Midsummer's Nightmare, the characters really stand out of the pages. In this novel, the characters are really strong and each one of them have a solid presence and opinion towards the situation they are all facing (second marriage, two families merging into one, etc). I think that this is actually one of the strongest points of the novel. Each character deliver an insightful perspective of what people can go through when they face this kind of situation.

Although Kody Keplinger's story is fiction, I'd like to believe that A Midsummer's Nightmare could actually really happen to someone. It is a beautiful and powerful story where people learn from mistakes and put effort to become a better person. I was so delighted to see how a story that could easily turn into something pessimistic and tragic, ended up turning into something full of hope and good examples. I know there might be some people who might think that A Midsummer's Nightmare may not be realistic enough or that everything solves too perfectly. However, this is fiction, and it is in fiction where we can let ourselves dream about the best stories with the best outcomes. Isn't that the magic of books after all?

Filled with relevant themes such as parenthood, family issues, sense of belonging and lack of attention, this book is (for me) Keplinger's most consistent novel so far. Life is a rollercoaster that is filled with many of the ups and downs that Kody Keplinger so perfectly illustrated on this novel. A Midsummer's Nightmare is definitely a rich and meaningful read for teenagers and parents alike.
November 20, 2018
I decided to read A Midsummer's Nightmare with nothing in my mind except for easing myself from Laini Taylor's fantasy world. So, any book that wasn't a fantasy would do.

Needless to say, I just got incredibly lucky that A Midsummer's Nightmare turned out to be better than I expected.

The story started with a crazy one night stand between Whitley and Nathan. I knew it was just another cliche romance, right? Well, wrong ... It was much more than that. It was a story about family and friendship with a few romance here and there to spice thing up.

Now here is the part where the 3.5 stars are coming from...

1. Don't get me wrong ... I enjoyed reading A Midsummer's Nightmare but sometimes, as a reader, I wanted something that made my heart ache. It couldn't take me to that point.

2. It took a long time for everything to boil up ... I meant you knew from the start that Whitley had a problem with her family and she acted out. The story didn't go anywhere. She didn't confront her father or mother. She didn't do anything about it until nearly 90% of the story. Frankly, at that point, I kind of gave up ... I didn't think anything would be resolved at that point. But it did (at least some part of it) ... in one chapter. Still, it left a huge chunk of problems with a promise that thing would get better (or it won't?). Let say I'm not satisfied with the ending.

There was a complexity in each character which made them real enough for me. But (yes, for me, there's always buts) except for Whitley, I barely knew other characters. Kody Keplinger didn't explain much about their background to make me relate to them although it's still enough for me to understand their action.

I have to state this because it's one of the great things of A Midsummer's Nightmare. Despite, all the problems in Whitley's life, she wasn't annoying at all. That mess of her life made me wanted to root for her even more.

All in all, it's a great book to read especially in the summer. If you have the time or don't know what to read next, just give A Midsummer's Nightmare a try.
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,040 followers
June 7, 2012
Whitley was being obnoxious from the start. We meet her day after her graduation party. She had sex with some random dude. She kept on complaining how her mother bitches all the time,then she is complaining about her father,his new house,her future stepmom and her kids. Surprise-surprise: the guy she slept with is her new stepbrother. They kiss a few time after a heating argument,the usual. I don't like this sort of people. Why are they always complaining about stuff. Learn to adjust to certain things. In life things won't always go your way.

And just when I thought I could't dislike this girl more she goes and does some more stupid things. She is pissed on the nice,cute stepbrother because he said she is a whore and a drunk-which she totally is. She has some problems with her parents. She is a child of divorces parents,so what? I am too. But that doesnt mean I am going to every party and acting totally crazy,drinking until I pass out or hooking up with random guys who find me attractive. I am wondering: Do people actually do this kind of crap to get their parents attention? If so,then all I can say is- that is so messed up.

I've been having some trouble with Kody's second book- Shut Out. But now I just think I have a problem in general with the way Kody is shaping her leading ladies. First there was Bianca who hooks up with a guy after he basically called her The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. (note:I did give this book 5 stars only because I read it when it first came out,so I was younger and didn't understood how effed up that situation was) Then there was Lissa from Shut Out...ught i can't even with that book.

