Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorced dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancee and her kids. The fiancee's son? Whitley's one-niight 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 iis 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 tehm to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
Whitley Johnson's constant partying and flirtatious nature has certainly earned her quite a reputation around her fellow peers. But just when she's ready to escape on her only vacation with her sometimes distant father . . . things that were supposed to be so damn perfect end up turning into her worst nightmare ever! Not only does Whitley find out that her father has an almost too perfect fiance hanging off her every word, but she also finds out that she has a new pair of step-siblings in tow, and one just happens to be Whitley's one night stand from a party she wishes - and wants - to forget. But when Whitley begins to make some unexpected friends (even though she doesn't "do" friends) and when she begins to fall so helplessly in love with her soon-to-be stepbrother, Nathan, things are about to become even more nightmarish than she first anticipated!
Once again this talented young adult author has offered up yet another complicated, saucy teen heroine in her third book, A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE. Now I've been a fan of Kody Keplinger for quite some time now, what with her fantastic debut novel, The Duff, which was my favourite book of hers, and her second novel, Shut Out, which was also another superb read for me and for many readers I know. Some of the things I love most about Keplinger's writing is how imperfect her characters are, how she gets teenagers and all the many forms we seem to come in, how she continues to challenge her readers with some of the most daring subjects from sex to your ordinary friendships, and even how authentic these characters seem to be. For her third novel, I wouldn't go far to say it was my favourite of all of her books, mostly because I couldn't relate to her main character, but regardless of that fact, I can see many others relating to this book . . . a lot in fact and it was definitely a fun summer read for me.
Whitley Johnson, the main character, was needlessly to say a very complicated, rude, reckless, sometimes-stubborn and a sometimes-over-the-top young woman, whom has obviously lost her way somehow. I mean, let's face it - she's a complete and utter mess. Personally for me, Whitley is the kind of girl I would stay well away from in high school and that was probably a good thing in my books. I think the only reason why I didn't enjoy this character as much as I wanted to was because I couldn't relate to her at all. At all. She's so unlike me in so many ways: I'm not a partier, I'm not flirting my way through every guy I meet that gave me some of their attention and I'm certainly not a drinker. But despite those qualities in Whitley, that still doesn't mean she wasn't a fun nor a likable character. Because in all honestly she was - at least when we finally got to know her for her and learn the reasonings behind why she's acting out the way she is. So not to worry readers, you'll still love this main character despite her flaws!
As for the supporting characters, I thought they totally stole the show in this book. Nathan for one, the love interest and Whitley's soon-to-be stepbrother and whom she slept with prior to knowing he was going to be that soon-to-be step-brother of hers, was completely adored by me. He was utterly sweet, he was caring and he was nerdy . . . just like me. Sure, it was kind of weird witnessing his and Whitley's relationship grow into something far more than it should have considering they're going to be related by marriage and all, but I loved that forbidden aspect to their characters and it suited them. I mean, who doesn't love the forbidden no-no side? Even Nathan's little sister was such a delightful little treat . . . she was so, so sweet too. Even Whitley's soon-to-be stepmother was a great character to add in and cause some tension under one roof, and heck, even Whitley's actual father was a great character to add some further complications despite him always forgetting about Whitley and how she felt about his new living situation. Again, they were all so great!
Overall, like any book come across, it's always risky to write about taboo subjects and some really heavy issues for those young adults who read them, but for some reason Kody Keplinger's third novel, A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE, could get away with murder no matter what topic it explores and I love this writer for being able to do that and put a shock to your system! That's the whole fun part for me! So, if you're already a fan of this author like I am or have yet to find that perfect summer read with a great, refreshing teenage voice, then be sure to give this book a go ASAP!