A Midsummer’s Nightmare delivers great teen drama

midsummersWhitley Johnson wants nothing more than to get out of town after graduation, to escape her depressed mother in Indiana and visit her fun-loving father’s condo by the lake in Kentucky for the summer.

When she can’t remember the name of the guy she wakes up next to after getting drunk at a party on graduation night, Whitley takes it in stride. Although a drunken one-night stand is unusual even for her promiscuous party-girl reputation, Whitley knows her mom won’t notice her behavior no matter how wild or ridiculous. She packs her duffel bag and hits the road, leaving all her problems behind.

Unfortunately, her father forgot to mention that he sold his condo and moved in with his fiancé, Sylvia, whom he also neglected to mention until she was hugging Whitley in front of their new house in Illinois. Whitley has ever right to be upset and she knows it. She needed this time with her dad this summer. Sylvia’s two teenage kids were the next surprise, but nothing could top the moment when Whitley saw HIM. The guy she’d slept with on graduation night. And her future stepbrother. Apparently his name was Nathan.

Even in this quiet town, Whitley finds ways to drink and party to avoid being forced to spend time with her dad’s perfect new family. Her much anticipated summer has turned into A Midsummer’s Nightmare.

This is Kody Keplinger’s third book. She was only 17 when she wrote DUFF, and SHUT OUT was one of my favorite books of 2011. Surprisingly, the book is about the effect of Facebook bullying as much as the divorced parents, the massive quantities of alcohol and the forbidden teen romance. I’m noticing the threat of exposure, teasing or cruel taunting on Facebook showing up more frequently in teen fiction lately. This book doesn’t offer many solutions to anonymous online bullying though. On Bullying: Resources and Questions for Writing or Discussion from the New York Times website collects advice and experience from teens around the country.

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Health Information Librarian, Arts & Crafts Librarian, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book group leader, and frequent library customer, especially with her children. She reads a new book every few days, but recently loved Adorkable by Sarra Manning, Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Tin Star by Cecil Castellucchi.