So in the last 40% of the book there is a change in Whitley. She falls for the stepbrother,stops going to the parties,says goodbye to the bottle of tequila on her night stand,finally confronts her father about the divorce and has sleeps beneath the stars with her new boyfriend and her gay friend. The End
Profile Image for Rachael.
611 reviews46 followers
January 15, 2012
Life pretty much sucks for Whitley Johnson, and it has for a very long time. All she’s hoping for is a nice summer with her dad before she goes away for college. But then she meets her dad’s new fiancé and her two kids, one of which was Whitley’s graduation one-night stand, and she realizes that a good summer might have been too much to ask for. Whitley doesn’t even begin to fit in with her dad’s picture perfect soon-to-be family, and just the thought of having to deal with the awkwardness with her almost stepbrother is too hard to stomach without a strong drink. And so Whitley does what she does best: she parties and she parties hard. Whitley is fine partying herself into a situation she won’t be able to fix, but she doesn’t realize that other people aren’t okay with that, people like her sweet and optimistic future stepsister or the best friend she’s ever had or Nathan, her future stepbrother who just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. With their help, Whitley has finally found a family, one that she loves and one that loves her back, just as she is.

I enjoyed Shut Out immensely and I loved The DUFF even more, but I have to say that Keplinger’s third novel A Midsummer’s Nightmare is even better than either or both of her first two books. Whitley is one heck of a screwed up protagonist, but that’s probably what makes her story even more compelling to read. She’s the girl who’s had to suffer through the worst part of every situation, whether about her dysfunctional family or a high school social status on her own terms, and the only thing that makes it even more horrible is that she’s had to do it on her own. It’s fascinating and utterly heartbreaking to watch Whitley struggle through what she thinks will be her worst summer while she’s torn between wanting to maintain her independence and admit that she just needs to be cared for. Keplinger’s strong character development makes it impossible for the reader to look away from Whitley’s story, even for a moment, because Whitley is such an unlikable and unlikely heroine, in the best way, of course. A Midsummer’s Nightmare is a well written, incredibly powerful story sure to have readers alternately in tears and thankful for all the good things in their lives.

Fans of Keplinger’s first two novels, The DUFF and Shut Out, will not want to miss her spectacular third, nor will fans of Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee, Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert, and Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz.

reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Chelsey Connor.
308 reviews117 followers
May 10, 2017
At first I was a little unsure about this book but ended up loving it just like The Duff and Shut Out by Kody Keplinger. Whitley had such a bad attitude and at first thought she was a spoilt little brat but then you see why she is like that. I also thought her father was a horrible man, after Whitley asked to see a Sci-fi movie with him then getting rejected he organised to see it with his soon to be stepson Nathan. That made me so angry and the lake of interest he took in Whitley was so sad. but it all works out in the end. I feel like Kody could write another book, I would have liked to see things resolved with Whitley's mother.
20 reviews6 followers
August 20, 2012
The book deals with teen issues,insecurity and the need for love by a teen aged girl whose parents are divorced.I honestly did cry with Whitley a few times while reading the book.Now, this will surely make you ask- why such a low rating?

I had some major problems with the conclusion and quite a few other things.

What I wanted to say to Whitley:
Your mother should get over herself already because divorce took place 6 years ago!Well, try putting yourself in her shoes...You are married with a guy for about 10-15 years and have 2 kids with him and suddenly out of the blue he cheats on you!--->Its the other way of saying 'I don't care about you'.Isn't it the same as your parents not caring for you all of a sudden?..SO.. get over yourself already..!

Other things that didn't agree with me:

1)All her life she's been blaming her mother for separating her from her dad and moving away. She states too, that her dad did not try for reconciliation.Didn't she ever question why..?

2)Even when her dad admits that he did not want her,spent the entire vacation ignoring her and doting on
Nathan and Bailey and didn't even care about the entire facebook thing...he says sorry, I love you, and all is well..??

3)Even when she comes to know that her father cheated on her mother..no apology..just you did not give me attention...??seriously.?? At least she wanted you when your father didn't even want you!.
Your father didn't even take the pain to inform you about his engagement.

4)Frankly,between her mother and father,her father was the greater sinner,yet,there was no reconciliation with her mother..she just kept ignoring the calls from her mother.

5)Falling for step brother...having sex with him..?? Uh...well..no comments..!

Moreover, Whitley confrontation with her father at the end of the story felt really anti-climatic and insufficient. The solution and interaction was done too quickly to be meaningful.
So well...

