Publisher: Tor Teens
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
One of my most anticipated reads of 2013, this book didn't disappoint. While it didn't blow me away, I still enjoyed it quite a lot.
There were just a few issues I had with it. The story is built around a lot of mystery and suspense but I found it to be really predictable. I worked it out almost from the beginning and found that the character that I suspected was bland uninteresting and there seemed to be no other reason for him to be there, but for him to be the bad guy when it came to it.
I don't know whether I would really call this a love triangle or not. There were two guys, but one relationship finished before another started, so I'm not sure. But I didn't find the romance in this to be very appealing. There was some enjoyable tension between two of the characters but I felt it was resolved too quickly, which for me, gave it an insta lovey kind of feel. And I didn't quite take to the other guy, I had my suspicions of him, so that was fairly disappointing.
I was happy with how this story started off, I just felt that we got to the bones of it too quickly. I would have liked to see Dusty interacting at the Academy and one or two uneventful dream feeds first before getting to the important one. But I did manage to connect with the story straight away but I then felt it waned a little in the middle before picking up again for an exciting ending.
Dusty is a nightmare, literally. This is original for me, as I've only come across one once before, and it wasn't as a main character so it was nice to have this whole book based around one. I loved the idea of dream seers, especially with someone as hot as Eli, I wouldn't complain. Dusty's smart mouthed attitude endeared her to me and her only friend, Selene, who is a siren, was also a character I just couldn't help but like.
I really liked Eli too. He holds it against Dusty because he had to leave his school and attend the Academy. I enjoy tension between characters that gradually builds into something more, but here, I just found him being overly nice to Dusty far too soon for my liking. He was a part of the "in" crowd and very few people seemed to like Dusty because she was a nightmare, so I felt it could have been played out a bit longer.
Looking back, this review does sound extremely negative and that's not the impression I wanted to give. None of these issues really hindered my enjoyment of the book and I will have no hesitation in recommending it. It is well written, with a decent plot and good characterisation, for the most part. For me, it just could have been slightly better.
Breaking and entering wasn't as easy as it looked in the movies. Especially not from the second story of a house in the suburbs. Yet there I was, perched on the ledge by my tippy toes and tugging on the stupid window that refused to budge even though I could see it wasn't locked. My feet were starting to cramp.
I gave the window another hard tug, and it came free at once, smacking the top of the frame with a loud thump. The force of it knocked me off balance, and I tumbled inside, landing on my face. Way to go, Dusty, I thought.
But, it could've been worse. Might've gone the other way.
Panicked by the noise I was making, I sat up, certain the bedroom's occupant would be coming at me with a baseball bat any second. My heart felt like a jack hammer trying to break its way through my chest. I froze, listening for movement but heard only the sound of someone sleeping. I looked up and saw a huge bed towering over me. A repugnant smell, like the inside of a gym locker, filled my nose. I glanced down and realised I was sitting on a pile of clothes, including what appeared to be several pairs of dirty boxer shorts. Gross.
About the Author
Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.