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Together at Midnight

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What does it really mean to be kind . . . and why does it sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do? High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets.

Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight?

352 pages, ebook

First published January 2, 2018

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About the author

Jennifer Castle

41 books403 followers
Jennifer Castle received her B.A. in Creative Writing at Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist’s assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that’s an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. Her debut, THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection as well as a Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" book. YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE was a 2015 Florida Teens Read selection. Her most recent novel, WHAT HAPPENS NOW, was published in June 2016. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her husband and daughters.

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5 stars
412 (16%)
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976 (39%)
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873 (35%)
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188 (7%)
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42 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 447 reviews
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,798 followers
February 4, 2018
Things I Hate:
- Stepping into a puddle of water AFTER I PUT ON BRAND NEW SOCKS
- Love triangles

And yet somehow I managed to love this book despite the very evident love triangle. Who have I become?

I feel like this book would be the kind of contemporary I would write (if I ever finished any WIPs) bc I’ve had a slightly similar idea and so automatically I’m going to be biased kidding but idk reading these KIND of cute contemporaries just make my heart sigh

Also it takes place in winter, so you already know im trash

The Likes
- Kendall isn’t the smart genius girl, she actually struggles with her grades and getting into universities
- Max is a baby bean who doesn’t have any clue where to take his life
- Its fun and cute and also has some deep moments
- Family centered story always wins my heart
- Big E omg
- The whole story is basically centered around little acts of kindnesssssss aww my sweet, caring babies
- Kendall is so cute she makes up background stories for random strangers she sees
- Light, cute story that you can finish in no time
- I legit started the audiobook bc I was working on blog posts and needed to listen to something AND BEFORE I KNEW IT I WAS LIKE HALFWAY THROUGH
- Okay the ending took me by surprise bc I was expecting some cheesy cliché ending but WOW A REALISITC ENDING IM IMPRESSED

The Dislikes
- Obvs the love triangle
- But I didn’t like HATE it, I barely even recognized it
- it was more like I’ve built a reputation on hating love triangles so I just felt like it was my civil duty to continue
- it might not be a memorable book but its really cute and entertaining
- uhhhh besides that not much really to complain about
- wow look at me, im a new woman
- Or maybe its just that the story is pretty adorbs

4 stars!!
Profile Image for emma.
1,825 reviews48.4k followers
May 12, 2018
can't stop reading contemporaries / won't stop reading contemporaries.

this is a pretty good one! it's about this couple of beautiful teens with a ~complicated past~ (facebook relationship status: it's complicated) who witness something terrible and then embark on A Quest to do some random acts of kindness. pretty cool.

the upsides:
- kendall (who i almost just called "auburn" because of how often her hair is described as being auburn WE GET IT SHE'S A REDHEAD) can be kind of cool
- there are fun families in this book (i just love literally any mention of families in contemporaries because it NEVER HAPPENS)
- new york setting!!!
- new year's!!!!!
- multiple perspectives and it Worked For Me

the downsides:
- love triangle (and an especially ????? one)
- the romance was so bleh for me
- when kendall wasn't cool she was a tad manic pixie dream-y
- max (guy love interest) is boring
- both max and kendall's recent pasts (max's semi-catastrophic ex-girlfriend; kendall's study abroad) felt thrown together??
- honestly everything that didn't take place immediately within the narrative of this book (like 5 days) felt nonexistent

bottom line: not amazing, not terrible. i should have read this around new year's rather than the beginning of summer but what, do i plan things now??? i think ahead all of the sudden?? as if.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,725 reviews1,277 followers
October 28, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I put my toes on the tip of the curb and look down and think maybe a cliff is no different than a street corner. Sometimes you just have to take a step, and sometimes you have to take a leap, and either way, all that really matters is that you’re not standing still.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a guy and girl who wanted to complete seven random acts of kindness before New Year’s Day in New York City.

I liked Kendall and Max in this, and I liked Kendall’s sense of adventure. Max was a really kind person and went out of his way to help people, and Kendall didn’t let her shortcomings hold her back.

The storyline in this was about Max and Kendall trying to complete seven random acts of kindness before New Year’s Day in New York City after seeing an accident that they felt they could have possibly prevented. This was an interesting storyline, and it was nice to get a chapter from each of the people that they helped to see what their help really meant.

