Google+ Reading Teen: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Poppy; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
Language: English
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Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorce dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancee and her kids. The fiancee'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 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.

I must admit that Kody Keplinger had me hooked on this story very quickly.  If she hadn't, I would have closed the book after about 3 pages.  My first instinct was to give up on this book almost immediately because of the language and the tone of the story.  The thing that kept me turning pages was the premise of the story.  Eighteen year old Whitley Johnson wakes up in bed with a boy that she barely recognizes and realizes that she has had sex with him while in a drunken stupor.  I was interested in finding out where this story was going and how it would be resolved.  Would Whitley end up pregnant, with a sexually transmitted disease or in a stalking situation??  I must admit that I didn't guess what actually happened.  By the time the plot twist was revealed, I was invested in Whitley Johnson and her troubled life and had to see how her story ended. 

I would not have wanted my daughter to be friends with Whitley Johnson but the more I came to know her, the more empathy I had for her.  She was a girl who was looking for someone to give her guidance and boundaries and most of all love as she moved into adulthood.  Unfortunately, her parents were too busy trying to get their own lives on track to teach and train Whitley.  No one had ever told Whitley that she had to be in at a certain time, that drinking and drunkenness were unacceptable, that she was a unique young woman who should have more respect for herself than to have sex with numerous boys.  Because of this, she pushed harder and harder trying to find someone to tell her to Stop!  I found the story very compelling and was satisfied with the ending.

The negative part of this review is the language issue which is my pet peeve.  I don't understand why it is necessary to flood a novel with profanity, especially the amount of language contained here. I understand that the language is part of this character's personality but the amount of it is just too excessive for me.

  • Sexual Content: Heavy
  • Profanity:  Extreme
  • Violence:   Moderate (attempted rape)
  • Other Notables:  Heavy drinking
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