June 11, 2015
A Midsummer's Night Dream is my favorite Shakespeare story. When I saw the title for this book, I was immediately intrigued even before I even saw the book cover (shocking right?) or read the synopsis. Thankfully, the book cover was absolutely gorgeous and perfect for that summer story and the synopsis only left me craving more!

After constantly fighting, her parents end up divorcing when Whitley is young. Her brother moves far away and starts his own family and her mother moves her and Whitley far away from her old hometown. Whitley acts out my acting out and partying, drinking and even hooking up with random guys. But her mother is still too depressed and bitter about the divorce and she does nothing but bitch about her dad and mope around the house. At a graduation party, Whitley once again has way too much to drink and ends up sleeping with a strange guy. The morning after is awkward and to make matters worse this guy asks her for her phone number and wants to see her again. Whitley turns him down (none too nicely) and flees from his house.

Whitley only sees her dad once a year-during the summer and they usually spend them in his bachelor pad/condo, barbecuing, drinking together and hanging out at the beach. Desperate to get away from her mother, Whitley can't wait for to spend this summer with her dad. But her dad has a few surprises for Whitley. Turns out he sold his condo, moved to a city called Hamilton, bought a new house and is engaged. Whitley now has to spend her summer vacation in a new house and live with her future stepmom. Just when she thinks things can't get any worse, she meets her future step-siblings- Bailey and Nathan, the guy she slept with on graduation. Whitley and Nathan decide to forget about what happened between them. Only, Whitley can't seem to forget about that night.

Annoyed that her father has barely spent any time with her since she arrived at Hamilton and desperate for his attention, she acts out again. But her father still doesn't pay attention to her, even when some scandalous pictures about her get posted online and everyone in town is spreading rumors about her. Nathan, Bailey, her almost stepmom and her new friend Harrison all try to help Whitley, but it's not their attention she wants. Will anyone be able to save Whitley before it's too late?

Although Whitley made a lot of wrong choices and she was mean at times, I felt myself sympathizing her and I couldn't help but love her anyway, and hope that she got her act together. I thought she was a very realistic character, everything from the way she talked and the things she did are closer to what someone her age might do. Beneath that slightly bitchy girl was someone who just wants to be loved. Nathan was sexy, sweet and nerdy and the perfect person to balance Whitley. Their chemistry was crazy hot and their scenes were funny, sweet, tender and totally swoon-worthy! I was worried that I might be a little bit weirded out by their relationship since they're going to be step-siblings, but I actually had no problem because they're not actually related. Bailey and Harrison were such great secondary characters too! The only thing I felt was missing was that her problems with her mom were left unresolved.

A Midsummer's Nightmare was one of my most anticipated reads for this year and I went into it with high hopes. Thankfully, it did not disappoint! I've heard really great things about Kody's other books- The DUFF and Shut Out, and after reading this I must now go add them to my TBR pile. A Midsummer's Nightmare was a fun, sexy read that dealt with some serious issues, which was a nice surprise for me.

Cover love: I think this cover is gorgeous, but is it just me or does the girl remind anyone else of Adriana Lima?

4.5 out of 5 sparkly stars!

Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from A Midsummer’s Nightmare:
-I nearly fell over at least twice before I was dressed. Judging by the way everything was scattered, we’d had a pretty crazy night.
Good for me, I guess.

-“You kids have fun,” Dad said from the sofa, turning a page in the novel he was reading. “Get to know each other. You’re family now.”
Yeah, I thought. Family who’ve banged each other.

-"Fine," I Said. "Let's make a deal: You throw a party, let me get wasted, and I'll stay at your house that night."
"God, Whitley. You're practically auditioning for a starring role on Intervention."

-I felt the weight of his words sink into my stomach. He'd wanted something special, someone special. Instead he got me.

-"What makes you happy?"
That was the million-dollar question. Because I honestly had no idea. Drinking made me happy, but there wasn't a major in alcoholism, to the best of my knowledge.

-"I told you. I don't want to be that kind of guy. I don't just want sex, Whit. I want more. I want everything. I want you."
"I'm not settling for less, Whitley," he said. "And neither should you."

-I kissed him again, so hard this time that he fell backward against the pillow, with me landing on top of him. He wanted me, too. I could tell by the way he kissed me back, his lips parting, his tongue finally sliding next to mine. It sent a surge of excitement rippling through my limbs.