The ending to this wasn’t a happily ever after as such, but was a fitting ending.
7 out of 10
Profile Image for Yusra  ✨.
249 reviews508 followers
May 9, 2018
so that sucked
it was honestly so cliché and piled with annoying POV shifts that I wish I cared about but uh,,, I do not ?? the writing was choppy and bland, the characters were all boring... gosh it was so cheesy and not in a good way.
maybe maybe review to come where I spill the tea on my favs here, Kendall & Maxie
(no really his girlfriend really calls him Maxie) (and he replies)

finally a successful buddy read with Lily ☁️
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,845 reviews
January 4, 2018
Together at Midnight is a standalone YA contemporary novel. This is my first book by this author.

I loved that this book was set in New York City. I loved that this book was set around the holidays. It made this the perfect book to read right now.

This book has a bunch of 1st person narrators. But the main two narrators are Kendall and Max. Kendall (17/18) is a senior in high school. And Max (18) has just graduated high school.

Kendall has just returned home from a few months in Europe. Max has decided to take a year off before going to university. They happen to witness a tragic accident that shakes them up. This leads them to wanting to perform random acts of kindness.

This book takes place over a week (from December 26th-January 2nd).

There is some romance in this story. But it isn't the key element. Although there is a bit of a love quadrangle.

I really liked this book. But I was not expecting the story to be told the way it was. There were many narrators. Normally I do not really like the idea of too many narrators. But in this case it worked. And it was so different. The extra narrators were people that they helped. These were interesting perspectives. Because when you do something nice for a stranger, you never really know what their circumstances might be.

Kendall was an interesting girl. She has ADHD. She is constantly writing in her notebook and making up histories for people she sees.

Max was interesting as well. I really liked his grandfather and that whole storyline.

My only real issue would be with the ending. It wasn't bad, but I'm not sure that it was satisfying to me. But overall this was a really moving and wonderful story. I loved the idea of the random acts of kindness. It made it the perfect story to read around the holidays.

Thanks to edelweiss and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this book.
Profile Image for Pamela Stupia.
Author 14 books2,118 followers
June 22, 2020
Lo disfruté y me hizo pensar mucho. Con otro final le hubiese dado 5 estrellas. Me quedé con ganas de más :(
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,020 reviews102 followers
December 28, 2017
Jennifer Castle won me over with her debut novel The Beginning of After way back when. So when the chance arose to read and review her latest YA, Together At Midnight, I jumped at the opportunity. The cover was gorgeous, the storyline sounded interesting, and it took place during the holiday season - the week between Christmas and New Year’s to be exact. Simply put, I couldn’t wait to dive in! Thankfully, Together at Midnight is another must read by Jennifer.

When Max and Kendall witness a terrible, tragic accident, they’re at a loss. They don’t know how to move on from such a quick yet monumental moment, and to make matters worse: they feel as if they could have prevented it. Thus begins their random acts of kindness across New York City, and from that moment starts an incredible journey – one that changes Max and Kendall’s lives for the better.

When it comes down to it Kendall and Max are in an incredibly similar place: they’re at a crossroads in life, not sure of what to do next. Kendall has recently returned from a semester abroad, and she's feeling incredibly unsure in her skin. How she can she return to normalcy after being so happy with her adventures? Max, on the other hand, has chosen to put off college for a year. On the surface, he says he did it for his ex-girlfriend - she needed him around - but deep down he knows he did because he's afraid, afraid of the future and what it might meant for him.

I loved them both equally. They were so incredibly easy to relate to it. I admired Kendall for his kindness as well as loyalty. She's the kind of person you'd be lucky to have as a friend. What I loved even more was the fact that Kendall was her own person. She didn't always do or say the right thing - sometimes she would stop randomly to write something important for her future novel down - but she so completely embraced it. She was more fearless than she gave herself credit for. Max, on the other hand, I feel was the more cynical out of the two, and I think most of it had to do with being afraid. I could relate to that - change is scary, especially when you're in that weird time between high school and college.

Together Max and Kendall were a dynamic duo. I loved watching them explore New York City together and perform random acts of kindness. Better yet, I loved the changes that resulted from their adventures. Both became more confident and daring as well as helped each other find comfort in the unknown.

