Book Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett


Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Published: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen

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Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.

Literally.

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.

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I really enjoyed this book. Dusty (Destiny) is a nightmare, a magickind who feeds off of dreams. There’s a lot of different takes on magical/mythical creatures in this story, and we as readers are exposed to a few of them. The world is incredibly written and more importantly it makes sense. The imposition of the Will, which keeps magickind from harming each other and the Ordinary people, and the different social structure within the magic world itself. It does take place in a boarding school, so I can see where some people make the allusion to Harry Potter, but frankly the two aren’t all that similar.

I really like the characters in this story. They’ve got great voices, and while the romance is a bit run of the mill and predictable it’s natural and unforced. There’s not really a love triangle, just a bit of jealousy and things get resolved rather quickly toward the end of the book. There are a couple things that I disliked, the first being the pacing. I wanted more of the world building, more characters interacting. I liked that a couple characters weren’t who they seemed to be. On the other hand, and this brings me to my second dislike, is the fact that the bait-and-switch and major plot twist was kind of predictable. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, but I had a strong feeling that certain characters were not as they seemed.

Overall pink5 a cute quick read with quirky characters and I’m looking forward to reading the second book.

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern.
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday
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The Summary: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

The Review: I fell in love with this book, and I wasn’t certain I was going to. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for nearly a year now, and I’ve started and re-started it countless times. I sat down yesterday and powered through it in one go, and I have to say I’m hooked. I love the world that Morgenstern has created. It’s lush, full of description and really really beautiful. At times I felt that it was real, tangible and the setting and the world that this story takes place in caught a hold of me.

I really enjoyed this book. There were just a couple things that caused me to shake my head. The random lapse into second person narrative. This is not something I’m fond of at all, and probably one of the reasons why I kept starting/stopping this novel. The insta-love aspect is also something I’m not fond of, but it didn’t distract me too much. The promised fierce competition was a touch anti-climatic, but again, I don’t mind too much.

Honestly, I can see where people have issues with this book, and the amount of just polar opposite reviews makes me laugh. The time jumping, the point of view changes and the sheer amount of prose can be a lot for some to handle. It really did take me a while to read this, and since I did start and stop so many times that when I did finally sit down to read it, I had to start over. I think this is a book that needs more than one read through. There’s so much going on, and so many layers that it’s almost impossible to catch everything the first time through.

Plus, the writer in me goes bananas when I realize that she wrote this as a NaNoWriMo piece. Clearly it’s been edited and reworked, but I just love being able to read it like this.

Purchase The Night Circus Wherever books are sold. I bought my copy at Target.

Have you read The Night Circus? How did you feel about it? Let’s talk about this book.