Kody Keplinger has become one of my favorite authors when it comes to contemporaries that portray the realistic everyday life of teen girls. I have to say, I do not relate with the girls from The DUFF, Shut Out, or even A Midsummer's Nightmare; I come from a religious background you see. However, I LOVED every single one of the protagonists of Kody's novels. They are so real, and independent, but also want to be loved, and don't want to get hurt. They are just raw and real. As for the plot, every one of them are logically built up, secondary characters are given depth and importance, but at the same time do not overtake the story. For A Midsummer's Nightmare, I loved the pace of the story. I dare say, it was perfect for me. The complications, the problems between Whitley and her mom, then her dad. I am proud to say I did not cringe once. In honesty I actually teared up a bit when the confrontations happened. I just want to stress how nothing was rushed at the end of the novel, we didn't get the happily ever after, but the promise of maybe someday they'll get there. Which means there was no last minute, unbelievably fast resolutions happenings. I loved every single minute and page spent and read of A Midsummer's Nightmare.
Whitley is known as 'easy', as in she's a party girl and a hard core partier. She just graduated and was supposed to spend her last summer before university with her father. However, he drops a bomb on her: He's engaged, moved to another city with his fiancé, and will get married in the fall. To top it all, one of Sylvia's (the fiancé) children is Nathan, the guy Whitley drunkly hooked up with on graduation night. Also, the other sibling, Bailey, is a 13 year old soon to be high school freshman that somehow branded Whitley as her idol, so to speak. Even though Whitley hated this arrangement, she did not once hurt Bailey's feelings, or was outright rude to Sylvia. I liked her even more because of this. Often we see characters being straight up rude and just hateful, but I feel that Whitley's snarky, but still within the limits personalty was a good portrayal of how a person in her position would act.
You might think the story's main plot is about Whitley and Nathan, but it is in fact about family dynamics, relationships, and how in order to feel like a family, you don't really have to be blood related. As long as you love someone, care for them and want the best for them, that's all that matters. You see so many relationship dynamics in this novel. The broken kind with her mom, the distant one with her married brother, the growing friendship with Harrison, and the sisterly relationship with Bailey. The other three main relationships are between her and Sylvia, in which she puts the best fictional step moms to shame, the fragile relationship between her dad, and finally her romantic relationship with Nathan. I do believe this book is Kody Keplinger's best novel to date. I honestly can't wait to see what else she will bring to the YA world with her next novel! I recommend it to all contemporary fans and if you haven't read a Kody Keplinger novel yet, then shame on you! Go to the nearest bookstore, library, online store and get a copy now! More on Maji Bookshelf