Another aspect of Together at Midnight I enjoyed was the multiple POVs used. Jennifer included perspectives from Max, Kendall, and all the people they helped or tried to help on their journey. All the POVs flew perfectly together, and I especially loved seeing the viewpoints of the strangers. It added such a personal touch to the novel, and I especially liked when it gave more clarification to a situation, i.e. why wouldn't that woman accept help?

I also enjoyed the slow-burn feel of the romance. When the novel begins, Kendall has been flirting via email with a guy she previously knew and Max is somewhat still tied up with his ex-girlfriend. Over the course of the book, however, Kendall and Max begin to see something in each other, something that begins to change their feelings towards their other relationships. Honestly, at times I really wondered if they would or wouldn't, but in the end, I was so incredibly happy with the conclusion.

In all, Together at Midnight is another stellar release from Jennifer Castle. I said this when I first finished this book and it still rings true: my heart is so incredibly full from this novel. Seriously, it's beautifully written, thought provoking, and hopeful...it's actually inspired me to start my own random acts of kindness in 2018.
Profile Image for Carmen de la Rosa.
483 reviews377 followers
May 11, 2021
La portada era hermosa, la historia sonaba interesante y tuvo lugar durante la temporada navideña, la semana entre Navidad y Año Nuevo para ser exactos. En pocas palabras, ¡no podía esperar para sumergirme! Afortunadamente, Together at Midnight es otra lectura obligada de navidad.

Cuando Max y Kendall son testigos de un terrible y trágico accidente, están perdidos. No saben cómo superar un momento tan rápido pero monumental y, para colmo: sienten que podrían haberlo evitado. Así comienzan sus actos de bondad al azar en la ciudad de Nueva York, y desde ese momento comienza un viaje increíble, uno que cambia la vida de Max y Kendall para mejor.

Cuando se trata de eso, Kendall y Max se encuentran en un lugar increíblemente similar: están en una encrucijada en la vida, sin saber qué hacer a continuación. Kendall ha regresado recientemente de un semestre en el extranjero y se siente increíblemente insegura. ¿Cómo puede volver a la normalidad después de estar tan feliz con sus aventuras? Max, por otro lado, ha optado por posponer la universidad por un año. En la superficie, dice que lo hizo por su ex novia, ella lo necesitaba cerca, pero en el fondo sabe que lo hizo porque tiene miedo, miedo al futuro y lo que podría significar para él.

Los amaba a ambos por igual. Era increíblemente fácil relacionarse con ellos. Admiro a Kendall por su amabilidad y lealtad. Es el tipo de persona que tendrías la suerte de tener como amiga. Lo que me gustó aún más fue el hecho de que Kendall era su propia persona. No siempre hacía o decía lo correcto, a veces se detenía al azar para escribir algo importante para su futura novela, pero lo abrazó por completo. Ella era más valiente de lo que se creía. Max, por otro lado, creo que fue el más cínico de los dos, y creo que la mayor parte tuvo que ver con el miedo. Podría identificarme con eso: el cambio da miedo, especialmente cuando estás en ese momento extraño entre la escuela secundaria y la universidad.

Juntos, Max y Kendall eran un dúo dinámico. Me encantó verlos explorar la ciudad de Nueva York juntos y realizar actos de bondad al azar. Mejor aún, me encantaron los cambios que resultaron de sus aventuras. Ambos se volvieron más confiados y atrevidos y se ayudaron mutuamente a encontrar consuelo en lo desconocido.

Otro aspecto de Together at Midnight que disfruté fueron los múltiples puntos de vista utilizados. Jennifer incluyó perspectivas de Max, Kendall y todas las personas a las que ayudaron o intentaron ayudar en su viaje. Todos los puntos de vista volaron perfectamente juntos, y me encantó especialmente ver los puntos de vista de los extraños. Añadió un toque tan personal a la novela, y me gustó especialmente cuando aclaraba una situación, es decir, ¿por qué esa mujer no aceptaba ayuda?

También disfruté de la sensación de combustión lenta del romance. Cuando comienza la novela, Kendall ha estado coqueteando por correo electrónico con un chico que conocía anteriormente y Max todavía está algo atado con su ex novia. A lo largo del libro, sin embargo, Kendall y Max comienzan a ver algo en el otro, algo que comienza a cambiar sus sentimientos hacia sus otras relaciones. Honestamente, a veces realmente me preguntaba si lo harían o no, pero al final, estaba increíblemente feliz con la conclusión.

