I read and reviewed this book on my book blog on February 23.
(eARC from Netgalley and for blog tour)
Pacing: 4 stars
Plot: 4 stars
Cover: 5 stars
Sixteen year old Dusty (Destiny) Everhart is literally a nightmare, as in species. She breaks into houses late at night because nightmares feed on people's dreams, that's how they get more powerful and live, it's basically like food even though they still eat regular food, it's called dream feeding. Dusty soon learns that there's more to it, especially for her. Dusty is the only Nightmare at the boarding school, Arkwell Academy, which is for magickind. People are afraid of her and make fun of her because of her infamous mother and because she's a half breed (her dad is non-magical). Her mom causes trouble and used to do it a lot when she was in high school, Dusty doesn't want to be compared to her because of her bad reputation, but unfortunately for her, many people assume that kids are like their parents instead of even giving the son/daughter a chance to be the person he/she wants to be.
Before I say anything about the inside of this book, I'm going to talk a little bit about the outsides, the cover. When I first saw it months ago, I immediately loved it. It's simple yet looks good and different from other YA novels. It looks similar to the cover of Unspoken. It doesn't look dull with very few colours used, in fact it cause the opposite effect, that it looks so good. I can't wait to buy a print copy when it's released and put in on my bookshelf.
One word that came to mind even before I started reading this book, a few months ago when I first heard of this book, read the synopsis, and saw the cover was, unique. And yes, it is unique. I've never heard of a supernatural being called a nightmare. I enjoyed learning about them. At first I didn't understand why they are called nightmares because all they did was eat dreams, but later on we learn about their history and their name makes sense. I also enjoyed learning about the many different supernatural beings in Arkwell Academy, some are the usual: werewolves, faeries, wizards, etc, but there are some things different about them, for ex: wizards don't have good hand-eye coordination. The other species aren't seen in many books, like sirens. And then there are the species that are different and never heard of, like different types of demons.
It was interesting seeing these creatures as the supporting characters and different than what we're used to from other books. I like this better than the too common 'girl falls in love with a dangerous supernatural creature' thing that has been going on in way too many books these days. Why can't both the guy and the girl be a different supernatural creature? Or the boy be human and the girl who is the narrater be a supernatural creature? You don't see many of those these days. The second one is part of what's going on in this book.
I don't know if anyone else said this on their review, the boarding school thing kind of reminds me of Harry Potter: they go to a boarding school where there are no ordinary people, there is a mystery object in TNA as well (like the philosopher's stone from the first HP book), they're both half-breeds, etc. I think I just realized this stuff only two days ago.
I like Dusty, she's stubborn, she's not stupid, and she's funny too. Although I wish that she was a little rebellious like her mom is, it would have been more fun, I usually love the crazy characters. Even though she's always getting bullied and is hard for her to make many friends at the school because of who and what she is, she still deals with it pretty well. She has very loyal friends, who support her for her whenever anyone's bullying her, they are so awesome. Although, some of the things she did really annoyed me, but then I thought, "some teenagers do actually behave like that and it's not that bad or annoying, so it's actually fine".
Dusty and Eli's relationship was a bit odd for a while, I couldn't understand what was going on with him. In the beginning of course Dusty and him hate each other, but that didn't mean that he had to bully Dusty as well. But later on he stops being part of the bullying and actually wants to know if she's ok, I guess she finally grew on him. I like that their relationship wasn't the main focus of the story like in many other YA paranormal novels, it was basically a side story.
There are also many adult characters as well, for ex: the teachers, etc. But only a few of theme are important to the l=plot, while the others are just there. It was hard to remember everyone, but I'm used to it since I read many mangas (Japanese graphic novels) and some have a huge cast of characters. But this made it even harder to solve the mystery since there were so many suspects.
I also love that there was no love triangle, yup, no love triangle (even so it seemed like it, it just didn't feel like one to me). I love that about a lot the books that have been published during and after 2012. I feel like the annoying trend of love triangles isn't as common as it used to be and isn't much of a trend anymore, thank Goodness.
I did figure out some of the mystery early in the book, some of it was obvious, at least that's what I thought, and it annoyed me that characters couldn't get to the same conclusion as me. But I was wrong about who the mastermind and the true villain was.
Overall, this book was fun to read.
The Nightmare Affair is fun, entertaining, has some funny moments and funny dialogue (see some of the quotes I posted above), and unique.
Plus, I love the cover.show more
by Nazish Ahmed