Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: ARC; 367 pages
Get it: Amazon | B&N | 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.
My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
The Nightmare Affair was a novel where Nightmares, demons, wizards, fairies and more are real. They’re walking, talking, living, and blending among us. The Nightmare Affair was full of imagination and creativity. Mindee Arnett created a book that was easily entertaining and one that was riveting, gripping and so much fun to read.
Destiny, better known as Dusty, was one spectacular character! Not even one page into the book, I was completely in love with her. Dusty had so much personality, so much spunk that it wasn’t hard to like her immediately. Honestly, I wanted to be Dusty’s friend, for real, forever. I liked that Dusty was a flawed character who had insecurities about herself, who was slightly awkward and clumsy, but still be super cool and down to earth too. In The Nightmare Affair, she started off as a someone to be scared of or someone to ignore, but as she learned more about herself and as her determination grew, the more her confidence did too. Dusty definitely had this paranormal, snarky, snappy Nancy Drew detective attitude going on that I’m sure many will enjoy. With a big mouth and a sharp tongue, Dusty was one fun character you don’t want to miss getting the chance to know!
Romance wise, this book definitely has some high points. There’s no insta-love here! Dusty grows to like two boys. Both are sweet and care very much for her. What I like about the relationship that Dusty had with Paul and Eli, was that they grew and develop to potentially be something more later on. There was room for feelings to deepen further. There was room to strengthen or break bonds. Mindee Arnett created something believable and real. Dusty’s feelings for Paul and Eli felt true and no where near forced. It just felt natural. My favorite had to be Eli because I loved how their partnership turned into a friendship where they were there for each other despite the daunting circumstances they were in at the moment. Dusty had a different kind of relationship with Paul compared to Eli, but Arnett still managed to make it so I loved both to the point of sever attachment problems.
What truly made this book memorable and down right fantastic, was the world. What I thought was just going to be another paranormal world paralleled to the human world, I got something so much better, more realistic, more believable, and way more captivating. I loved every single aspect about this world from all the different magickinds, to the school grounds of Arkwell Academy, to the Magi Senate, to the role of the Keepers, the purpose of the Will, and even how Animation occurs. There was so much going on within this world, it was complex and involved but I never got overwhelmed or confused. In fact, the more I learned more about Dusty’s world, the more I wished I lived in it with her and the more I wished it were real. I especially loved getting to know about Nightmares and how their feeding and dreamwalking worked. It was very interesting. I really enjoyed learning about the magickind hierarchy between naturekind, witchkind, darkind and of course, the halfkind. Even in this world there was constant discrimination, popularity feuds, and the need for control and more power. This book was so much more than just a simple murder story. There was a tangled web of betrayal, deceit and lies that made you doubt which characters you could really trust. In a world with magic, rules, and order, you’ll find hidden secrets that threaten the peace that makes this world far from perfect than what it seemed.
Overall, The Nightmare Affair was filled with mystery, suspense and even some adventure. It was not only witty and clever, but very entertaining. Just this first book alone has made me a fan of Arnett’s for life!