En total, Together at Midnight es un regalo a mi corazón con está increíblemente novela, llena de amor, bondad y navidad. En serio, está bellamente escrito, es estimulante y esperanzador... en realidad me inspiró a comenzar mis propios actos de bondad al azar en 2021.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,435 reviews234 followers
January 5, 2018
I thought this book was going to be about two people committing random acts of kindness around NYC, but it was about so much more. It was about relationships, finding your passion, and finding yourself.

•Pro: I found both Kendall and Max very likable and relatable. Both had great personal qualities, and I would love to have either of them as my friend. I found myself rooting for them both equally as they struggled with the big question of what to do next.

•Pro: Speaking of that big question, I enjoyed that both characters were sort of adrift. They were caught in this in-between, and they could not stay there forever. They had to make some major decisions, and I was glad I got to be part of that process.

•Pro: A family focus is always a plus for me, and there were some great family moments in this book. I loved the relationship between Kendall and her brother, but I absolutely adored watching Max and his grandfather connect. There was a lot more to Big E than met the eye. Maybe he didn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but I didn't doubt his love for Max by the end of this book.

•Con: I would have liked a jump ahead to see how Kendall and Max were doing. I didn't hate the ending, but Kendall and Max had made some big decisions at the end of the book, but I would love to know how it all worked out.

•Pro: The format really added a little extra something to this story. The majority of the book is told from Kendall and Max's points of view, but after each act of kindness, we had a little commentary from the strangers involved in the acts. These additional POVs provided interesting insight and were such a welcomed addition for me.

•Pro: I didn't care about the ex-girlfriend or the crush, I was all about Max and Kendall. I was shipping them from the very beginning and really wanted this romance to pan out, because they were so good together.

•Pro: I never tire of books set in my hometown, and it was fun running around NYC with Kendall and Max. We did so many fun things, but I especially loved the snowstorm.

Overall: This book was delightful and heartwarming as it delivered unexpected surprises. I loved the exploration of kindness and connection, and how was grateful to share this journey with Max and Kendall as found their passions and their paths.

*I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book

Profile Image for ♡ F a n n y ♡.
185 reviews80 followers
January 4, 2022
Los une un error cometido en el pasado, el destino los volvió a reencontrar por accidente con la promesa de un futuro.
✨ Nueva York en vísperas de Año Nuevo ✨
Kendall y Max son dos adolescentes que después de presenciar un accidente y sentirse culpables de no haber apoyado buscan la manera de alivinar su culpa realizando 7 actos de bondad con una fecha límite antes de la víspera de Año Nuevo
Pero ¿porque actos de bondad desinteresados? ¿Porque ser amable? Aveces eso resulta ser lo más difícil del mundo.


Como mi opinión personal la verdad se me hizo un libro sumamente rápido de leer y entretenido, no me gusto tanto la historia de amor porque la verdad se me hizo un tanto forzada.
Me hubiese gustado que la única finalidad del libro fueran los 7 actos que debían realizarse antes de la víspera de Año Nuevo, fue un tema que no había leido obviamente está lleno de clichés pero quedan bien con la temática del libro

Me hubiese gustado que profundizar en la relaciones ajenas a los protagonistas como en los familiares que aparecen y las relaciones de amor que se desarrollan y plasman en la historia

Fue un comienzo de año ligero con esta lectura y me gusto aunque me hubiese gustado un poco más si hubieran omitido esa relación romántica que no había necesidad.
Profile Image for Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}.
475 reviews170 followers
January 8, 2018
Oh what a lovely little story this was. I loved the focus on doing RAKs - random acts of kindness. I mean we called all serve to do more of them ourselves and help make the world a little bit of a kinder place. What a wonderful message to have in a book.

Besides that, I really enjoyed the characters Kendall and Max. They each had their own stuff going on and circumstances bring them together again during the days before New Year's. We see how this time together really bonds them and leads to feelings. The romance was so sweet.

Plus they are in New York! I LOVE books set in New York and then during the holidays is a bonus.

I will absolutely be picking up more from Jennifer Castle in the future.

Susan Bishop Crispell's last book, The Secret Ingredient of Wishes was such a fun, unexpected read for me last year that I couldn't wait for her next book. Dreaming in Chocolate had the fun elements of magical realism and the lovely small town setting like Wishes but had a bit more of heavy side to it.

