The Nightmare Affair - YA Review by Elise S

Reader: Elise S.
Age: 17
Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Pub Date: 03/05/13
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: So I read a lot of fantasy books. Ones with werewolves, wizards, mages, dreams, and King Arthur, not the least of which feature magic schools and evil plots. All of these are perfectly valid components. When they are combined into a mushy, mixed up, indecisive soup, however, they are an instant reader turnoff. As soon as I started the book, it was like I was being bombarded with magical creatures. The author couldn't make up her mind which ones she liked best, so decided to USE THEM ALL. It was confusing, it was entirely cliche, and it made it hard to even get through the 100 pages I made myself read to be able to write this review.
Memorable or Forgettable: The blandness of the world creation was matched entirely by the nondescript characters. Being a curly-headed ginger myself, I'm automatically sympathetic to characters who have the same kind of hair. Dusty (distracting name) was every "sassy" teen. Teens are absolutely snarky, but not in a conscious way, in an I-am-speaking-like-an-adolescent way.  In all honesty, it felt like a first novel. I could feel the connection the author had with Dusty. The murder mystery plot could be cool combined with the dream-seeing stuff. To make a great book, the author needs to take a step away from her favorite influential books to find her own voice and story.
Cover: The cover fit the book. It was fairly blah, a stock cover for any magical book. I would not have picked it up if it was not on my list of required reading for the YALSA conference. Even then, I could only get through the first 100 pages before skipping to the predicted end.
Age Range: Under 12 through 13
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 1P Yech! Forced to read it

tags:  paranormal mystery / urban fantasy / BFYA nominee / ya lit

No comments: