Sun, sex, and … step-brothers.
Whitley Johnson’s dream summer of shopping, partying and tanning on the beach has just turned into a nightmare. Because Dad didn’t tell her he doesn’t live by the beach anymore, or that he’s no longer a bachelor. He’s picked up and moved to a tiny, lame town called Hamilton and gotten himself a fiance. A fiance whose son just happens to be what’s-his-name from last week’s drunken graduation party one night stand. Just freakin’ great.
As if the summer couldn’t get worse, Dad seems to forget Whitley’s even there. She doesn’t fit in with his perfect new country club family, and Whitley does what any kid lucky enough to go all summer unsupervised does: she parties. Hard.
So hard that she doesn’t even notice the good things right under her nose: a younger future step-sister 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, sweet guy who isn’t her step brother (yet) and who actually seems to care for her. It will take all three of them to convince her that they’re not phoneys, and to get Whitley to get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together. [Goodreads]
I only recently read The Duff by Keplinger this year and I was surprised by how much I did enjoy it. I had no idea that A Midsummer’s Nightmare is also written by the same author, or I would of picked up the book much sooner! Sadly missing out on the middle book Shut Out, I went ahead and read this book which left me fully satisfied.
Whitley spends every summer with her father ever since he and her mother split. It’s something she always looks forward to but when he tells her that their usual summer location has been sold and he’s moved somewhere else, she knows it’s not going to be the same. Especially when Whitley finds out that he’s been got another new family, one which includes a hookup she had with a guy at a graduation party. One which she fled from after he wanted to know her name and number.
There wasn’t anything that was super amazing about this book but there also wasn’t anything that was terrible. The romance is cute (yet odd and kinda reminded me of the whole Gossip Girl thing with Dan and Serena..) but there isn’t anything that stands out and makes it noticeable. Nathan was there for Whitley no matter what, as a friend, stepbrother or something more. It’s less of an instant jump that is seen in The Duff but it’s a slow and gradual build which builds the authenticity of their relationship.
Again, families seem to feature a great deal in the novels that Keplinger writes, which is what I really enjoy about these novels. The balance between the family life and friends don’t push forward for attention between one another but are even and each are knotted well at the end, with the main character becoming that bit stronger.
I am super glad I had picked up The Duff before reading this though because we do get a little wave hello from Wes and Bianca in the novel, which is really cute. It’s nice to know they’re going strong 😉 I’m excited to pick up Keplinger’s other novels especially since they are all linked together with one thing in common: Hamilton.