Penelope is a single mom to daughter Ella and runs a cafe with her mother in a small town. This cafe is special as Penelope and her mother have recipes that include magic. Penelope starts to doubt the magic as it hasn't helped her when she needs it the most.

I loved the focus here on family as well a sweet romance that is included in the story. I of course loved the magical element that was also a favorite in her last book. Again this was a bit on the heavier side which I wans't expecting. Still I enjoyed this sweet story that had a very heartwarming ending.This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews747 followers
December 18, 2017
Together at Midnight was definitely a different read than what I was expecting it to be, Castle’s way of giving us the story completely won me over. You could say I wasn’t really expecting much with Kendall and Max setting themselves to perform random acts of kindness, anyone could do this right? But what would you even class as a random act of kindness, how would you know you’re even helping someone? This ended up being one tough act to complete, you may be trying to help an individual, but maybe they don’t want your help in the first place and maybe your assumptions of the situation that person is in is entirely wrong too. And this is exactly what Kendall and Max had to deal with, they had their own things going on, but decided to go that extra mile for other people. I did like watching see how things would enfold for both Kendall and Max and the people that they would come across the way, but most of all I liked how the chapters we got straight after Kendall and Max carried out their acts of kindness were from the people who they performed the acts with. It gave us great insights into more than what Kendall and Max saw and told us what was really going on with them. The journey that Max and Kendall went through was one I really enjoyed, I liked how it led them to make sense of what was going on with their own lives too and go on to develop a really great relationship. Together at Midnight was such an adorable read, I found myself quite attached to Kendall and Max’s characters and what went on with their lives, when chapters did jump to different perspectives, I was itching to get back to their chapters to find out what was going on with them. Along with Max and Kendall being two of my favourite characters, I also quickly became attached to Big E, he was one of the most unexpected characters that I thought I would grow to like, but he really was a lot of fun to be around. Together at Midnight was definitely one of those hidden gem books that I ended up reading this year and it really was a beautiful read to pass up on.
Profile Image for Dayla.
2,067 reviews201 followers
January 2, 2018
This was a really surprising read. I was a little bit skeptical going in because the synopsis sounded a wee bit preachy but the story was just very thought provoking. I loved the dynamic between the two protagonists the most, and how their relationship and friendship is one where they both depended on and helped each other during difficult moments.

I liked the open-ended nature of the novel as well and how there’s a hint of “anything can happen”. I also enjoyed reading from the perspective (on occasion) of the people they helped.

I’m happy I picked this one up!

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,040 followers
October 23, 2017
I'm glad Together at Midnight is being published during winter because it's perfect for that time of the year. New York, during the last couple of days of December, two people and a couple of strangers. It was perfect.

The way Jennifer Castle writes is just atmospheric. If you are on a lookout for a cozy winter read, look no further.
Profile Image for ضحى الحداد.
Author 3 books619 followers
January 3, 2018
I was anticipating this book for a couple of weeks and the moment it was released I started reading .. and finished it in one sitting .. literally
it was a fun ride and I really enjoyed the acts of kindness and how it affected people in many ways that you don't expect, so the book talks about these two people Max and Kendall who witness an accident and feel so guilty about it that they start a dare to do random acts of kindness for strangers and the plot picks up from there .. it was a nice emotional read, I did wish if it has a stronger plot or more adventure in it but it was enjoyable nonetheless
as for the ending, it wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be .. yes it could use an epilogue but this was fine for the most part
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,144 reviews1,009 followers
January 8, 2018
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

I really enjoyed this one! It was very heartwarming, and basically adorable. I don't do fluffy often, but when I do, this is how I want it to be. There was a lot of focus on family, which was great. I definitely shipped the particular two people who I wanted to end up together at the end. I loved that the main characters were on an adventure to do acts of kindness around New York. I mean, if that doesn't give you the warm fuzzies, I don't know what will. 

I really don't have a ton to say, because it's just cute and if you like contemporary with enjoyable, well-formed characters, and a romance you can root for, you're probably going to like this one. Bonus points if you read this around the time it is set (New Year's) like I did, because it makes it extra festive. 