-It felt so natural as his arms wrapped around my waist and he pulled me into him. Like we fit together. It all came so easily. The way his lips found mine, even with both our eyes closed. The way his palm seemed to meld perfectly against my shoulders. Like pieces of a puzzle, and this time I belonged.

Check out my YA book blog to read my reviews and author interviews:
Mostly YA Book Obsessed
Profile Image for Eunice.
255 reviews527 followers
June 27, 2012
3.75 stars

What's so good about Kody Keplinger's writing was that even though they could be pretty formulaic she always managed to write something very authentic and realistic - the characters and the issues around them - in a thorough but really refreshing way. And in A Midsummer's Nightmare she really did a great job nailing those issues - family and teenage issues - and voicing the character that was having them. It was really relatable and very insightful.

Whitely's characters wasn't something that was easy to like. She was sarcastic and cynic and most of the time she was angry. However it was her situation that was so easy to understand. So as the story progressed, as I get more of what she's dealing through I started to really connect with her and like her character.

It was amazing how she learned and developed throughout the story. She experienced a lot of things, both good and bad that made her realized her mistakes and her parents’ mistakes as well. She kept running away with her problems by partying, getting drunk and hooking up. But as soon as she saw the consequences of it and how it didn't do any good for her she realized that she needed to face them. I was glad when she finally decided to confront her dad and told him how he'd hurt her.

Nathan was such a unique character. He was a cross between a jock, a nerd and a very sweet and caring guy! His character speaks that you could be anything you want and that not just a single thing could define you. While Whitely wasn't so easy to like Nathan was a character that was really easy to love. He was cares a lot to his mother and sister and even to Whitely and was patient and really understanding too.

I loved other characters as well like Bailey, Nathan's mom and Harrison. They were all very supportive and genuine characters and I loved how they contributed to Whitely's development.

Another thing that made me so happy was the small reappearance of Wesley and Bianca! And they're still together for almost a year and still getting stronger! Eepp! I so really loved them in The Duff that's why I was so ecstatic to find them here even though it was just a small part.

I still like The Duff more but still I really enjoyed this one. Aside from Kody's realistic writing she was also really good with writing a good romance - sweet and hot - which I absolutely enjoyed here. Like her other books this provides a great amount of entertainment for me but also lessons and insights from a lot of things. This was a wonderful read. I recommend this. :)

This review is also posted at Book Overdose
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
774 reviews514 followers
March 5, 2017
Re-read in 2014 without shedding tears (probably because I knew what to expect in the parents department):

2013: Whitley Johnson is definitely not me, nor have I ever been her. I used to feel out of place at most High School parties I attended, when all my friends were drunk and sprouting nonsensical things, while I mentally steeled myself to dodge puke fountains left and right. And although I more or less hated her most of our teenage years, I worried myself to pieces when my sister partied in one of the bars in the neighboring village and stayed over at places of friends of whom I hadn't heard before.

But Whitley's story was so excellently narrated that all the right buttons activated themselves in me. The murky depths of small town poison, a persistently growing sisterly bond, a wonderful, edgy romance featuring a nice but definitely unboring hottie and superficial, far from perfect parents handing their teen-aged offspring unthinkingly a private little hell to deal with and believing everything is peachy after muttering a half-hearted "Munchkin, I'm so sorry."

Heavens, I guess, I haven't sobbed so much about a book since reading 'The Murder Of Bindy Mackenzie', and I am afraid to inspect my bloated, tear-streaked face in the mirror. Yet, I have to, because the shower is getting impatient to meet me and lunch isn't a bad idea either. I had so much plans for my day off, but a quick peek at the first chapter did me in, *doublesigh*.
Profile Image for Kennia.
86 reviews74 followers
September 7, 2015
I read this in one sitting in a few hours. I've never read a book this fast. This was such a cute book. I really enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,162 followers
June 8, 2012
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Kody Keplinger is not the type of author who can be credited with originality. All her novels contain the same undercurrent of formulaic writing; however, there is something to be said of an author who manages to write an overblown story in a refreshing new manner. A Midsummer's Nightmare is no exception to Keplinger's usual style and genre of fiction, yet, I found myself marveling and how much she has grown as an author and how much tighter this plot felt than her previous works.

