Mar 5, 2013

YA Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1)The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Published March 5, 2013 by Tor Teen
Source: publisher via NetGalley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads summary: Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.
Then Eli’s dream comes true.
Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

There are several reasons why I was drawn to this book. First, look at that gorgeous cover. Second, the summary that reminded me of Hex Hall, which I enjoyed a lot. And last-and most important- how often do you see nightmares featured in YA paranormal lit? That's right, never. Million coolness points for originality in that department.

I clearly remember when my granny told me about the folk tale that, if you sleep on your back and leave the window open, the Nightmare comes to sit on your chest and suffocates you. Creepy much? I don't remember having nightmares until after she told me that...but I digress. I assumed that the Nightmare in this book would have at least some of the creepiness of the folk tales. I did like Dusty for her sarcasm and imperfections, but I was largely underwhelmed by the paranormal aspect of it. I found the whole story to be rather predictable and unexciting. The appearance of a certain mythical persona was a nice touch...but sadly, too little too late.

Another problem I had were the characters. Dusty and her mother aside, they lacked depth and dynamics. I appreciated that the focus was not on the romance. There was a budding love triangle, none of it that I really felt due to the above mentioned lacking character development.

Now, before you assume I didn't like this book, let me say that I did. It was great entertainment for a rainy evening and I never felt the urge to pick up something else or stop reading altogether. It's just that many things were too flat to make this book stand out or to make it memorable. If you're looking for an easy and quick read, The Nightmare Affair is definitely a book you should check out.

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