Bottom Line: Adorable, and restored my faith in humanity a bit. Definitely a win. 
Profile Image for Kali Cole.
345 reviews34 followers
February 18, 2018
I really loved the message that this book had. I especially appreciate the realism that this book presented. There wasn't any sugar coating, it was all raw story. The fact that this was mostly revolving around acts of kindness really stood out to me because in today's world, we find it harder to perform acts of kindness because it could come off in a weird or creepy way. It's hard to try to help a stranger because everyone has grown so reserved in their own space that strangers are not welcome on the fly. It's sad how our world is, but this book was a great example that acts of kindness are not impossible.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,172 reviews1,307 followers
March 6, 2020
As 2018 draws to a close, what better read to end off with than Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle? This book is so touching as it tells the story of two people doing random acts of kindness at New Year’s. I enjoyed the main characters and their complexity, and the short chapters from the people they help add depth to the story. Fans of books like Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares will love this influential story.

Full Review on The Candid Cover
Profile Image for sa.
115 reviews13 followers
February 4, 2021
"Juntos a medianoche" es una historia romántica y de autodescubrimiento. Los personajes tienen profundidad y se equivocan mientras aprenden lo que verdaderamente es la amabilidad.

Me re gustó, el final no es el típico de una historia de amor y esto creo que le sumó un punto más.

Max (🥰🥰🥰😍😍😍😍😍😍😍)

No es un libro super memorable pero es re bello.
Profile Image for Audrey.
1,030 reviews164 followers
May 6, 2018
I’m stepping away from my usual genre to buddy read this. It’s YA and short and sweet but not really fluffy. The characters definitely act their ages. The immaturity put me off at first, but I got used to it, and I am tired of seeing supposed 17-year-olds acting like their 30.

It’s first person present tense (automatic half-star deduction!) with a lot of shifting POVs. I couldn’t keep track of whose mind I was in after a while; it got too tiring to keep track. The main characters, Max and Kendall, decide to overcome Bystander Syndrome (after seeing an accident) by performing random acts of kindness in New York City, of all places. After each act, we get a POV from the person helped and glimpse their lives. I would have liked to see more of these people, to see a chain reaction that maybe went back to the person in the accident. (That’s how I’d have written it.) But it’s still fun and heart-warming and provides a great message.

There’s some occasional strong language and some sexual discussions.
Profile Image for saanvii.
30 reviews
September 16, 2022
this was unexpectedly really good and like. not too predictable either. the ending was pretty realistic and i loved all the characters they felt really. well, real. i was satisfied with the way it ended and overall, this was exactly the kind of book i wanted to read in the middle of midterms 🥰🥰
Profile Image for Kimberley.
337 reviews46 followers
November 7, 2017
I received an ARC of Together at Midnight, by Jennifer Castle, via Edelweiss+.
Sometimes you have to take a step, and sometimes you have to take a leap, and either way, all that really matters is that you're not standing still

Together at Midnight is about making choices: good, bad, and indifferent. Everyone in this novel is making a choice. Every. One. There is no escaping the choices made, but the consequences of said choices are always made clear to the reader--even when the main characters are completely oblivious.

Always having access to the aforementioned information added depth and understanding to the reading of this book; such omniscience was not only a plus, but it also made me acutely aware of how often we exist in this world, being nice, acting, kind, but not always knowing if we're making a difference--hence the "leap of faith".

In this story, Max, Kendall, and Jamie witness a tragic accident. After the victim is carted away to an unknown fate, each of these characters lament over what they could have done to have changed Luna's (the victim) fate.

Guilt-ridden, and feeling powerless over the consequences of their inaction, Max and Kendall decide--based on the playful "dare" of a stranger--to perform seven 'Random Acts of Kindness'; the seven represents the number of persons who stood by, and bore witness to the accident, and did nothing.

The kind acts performed by Max and Kendall would have been easily dismissed if we'd only been privy to the acts themselves--leaving us all to assume the best, or worst, of each kindness. However, what Castle so brilliantly does--and what truly makes this book an even deeper discussion piece--is make the reader aware of how each act truly made its recipient feel.

That is knowledge and insight only we receive. Kendall and Max are only allowed to see the tip of the iceberg, not the depth beneath it.

One of my favorite instances of how being privy to such knowledge was invaluable, to the interpretation of how the reaction to a kindness can be perceived and misinterpreted, involved a grandmother and her granddaughter.