Every year Whitley eagerly awaits summer time: the one time she can escape her mother and spend time with her father. Ever since her parents' divorce, her mother has ceased to notice her, spending all her time complaining about her father. Whitley's father on the other hand, has never done any wrong in the eyes of his daughter and couldn't be held up on a higher pedestal if he tried. However, when Whitley's father surprises her with the news that he's getting married in a matter of weeks, it's almost more than Whitley can bear. Furthermore, the son of her soon-to-be-stepmother is none other than her hot one-night stand, Nathan. Now, Whitley must battle her growing attraction to her soon-to-be-stepbrother, deal with her new-found feelings of love towards her soon-to-be-stepsister, and adjust to sharing her father with a new family, all while discovering more about herself and her life than she ever thought imaginable.

Keplinger has a strange talent of making you fall in love with her protagonists, no matter how bitchy they might seem. Whitley was no exception to the rule and I found myself sympathizing with her more than any of Keplinger's previous heroines. Whitley is your typical good-girl-gone-bad. She parties late, makes out with random guys, lost her virginity to a guy whose name she can't even remember, and comes home drunk every single day. Yet, her mother doesn't seem to care, giving Whitley even more of a reason to do what she does. When she earns a reputation for being the slut in the small town her father has moved to, having pictures of her drunken self splattered over Facebook, her father fails to care. Thus, Whitley is lost, alone, and constantly feels as if she has no family. I think what made Whitley a much more likeable character for me than Bianca was in The DUFF is the fact that Whitley's actions felt realistic, justified, and stemmed from pain. To me, Bianca's actions often times stemmed from the need to do something opposed to true grief. In that manner, I truly feel as if Keplinger has grown as an author. The issues that Whitley faced were very real and her growth into a better person was heart-warming. Furthermore, it was not forced or sudden; instead, it happened in a slow and believable manner, transforming Whitley into the girl she is inside opposed to the woman she seems to act like.

I have to admit, a major reason I loved this book so much was Nathan. I mean, the kid has a shirt that says, "May the mass times acceleration be with you!" How can you not fall head-over-heels in love with him? Plus, Nathan is sweet, charming, a sci-nerd nerd, has a Darth Vader bobble-head, and is always there for Whitley. Although their relationship had a rocky and awkward start, I enjoyed watching it progress to friendship and then slowly into something more. I didn't love it as much as Cash and Lissa's romance in Shut Out and I didn't think it had nearly as many quote-worthy lines as Biana and Wesley's romance in The DUFF, but I thought it was unique, cute, and very, very sweet.

Another reason I love Keplinger's writings and somehow return to read all her formulaic stories is because of her secondary characters. Keplinger knows how to write realistic parental issues and believable parents to go along with them. I never found myself questioning anything when it came to Whitley's relationship with her parents or even with her stepmother. Everything seemed to flow in a seamless manner that I admired. Furthermore, I absolutely loved Bailey, Nathan's thirteen-year-old sister. I think she was one of the most important characters in the story and the manner in which she changed Whitley was oh-so-adorable. No review, however, would be complete without a mention of Harrison, Whitley's gay best friend. He. Was. Awesome. This guy had some of the best lines in the novel and he's probably the bestest best friend there ever is. I also really enjoyed how Bianca and Wesley made a short re-appearance in this story! ;)

Ultimately, A Midsummer's Nightmare was a quick, fun, and touching read. Whitley's issues truly made you sympathize for her, her family made you root for her, and her romantic interest made you swoon (a LOT!). Although Keplinger writes with a distinct and characteristic style, I will most certainly be returning to her novels again in the future.

Random Side Note: Did anyone else think this book was about Shakespeare when they read the title? Or do I just automatically hear the word "midsummer" and think "A Midsummer's Dream"? In case you were wondering, the title has no relation to Shakespeare's famous play. No allusions come up at all in the story, so don't get your hopes up. I do think the title is meant to be a play on Shakespeare's title though and although it makes sense, I somehow still thought there would be at least one mention of Shakespeare. Anyway, I can't really complain - there were plenty of nerd references to keep me satisfied! :)
Profile Image for Kaede.
187 reviews90 followers
July 10, 2012
"But as the clock ticked the hours past and Dad still didn't come up the stairs to see me, I really wished that I didn't know the truth."

