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The Nightmare Dilemma

(The Arkwell Academy #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,877 ratings  ·  212 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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,877 ratings  ·  212 reviews

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Start your review of The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy, #2)
Such a good series! I love how each book can read as a stand-alone with no cliffhangers. Well unless you count the one running story-line that needs to be resolved. Dusty is still such a smart-ass and is always getting in trouble because of it. Makes me laugh because she constantly says what she's thinking all the time. The love story is heating up in the sequel and why wouldn't it when it's "forbidden?" I like how there's always a running mystery then it's resolved by the end. Why don't I have ...more
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
Alex B.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Soon, Mindee, SOON
Mar 26, 2013 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!
Lesa Divine
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-it, i-own, july-2019
3 star
Another school magical mystery. Who's behind causing the mermaid to go into a deep sleep. Who's behind a curse.

Dusty not sure if she can trust her dreams or not. Secret codes are in her dream.

Someone from her past makes his present again can he be trusted.

Just ok.
May 26, 2013 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 ...more
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

Sierra the Nerdgirl
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Mar 22, 2013 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
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cait S
Jun 29, 2017 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at page 15 and it took me 3 days to read those 15 pages. What a serious case of Second Book Syndrome. In those 15 pages the conversation has not even remotely progressed.

"Find out who she's dreaming about."
"Because bad things."

Repeat that 70 times, sprinkle in the MC being as obtuse as absolutely possible, and you have what I can only assume continues on for the rest of the entire book.
Emily Cooper
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This took me almost a month to read because I had to set it aside and read things for grad school but I am so glad I'm finally done with it. Excited to finish the series!
Feb 01, 2014 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
Maryam Dinzly
Aug 17, 2015 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
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
Alice Liu
Jun 14, 2014 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
Mar 29, 2014 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
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
Mar 11, 2015 rated it 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
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars A good sequel and a cozy read.
Hanna Gilman
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meagan (FranticVampireReads)
I want to start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and a little quirky. The story moved fairly quick with some well placed plot points and an unintentional (hopefully) plot hole or two. Though the characters are dynamic and interesting, I felt that there were places where they could have been given more of a personality. Some of the dialog between Selene and Dusty felt a little forced, like it was out of character for them. I think that some of that feeling might be from ...more
Jessica DiFelice (thefanaticreader)
I really enjoyed this second book! It continues our story of Dusty - a Nightmare - a magical being who feeds off people's dreams. Dusty is also a dream seer - basically really special because with her partner they can see prophecies/see things before they happen. One thing I do enjoy about this series though, is that Dusty isn't a special snowflake - she really isn't good at magic and being a dream seer, half the time she can't tell what her dreams mean and misses the clues. She is however a ...more
Anais Stewart
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like action, adventure, and detective YA novels

I have mixed feelings about this book. I read the first book and really liked it and I was excited to read this one. But then I read it and there was a lot I liked in it but there were some elements were I didn't enjoy it as much as the first novel. Or maybe its because this is the second book and I always get like that when reading the second book to series.

One of those things being the mystery element. which I was also iffy about in the first one too. Maybe its because I am not a fan of
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandy Schmidt
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dusty, Eli, and Selene are contentedly attending classes when Dusty is informed that Paul Kirkwood has been released. In the first book, Paul (a siren) was Dusty's boyfriend turned traitor and was thought to have a long term in prison. With the help of his evil Uncle, he was released early. Things go downhill from there when the trio discover a plot to kill the Consul/President so that Uncle Titus can take over and destroy all the progress the magickinds have made with the normal folk. Eli also ...more
Aliyaa Pathan
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I had the same feelings for this book as I had for The Nightmare Affair, which wasn't bad but it was not wonderful either. It was a good story overall and well-written, though its not particularly memorable or anything. Its the type you find at the library JUST 'CAUSE and something you read because you're a reader and thats what you do.
I also read this one a few months back and have not picked up the third book, nor do I plan to do so.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of course, the second book of the triology is what I have expected. It has made even more excited to read the 3rd book. The plot and its problems are so well written. The ending was great too but for me, it's another reason why I need to read the 3rd book (The Nightmare Charade). One devestating thing is that I don't have the third book. And it's pretty sad to wait, but I hope to read the last book some time soon.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 is more suited to my feelings about this book. I liked it a lot more than the first one but not quite a 4 star for me. I liked how the story progressed and the theme that continued in this one but some things made me roll my eyes (slightly). Overall it was a nice read and I plan on reading the last one soon (-ish)!
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars!

GAH, It's as good as the first!! I am so so so glad I picked up the first one on a whim, now I can enjoy this fantasy world, mixed with paranormal and mysteries!

We get some more development with the characters and their relationships, I feel it was very well written and will keep you hanging on to the story with every sentence.

Plus, the covers are SUPER pretty!
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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.

Other books in the series

The Arkwell Academy (3 books)
  • The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1)
  • The Nightmare Charade (The Arkwell Academy, #3)
“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…