Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.A Midsummer's Nightmare (Hamilton High, #3) by Kody Keplinger
Published by Poppy on June 5th 2012
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Hardcover (291 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
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.
I wasn’t sure about A Midsummer’s Nightmare in the beginning. Whitley is a hard girl to warm up to, but it’s all part of the journey. When it starts, Whitley has just woken up in some guy’s bed after a night of partying. She never plans on seeing him again, because she’s heading off to her dad’s for her last summer before college. She certainly doesn’t expect him to have the same exact plans, since he’s her father’s fiancee’s son. Awkward!
A Midsummer’s Nightmare is a stepbrother romance from before stepbrother romance was a thing. Minus the angst. Well, there’s definitely teenage angst, because Whitley is going through some things, but the romance is actually really slow and sweet. In fact, Whitley spends most of the book having drunken hookups with everyone except for her future stepbrother, Nathan. This, of course, gets her into some major trouble. And I don’t mean with her father.
Whitley’s constant partying is a main focus of the story. She drinks to excess to basically avoid life. It takes her awhile to realize exactly what she’s doing, but she does get to the root of the problem with a little help from her friends. She’s been consistently pushing people away for years, and the only person she wants to be close to is her father, but this summer is different. He’s been too busy. He doesn’t even notice when her drinking gets out of hand. Needless to say, those two needed to have a serious conversation.
Ultimately, A Midsummer’s Nightmare is more about Whitley’s connection to her family, both old and new. Her partying ways were an attempt to cover up some real hurt, when what she really needed was somebody to really see her and listen. She got that in the last place she expected, with her new step-family. The hot boyfriend was just a bonus. If you can get past Whitley’s bad attitude in the first third or so, this is one great read.