You've read The DUFF, you've read Shut Out, now it's time for A Midsummer's Nightmare to take the stage! (Wow, that sounded lame.)

I absolutely adored this book. It was up there with Kody Keplinger's debut, and excels the level of Shut Out. I loved everything.

But I half expected to be disappointed with A Midsummer's Nightmare, just as I sort of was with Shut Out. I'd thought I'd dislike Whitley's cynical personality as I did Lissa's. Don't get me wrong, Shut Out was good, but it was too much like the author's previous work. I want something more. It seems like that's always too much to ask for.

But A Midsummer's Nightmare was that more. Whitley always had a good retort and that sarcastic sense of humor that I loved in Bianca. And speaking of Bianca, she and Wesley are back! But honestly, the moment Wesley made a reappearence, nothing clicked. I thought he was just another character with the same name and, as I'm sure Whitley can testify, the same figure that can make girls swoon. That's how perfectly everything fit. I didn't feel their comeback was out of place in the slightest, it felt they were just another part, a very good part, of the story. And for fans of The DUFF, didn't our beloved characters grow so much?

However, what I think made me connect with Whitley on a whole other level was the way this story was set up. Like Bianca, like Lissa, Whitley was dealing with the aftermath of a painful event and situation. But it wasn't just all talk and no show with Whitley's story, we got to experience it first-handed alongside Whitley herself as she learns that nothing is ever as it seems. I think this is a book that can, and will, appeal to teens and adults alike. Kody Keplinger sure doesn't shy away from any topic at all.

And for a idea of how I looked while reading:

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I think that just about does it nicely. But seriously.

Buy. This. Now.

My review can also be found here: http://wakeupatseven.blogspot.com/201...
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,211 followers
July 6, 2012

Since her parents divorced years ago, Whitley's always spent summers with her father in his great condo. But this year's different: he's no longer living the bachelor life. He's settled down with a new woman and two kids she brought from her previous marriage. One of them just happens to be Nathan, the boy she found herself in bed with just a couple weeks earlier.

Whitley's not an easy character to like at all, but her situation is pretty crummy, so it's easy to understand why she behaves the way she does. She's incredibly lonely and lost and she's really angry. But as she learns more about her parents, especially about why her dad and mom divorced, she discovers that she's not the only one who makes mistakes and not the only one who hurts.

I appreciated how every character in this story was in some sort of transition. There were adults transitioning and teens transitioning. Transitions can make people selfish, and Keplinger nails this through the self-preserving actions each character takes (Whitley drinks and parties, her father works all the time, her mother complains non-stop, Bailey latches onto Whitley, and so forth). The thing is, the characters ultimately put their needs aside to help one another in really good, really healthy ways. I didn't necessarily think all of the decisions made were smart ones, but they were the right ones for the characters.

Whitley has a great voice and it's easy to relate to. While there is certainly drinking, partying, and sex, I appreciated how it wasn't center stage in the story. Emotions were. The other things were ultimately coping mechanisms.

This is my favorite read of Keplinger's so far, and I think it shows real growth in her writing -- especially in character development -- and story telling.

Full review here: http://www.stackedbooks.org/2012/07/m...
Profile Image for Nafiza.
Author 6 books1,207 followers
June 4, 2012
I haven't read Keplinger's sophomore novel but I did like her debut despite the excessive sexytimes in it (though one questions whether there can be such a thing as excessive sexytimes, but this is not the proper place to have that discussion). This novel is being touted as the female version of Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye with Whitley playing the counterpart to the obnoxious Holden Caulfield. I read Catcher in the Rye a very long time ago and I wasn't too impressed with it so perhaps that might explain why I didn't fall headfirst in love with A Midsummer's Nightmare. I liked it at the end but I didn't love it. It has its good points and it has its bad (well, according to me, you may not think so).

I think the biggest reason why it took me a while to get into the novel is that Whitley is just so damned difficult to like. She doesn't invite your sympathy, makes it near impossible to empathize with her in the beginning so many readers may find themselves just moving on. She's a complex character and it is only as her life unravels around that you, the reader, figure out why she is the way she is. Her parents are colossally horrible. And while this does not excuse some of the things she does, this does invite you to understand life from her eyes.

