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.
Whitley is not a super likeable character, but you can definitely identify with her. She’s pretty much my opposite, but I was still able to identify with her, anyway. She’s believable, for sure.
Her dad has moved to Hamilton – which is the town from The Duff. Remember Harrison, Wesley’s gay friend? Well, he plays a big part in A Midsummer’s Nightmare. He is Whitley’s new friend. He invites Whitley to a party at his friend’s mansion pretty early on – straight away I had that horrible feeling that we were going to see Wesley and Bianca again. When you see a character from another book, and meet them from the new characters perspective (hopefully you get what I mean there), I either hate it or love it. In this case, I pretty much hated it. You see Wesley and Bianca for about a minute, in which you learn that they are still a happy couple, and then they are only mentioned in passing after that. I wish that they had only been mentioned, because seeing them again didn’t add anything to the story. I mean, you got to see that Wesley’s previous player ways are still in the past, but I didn’t particularly need the assurance. Plus, Whitley is kind of a bitch and I didn’t like the way she responds to Bianca.
The storyline is very similar to that of Carmen’s in Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. Whitley’s father doesn’t tell her about his fiance or two children until she’s just about to meet them all. Plus, he moved without letting her know.
It’s a lot about family, I guess. Whitley has a warped relationship with her father – he’s been more like a brother since her parents divorced – and not much of a relationship with her mother either. Her mum is quite bitter and doesn’t seem to care about Whitley’s partying ways. She never says anything when Whitley comes home drunk or whatever.
I have complicated feelings about all of Kody Keplinger’s novels. When I start to read one, I have strong feelings of dislike towards them. But once I get into it, I seem to like them a lot more. One of the things I’ve noticed across the board is that the main characters friends always bug me. They don’t seem very real, you know? It’s like only one or a few aspects of their personality are shown, therefore making them a bit unbelievable and two dimensional. Maybe that’s just my opinion, but there you go.
I think that I may like this one the best out of all Kody Keplinger’s novels, but it’s difficult to be sure(!).
My rating: 3.5/5
Goodreads rating: 3.87/5