by mindee arnett — published march 5, 2013 — tor teen
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.
first up is the cover — AWESOME. i love the silhouette illustration. so this book immediately got cool points with me. and on top of that, i was hooked from the first page – holy crap, so entertaining. i don’t know if it was just me, but it was lines like this that i just found hilarious. yes, i know they were cheesy, but they were freaking funny.
“I approached the side of the bed. The occupant was lying on his stomach. Go figure. The subject — I refused to think of him as a victim — was almost always on his stomach. At least this guy didn’t sleep in the buff, too. Not that the red boxers hid much. The sight of his naked back stunned me. It was so perfect…. He was by far the sexiest dream-subject I’d encountered and I fought off an urge to run away. Not that I preferred my subjects to be ugly or anything, but something in the middle would’ve been all right.”
this was in first few pages, so i really got into arnett’s writing style right away, and it has so much character. it kicked right off and I loved that. there were a few passages throughout the book, here and there, of annoying explaining, saying, “oh! this is how this works in my world.” but i was okay with that. easy to move past.
the whole idea of a Nightmare was new to me, and i love the magic spin on something different than all the other things that are the same. and though i was able to guess the ending, the plot still kept me jumping around. i was involved enough that i finished this in about a day and a half. yes, that quickly. the characters developed quickly, but well. I also was very impressed with how the main character handled the deaths of people she knew — it wasn’t too heroic or too girly, it seemed realistic to what someone actually might do.
another personal favorite line:
“if sarcasm were butter, you could’ve spread him over toast.”
WHAT? who writes like that? exactly. this book was hilarious. i loved the relationship between Eli and Dusty, even though it seemed a bit cliche and ridiculous at times. i also really liked her feminist siren friend, selene, who wants people to stop objectifying sirens. this was just one of the many quirks that made the whole novel pretty great.
overall, i was pretty impressed with the whole thing. it’s been a while since i’ve been so into a book i just had to finish it immediately, and this one did it. it was a nice little magic, murder mystery sort of thing. i loved the ending, and i’m definitely hoping we’ll see more of this, maybe in a few more books, because this one, overall, felt very explainy. i feel like the world was too detailed and we were given too many explanations for just one book. this was something arnett planned out for a while and should continue to use it. because i loved it.