The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
The Arkwell Academy #1
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Goodreads Stars: 2
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.
I was so excited to read The Nightmare Affair because, hello, boarding schools! Who doesn’t like a good boarding school book? Better yet, this particular boarding school is full of magical folk, and the main character is a Nightmare! I’ve only seen one Nightmare in YA before, and that’s a character in Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series – one of my favourite series to date. I had fairly high expectations, and The Nightmare Affair was one of my most anticipated debuts of the year. Unfortunately it feel very, very flat.
Dusty isn’t one of those protagonists that will stay with you forever. In fact, I’ve already pretty much forgotten her, and I only read this a couple of weeks ago. She was quite funny, and was put into some hilarious situations, but meh. There wasn’t enough substance to keep me interested in her.
I found the murder plot to be very interesting to begin with, but it got old fast. I just wasn’t interested in how Dusty and Eli would solve the case. It didn’t keep me engaged, so I ended up skimming the last 40% of the book. I didn’t want to DNF it, but I just couldn’t force myself to get stuck in. It’s a shame, because I was very interested at the start.
I also liked diving into the relationship between Dusty and her mother, at least in the beginning. The two were at odds, and I thought it was funny that Dusty’s mother was rebellious and her actions from when she was at school impacted Dusty in present day. Kind of like Harry and James in HP, right?
I didn’t enjoy The Nightmare Affair past the 40% mark, and it got positively dull after 60%. I’m glad I gave it a try, but I won’t be continuing on with this series. Hex Hall did the whole magical boarding school thing so much better. This review kind of sucks because I have no strong feelings for this book, I just feel very disappointed by it.