A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger, published by Hodder on 6th February 2014
Whitley Johnson's dream summer of shopping, partying and tanning on the beach has just turned into a nightmare. Because Dad didn't tell her he doesn't live by the beach anymore, or that he's no longer a bachelor. He's picked up and moved to a tiny, lame town called Hamilton and gotten himself a fiance. A fiance whose son just happens to be what's-his-name from last week's drunken graduation party one night stand. Just freakin' great.
As if the summer couldn't get worse, Dad seems to forget Whitley's even there. She doesn't fit in with his perfect new country club family, and Whitley does what any kid lucky enough to go all summer unsupervised does: she parties. Hard.
So hard that she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a younger future step-sister 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, sweet guy who isn't her step brother (yet) and who actually seems to care for her. It will take all three of them to convince her that they're not phoneys, and to get Whitley to get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
I'm such a huge fan of Kody Keplinger and so I was dying to read 'A Midsummer's Nightmare'. I love her writing style and the fact that her stories are very real and honest. Her teenage characters mess up and make mistakes, but that's all part of becoming an adult and is one of the things I love about her books.
Whitley, the main character, is spending her last summer before college with her father. She's looking forward to a relaxed summer of lazing by the beach and having some quality time with her Dad. She doesn't however, count on him having got engaged and having a brand new family living with him. Whitley's situation would be challenging for anyone and although she deals with it pretty badly in the beginning, she does eventually manage to work through her problems and begins to be honest with her parents about how she's feeling. Families feature prominently in Kody Keplinger's books which I really like because she shows that they're definitely not always perfect but they are an important part of our lives.
I loved Nathan, who is set to become Whitley's new step-brother. He was a bit of a mystery at the start and his character had me really intrigued but I enjoyed getting to know him and I loved all the scenes between him and Whitley in the book. He knows a lot about what she's going through and there's no way she's going to scare him off. Sparks literally fly when they're together and I absolutely loved the romance between them. The fact that he was going to be her step-brother didn't bother me at all but I could see how this might be an issue for some readers.
I can't get enough of Kody Keplinger's books. She's an amazing author and a writer that teens can really identify with. 'A Midsummer's Nightmare' was just as good as 'The Duff' and a five star read. I can't wait for more by her!