I won't give anything away, but the way it played out for Kendall and Max, versus the reason behind the grandmother's reaction, spoke so powerfully to how unfortunate it is to not have access to the "Big Picture"; Sometimes, when you don't understand the whole story, you take it personal.

In such instances, the way you process that feeling of being lashed out against can make or break your view of the world and how you decide to move within its boundaries, and whether it hardens you or strengthens your resolve.

Most people choose the former and that is why so many of us decide to consistently "mind our business". Castle teaches a firm lesson about how unfortunate that truly is without having to say much at all.

This was an easy read with a beautiful message: learn to be kind in an unkind world; kind not only to others, but also to yourself, as well.
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,492 reviews697 followers
July 12, 2018
Initial Impressions 2/21/18 & full review as posted 4/30/18:: 3.5 stars
So when I first added this book to my TBR, the synopsis for this book was… not this. I thought this was cute and fluffy and feel-good and I still had that impression in my mind before I started reading it. I don’t usually got back and read synopses before I start a book because sometimes things are updated that include the most mild of spoilers and I really like going into books relatively blind, so it would have been helpful if I had gone back, but then I also probably wouldn’t have read it. It’s not a heavy book per se but it’s also not light and fluffy, so I was super surprised to hear about the accident (not a spoiler, or well, I guess it’s not a spoiler if you read the synopsis (unlike me)) and how much it set things into motion.

The book was interesting and it was very good and despite not realizing what it was supposed to be about when I started it, I still didn’t connect to it as much as I thought. I really did appreciate the reality and diversity represented in a lot of different ways. The characters had a lot of depth in that respect but I still didn’t quite connect to their personalities like I had hoped. They were fine characters but I had a hard time finding a depth that I connected with and sometimes it felt like they were more characters than having me believe that they were real people, breaking that story feel and heading into that soul connection.

As much as I liked all of the realistic situations, the storyline just wasn’t something that I was really interested in reading, or at least at this point in time. I was torn with the little asides to the people that the characters helped with the RAKs. I thought it was neat to see how those acts of kindness really affected people in ways that we don’t really know and yet it also felt like it took me out of the story and didn’t quite fit.

This is a weird rating for me because there actually were a lot of things that I liked about the writing and the style and yet there were also things that threw me in those same areas. It was a good book but still not a book that really hit the spot for me.
Profile Image for Ginger at GReadsBooks.
371 reviews56 followers
October 11, 2017
Jennifer Castle is such a quietly strong voice in the YA community today. This is my third novel of her’s to read & once again I’m wow’ed by the beauty of her storytelling.

For fans of books set in New York City, throw in the holiday season, plus a task at hand for two misguided teens — you’ll want to read this novel!
Profile Image for Kaylee Gwyn (literarypengwyns).
821 reviews77 followers
January 4, 2018
I’m SO SO glad this was my first book of 2018. This book had an incredibly honest and hopeful story about friendships, loss, love and what it means to be kind and to help others. Told from alternating POVS, the story follows Kendall and Max as they face a turning point in each of their lives. They witness a tragic accident that completely shakes their current life path and they embark on a series of Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) to help ease their guilty consciences and to force theirselves out of their comfort zones. While there is a sweet romance involved (and I LIVE for those sweet romantic moments), the story mostly follows what it means to be on the precipice of adulthood and what kind of human you want to be. The minor characters SHINE in this book and you feel invested in everyone. For instance, every time Kendall and Max perform what thing think is a RAK, whether it’s a “failure” or not, the next chapter is told from the receiver of the RAKs POV and it’s SO DANG TOUCHING AND REAL AND HONEST AND MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR LIFE. Basically, I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions, but instead, being a better person each year, and this book started me off in the perfect mind frame for that goal. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone and everyone; you won’t regret it!
Profile Image for TheSnowBook.
181 reviews9 followers
September 26, 2018
Este libro es de esos que te dejan una bonita sensación a la hora de finalizar el libro.
Hay romance? Sí, un romance cantado, pero que a la hora de leer esta definitivamente más que bien.
El mensaje principal es lo que le da el toque al libro:
Hacer actos de bondad por sí solos, es más difícil de lo que uno cree. ¿Probaron alguna vez?
Muy recomendado para salir de parones lectores, para ver un poco de drama y para disfrutar una lectura rápida.

Reseña completa: http://thesnowbook.blogspot.com/2018/...
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