When I read the synopsis for this book, I thought it sounded pretty good, though I didn't fathom just how good it would be! This wasn't a romance novel, it was a book of adventure and mystery, and I loved every second of it!
The characters in The Nightmare Affair were just fabulous. I immediately knew who I liked, who I didn't like, who I trusted, who I didn't trust and who was going to get with who. Of course, I knew these things for all of five minutes before I realised these characters were too well-done to be figured out this early on. In fact several of the things I felt for sure were true/would happen were wrong which leaves me severely doubting my detective skills.
As soon as I heard about 'F' I immediately guessed what it stood for (and I was right, yay detective skills!) and was pretty sure of who it stood for, but this was just a tiny piece of the puzzle and the rest was completely hidden from me. I just couldn't work out who the main baddie was. I jumped from character to character to character until the only people left who I hadn't suspected were Dusty and Eli! As frustrating as it was not to be able to guess 'who dunnit' I was really pleased at how well written the mystery was. I was really taken on adventure and I was surprised at almost every turn.
I loved that the relationships were real and that just because Dusty and Eli were crazily linked they weren't immediately thrown together to live out a long, tortured, forbidden love! I was expecting, as happens in a lot of YA books these days, that they'd fall in love but Eli (or Dusty) wouldn't want to admit because they weren't both human, or something along those lines but instead their relationship was fairly slow and took a while to build into a friendship. I don't want to say anything to spoil the book so I'm not going to say whether or not they get together, or fall in love with someone else, or get eaten by dragons.. you shall just have to read the book (or ask someone else who's read it)!
I'm not sure I can find much wrong with this book, it was just so great! The story was mostly unpredictable and the characters all had their own personalities. I really liked this book but I could feel something 'more' towards the end and I just know the next book is going to progress and grow, and that I'm going to love it just as much, if not more!
"I didn't do anything wrong. I swear."
He grunted. "Like I've never heard that before. Funny, but I expected a little more originality from Moira's daughter."
"Yeah, well, the dog ate my notebook with all my good excuses."
I should have taken notes on The Nightmare Affair whilst reading, but it was so amazing that I simply couldn't put it down to write about my thoughts. I had to read this straight-through.
The story starts off with Dusty breaking and entering -- well, not really breaking and entering -- into Eli Booker's house to plant nightmares into his dreams. You're probably reading this with a baffled expression like, 'first off, why is this child named "Dusty" and what do you mean by "plant nightmares?"' Hold on to your underwear, please, and let me explain. Our protagonist is a Nightmare -- the kind of mystical 'creature' that, in order to survive, must plant nightmares into a person's head and basically feed off the energy. This is what Dusty has to do, but her 'feeding' totally backfires with Eli's dream because something out of the ordinary occurred and changed their lives for ever.
Dusty is a very witty and sarcastic sixteen-year-old who attends Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for the magickind (i.e., werewolves, demons, witches and wizards, fairies, sirens, etc.). She is the only Nightmare there, so it's really hard for her to fit in. The Nightmare Affair was amazingly written and absolutely hilarious. I found myself wiping the tears from my eyes from laughing hard. This book is oozing with magic and I am very upset at the fact I have to wait a year for book two.
You can tell Mindee Arnett was inspired by the Harry Potter series (in fact, this book sort of reminds me of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets combined). It's not as though this was a rip off to the HP series, god no, but you'll notice Ms Arnett snagged a few ideas from them. You'll know what I'm talking about once you've read The Nightmare Affair. Nevertheless, it was such a fun and charming read. Also, I usually abhor love-triangles; however, I will let this one slide because I enjoyed it.
The plot and story line was wonderful and clever. I would most definitely recommend this, especially if you want to read something that gives you this amazing feeling like the Harry Potter series did. (Hey, you guys don't want HP to be over, but unfortunately it is. Never fear! The Nightmare Affair is here! Funny? No? ok.)