Tuesday, March 19, 2013

REVIEW: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Title:                       The Nightmare Affair
Author:                   Mindee Arnett 
Release Date:      March 5/2013
Genre:                YA Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher:           Tor Teen
Page Count:        367
Acquired:            NetGalley
Format:              Ebook
Read From:         Feb 13-Mar 14/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/The 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.


I wanted this book to be so much more than it was. Every aspect in The Nightmare Affair seemed to be lacking the juice and spunk it needed to be something spectacular. The world building was non-existent and contrived, the characters were thrown at you with little to no back-story, and I turned the last page feeling pretty...hollow. There were many frames put up in this book, but there was no solid foundation, or walls, to support the ideas.

Dusty Everhart is a nightmare, she survives by feeding off of the "fictus" (substance) in people's dreams. When I first read the synopsis, I thought "WHOA, that is so freaking cool, and original!". Inside, I began to brew up feelings of mystery and magic and a whole other slew of things I didn't get ONE ounce of once I actually started reading. Dusty was your typical, hormone-enraged, slightly awkward in her own skin, teenaged girl. Take away the fact that she goes to a school for "magickind," and you're left with a premise that has infested almost every single fantasy/paranormal YA fiction novel about a teenager with magical powers. I was SO prepared for something different with The Nightmare Affair, and I believe that it fully intended to offer that to me, but unfortunately, it fell short, in so many ways.

The characters in this are, for the most part, gifted with all sorts of magical powers. There are fairies, sirens, demons, wizards..the works. That fact alone left me a bit overwhelmed-there were just TOO many types of characters trying to exist at one time. It felt like the author was trying to throw as many in as possible, which caused character development to suffer as a result. While each character's ability definitely warranted awe, it all seemed a bit over exaggerated in the end. I also thought it was a little strange that every character, no matter their kind, attended classes to learn how to do the exact same magic. This is me nit-picking, I know, but combined, all of the little discrepancies added up to a huge snag in my mind.

Dusty's character was a mile away from me, and while I enjoyed the entertainment aspect that she and Eli provided as they worked to solve a murder case, I felt no connection with her as a person. We were given a slight glimpse into the stilted relationship she had with her mother, but even that, was all it was: a slight glimpse. Her mother might as well have been an ex-best friend, or a roommate-that's how inconsequential their relationship felt. I don't think that dynamic was intentional, I think we were, as readers, supposed to feel the underlying love Dusty's mother had for her, but unfortunately, I felt nothing.

The Nightmare Affair was not a complete bust, the storyline aimed outside the box, but sadly, hit the walls and fell inside of it. Okay, I'm talking about walls way too much. Bottom line here: I was entertained, but I wasn't jumping out of my seat.

Recommended for fans of: Fantasy, Contemporary, hormone-enraged romance, and been-there, done-that, magic.


  1. Sorry to hear this:( Had high hopes as the synopsis was so intriguing. I'm on the fence with this one.
    Thanks for the thorough review and for sharing.

    1. Laura! I definitely say it's worth checking out for yourself. The problem for me is/was, I've read SO many fantastic fantasy/paranormal novels lately that involve kids at a magical school (i.e. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four), that I this one just couldn't come close.

      If you do end up reading it, I'm interested in seeing what you think about it!

  2. Aww, that's too bad - I was so excited for this. I'm not fan of non-existent world-building, no backstory for the characters, etc., though, so I probably wouldn't like this either. Thanks for the helpful review!

    1. No problem!
      You should still read it though, you may get something different from it than I did!

  3. That's a bummer that it didn't work out! I also read the summary with interest - I'm so over the cliched YA paranormal novels, and this DID look like it might bring something new to the table for once... Sad to hear that it didn't!

    By the way, do you have any quick recs for fairly recent YA paranormal novels that you loved? :p

    1. Hey Kelly
      I know right!? Really had high expectations for this one. Too bad..

      I do actually! It's actually a self-published author by the name of M.R.Merrick. His Protector series was AMAZING. I gave it a 5/5, and I don't hand those out often! Check out my review here if you're interested: Exhiled- M.R.Merrick

    2. Oh, thanks! I will check it out! :D

  4. If you like the idea of Nightmares, Gwen Hayes Falling Under series has that aspect, and Sabine from the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent is one as well. I was so stinkin excited when I read the synopsis, because the whole idea of Nightmares is incredibly intriguing. I was ready to buy it, as soon as it hit stands. And then, I started reading ARC reviews for it, and I was so disappointed. Most of them were not exactly positive reviews. The main thing that was said was that it was a let-down. I think that I will still give it a chance, because sometimes you just have to try things out for yourself. But at least I am going into it with much lower expectations than I would have at the get-go. Maybe that will help? Thanks for your review!!!

    1. Jaime!

      No problem! But yes, I definitely recommend you check this one out for yourself, you might end up enjoying it. I will check out the Falling Under and Soul Screamers series..the topic of nightmares was one that really intrigued me.

      Thanks for your words! =)

  5. The blurb for this book looks so interesting so I'm disappointed that you didn't like it more! I appreciate your comments though and maybe I'll still read it but now it might go lower in the TBR pile! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Lol exactly, definitely helps you decide what you should read first. But I hope you end up liking The Nightmare Affair a lot more than I did!

      Thanks for stopping by =)

  6. I wanted to read this book and am sad to hear that u didn't like it. I hope that I like it better than u did..


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