And yes, as is fast becoming Keplinger's signature, the sex is plentiful in this one. Or if not plentiful then it does play a significant part and I kinda like how Whitley knows what she wants and how to go about getting it without blushing etc. I also like how male sexuality is explored and well. Just. Sexy times, rawr. The narrative flows well and the book is very readable. The novel offers you a look at the wild side and shows you that good times may not be all that great.

I liked that. I'm not a party creature and now thanks to Keplinger, I'm pretty certain I'm not missing anything. Getting back to the character of Whitley, I disliked how many times the word "whatever" was used as the response Whitley gave to everything and anything. Of course I understand that it is supposed to present her ennui distilled into that one little word but still, she is the protagonist in a novel I am reading and I would have liked it if she were a bit more articulate than that. Maybe even silence on her part would have been preferable.

I also felt, somewhat, at the end, when I was fast being tempted to wring the dad's neck that things wrapped up a bit too nicely. It was way too easy to just talk and for the requisite talk to lead to some "understandings." I wanted some kind of violence because by then I was firmly in Whitley's camp and I wanted some blood in return for all the rage I felt. But I am a violent sort of person so... I also felt that Keplinger was a bit too hard on the Mom.

I think A Midsummer's Night will appeal to certain people and not to others. I just did a final and don't tell me to elaborate on that comment. I liked the novel to a certain extent, it was entertaining and Whitley was an interesting protagonist about whom I would not like to read again. Yes, convoluted sentence, sorry. If you are okay with the things that bothered me, chances are you'll like the book.
Profile Image for Elena.
228 reviews
June 30, 2012
Book song: Cruel Summer, by Bananarama. (I don't know why. Whitley mentioned it and it got stuck in my head)

So.. how to express A Midsummer's Nightmare?
Okay, believe it or not, it was totally unexpected.

First of all, Whitley.
I thought she would be a snob. I thought she would be something like a rich daddy's little girl, who dresses following the current fashion and only cares about partying and being the center of attention.
Instead I got kind of that, but at the same time she was totally different.
She wasn't really an attention-seeker, the typical cheerleader stereotype.
She loved to party, and to get wasted, so she could forget about everything and have fun.
She's actually pretty much alone. She has no friends, she was no cheerleader, she was the "slut of high school", and her family's a nightmare, too.

And Nathan.
He was really different from what I initially expected, too.
I thought he would be a rich kid who only wants to party (too), and, like, he would try to seduct Whitley or something. Well, okay, I pretty much thought he would be a manwhore.
And look what I found instead! A true sweetheart. A sincere guy who only wants a sane relationship with a good girl.
I was surprised.

So the book begins with Whitley waking up in somebody's room, with no clothes on, no idea who's lying next to her and no memory of what happened the night before.
Only, the dude seems to remember pretty clearly about her. He even asks her number, which she refuses to give with the excuse that they'll never see each other again and it was good that one night and blah blah blah.
She thinks it's done.
And then she visits her dad and finds out he's getting married.
With the dude's mother.
Kind of coincidence, isn't it? Yeah it is. Anyway, things start pretty badly between the two teenagers who find themselves in such an awkward situation. But then things start to change, and their relationship evolves into something else.
But he's her almost-step-brother, right?
How could that happen?

I really liked Whitley's character. I don't really recognize myself in her, but she sounds like a pretty true character with real, realistic thoughts. And she didn't take crap.
She got that bad-ass attitude I love, and she had guts.
So yeah. Point for Whitley.

And Nathan was really nice. He didn't really spyke my interest (I mean he's not the guy I'm usually interested in), but he was cute and he fit perfectly with Whitley's character.
They were like one another's missing puzzle-piece.

The plot was really good, too. Whitley went through a lot of problems and issues, which in the end made her stronger and made her grow up.
It was a really really good book, and I'm a sucker for chick-lit.

The writing was smooth and it really took you into the story, so I'm awfully pleased with Kody Keplinger.
Yay yay yay girl.

Okay, I think I've got nothing else to add, except repeating that I really, really, REALLY loved this book.
It's worth it. :3
Profile Image for Eliza.
594 reviews1,374 followers
January 1, 2018

Kind of disappointed with my first book of 2018. Then again, it could've been much worse - at least it wasn't 1-star...but, still.

What is there to say about this book? The main character, Whitley, was annoying and rude nearly the entire time - but, it was refreshing in a way (you're probably like, what?). Most characters nowadays are too nice and considerate, and I feel like it's always risky for an author to make her main character dislikable. So, props to you Kody Keplinger! 'Cause I learned to understand Whitley's irritating personality, in the end. But, I still didn't like her.

Who I did like, on the other had, was Nathan. He was a sweet guy. Had his flaws, but generally was a good guy. Therefore, his personality really balanced out with Whitley's snarky one. Though, I will admit, I still wonder how Nathan liked someone like Whitley. 'Cause no offense to Whitley, but Nathan could've found someone much better. But, it is what it is, I guess.

Honestly, all other characters were unimportant to me. Simply put: I didn't care about them. They were unremarkable and even as I write this review, they're sort of leaving my mind. *Shrugs*

Overall, an average way to start 2018. I hope that my next books are much better or (at least) on-par. So here's to 2018, where I hope to read a majority of 3-star+ novels!
Profile Image for Amanda.
586 reviews84 followers
June 5, 2012
I seriously LOVE anything Kody Keplinger writes because its amazing! A Midsummer`s Nightmare was fantastic!! When I got this to review I was jumping up and down because I loved The DUFF, and Shut Out. Kody's writing style is addicting, that I went through this book in two days and it was full of bliss and love! Whitley is a really developed character that goes through so many changes in a course of the summer. This is the perfect summer read! I love all the drama that Keplinger creates in her books and its also fun flirty and a fun read!

Whitley Johnson has gone through a lot, in a matter of days! Kody also brings into her writing lots of major issues that teenagers go through which I like and many teenagers can relate to some of the problems Whitley goes through with her parents and divorce. Whitley's partying has started to give off a reputation that turns into a nightmare with all the gossip around town. I felt bad for Whitley with her relationship with her father. I love how I can care and feel for this character because of the connection with the reader.

I loved seeing Harrison again, because he was also in The DUFF and we also got to know him better as well as seeing how past characters are doing. I love when authors incorporate past characters in their present books. Bailey was soo cute during the entire read, Nathan and Bailey's mom was also a great character. Her dad on the other hand was absent through most of the novel where Whitley is trying to get his attention. The growth of the characters is made when reading A Midsummer's Nightmare.

Whitley, though she would spend the summer with her dad alone was surprised with a new kind of family which she thought she would never want but in the beginning we see her craving the attention from her dad. I did like Nathan from the beginning of the novel and the romance between them blossoms between them. Him being a jock, geek.I loved the chemistry between them and despite the circumstances of the relationship between the parents. I felt at the end it would leave the reader wanting more but I think we will see an update on this couple in future books to come! Its a perfect read during the summer and full of romance and swoon! Definitely pick up any book by Kody Keplinger!!

Profile Image for tarawrawr.
231 reviews202 followers
June 14, 2012
REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED http://hobbitsies.net/wordpress/2012/...

Guys, I am such a Kody Keplinger fangirl. I loved The DUFF and I loved Shut Out, and here she is with A Midsummer’s Nightmare, and I think I love it the most! Which is really saying something.

What I love most about A Midsummer’s Nightmare is how honest Kody Keplinger is. She doesn’t shy away from drinking or sex or anything else teenagers do, because it’s so real. I mean, I’m not saying I approved with Whitley’s choices, because damn, she made some terrible decisions. But I had friends just like her in high school (even eighth grade) and that’s why I love Kody Keplinger so much.

Also because A Midsummer’s Nightmare was steamy and swoony and I loved Nathan so much. I feel like after watching Clueless so many times, I’m totally jaded to the stepbrother dilemma, but I can see some people having an issue with that.

Whitley was definitely my favourite of all of Kody’s protagonists. She was messed up and she knew it and at some point, she started to take responsibility for that. She was angry and frustrated, but even still – she grew up. I loved her character growth, and I definitely felt her pain. Families are not easy.

Basically – I love Kody Keplinger and I love A Midsummer’s Nightmare. It was brutal and honest, with a heavy dose of swoon, and I seriously want to re-read A Midsummer’s Nightmare all over again very soon.
Profile Image for Kayla Charisse.
325 reviews246 followers
December 11, 2017
[2.5 stars] I appreciate the way family issues were presented in this story, but it doesn’t distract from the fact I couldn’t stand the main character most of the time—however, this was a quick, fun read and completing it made me reach my Goodreads goal yassssss.
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