The Nightmare Affair (Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett

I’ve kind of been a bit absent from my blog for the last week, and its mainly because I have been stuck in a dreaded reading rut. The curse of the reading rut strikes me rarely, but when it gets me, it gets me good. I think I’m out of the worst of this rut now, THANK GOODNESS, because I hate not reading and soon I will be back to my nerdy, book obsessed self. Anyhow, I got The Nightmare Affair from Netgalley a few weeks ago and these are my thoughts. Summary from Goodreads:

the nightmare affair“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.”

Cover/Summary – I know that you should never judge a book by its cover, but this cover was deliciously beautiful! I loved the purple and the black and just AHHH, it’s a good looking book. And the summary, so intriguing – I LOVED the whole Nightmare mythology – it sounded fun and new and mixed with a murder mystery…my kind of book.

Plot – The book started off beautifully, it was explosive and funny and original but it just didn’t quite take off from there. I thought about why I wasn’t completely immersed in the book and it was actually something to do with the beginning – because Dusty was already involved in that world there was no gradual discovery of the culture, of the different magikind and of nightmares. There was no journey to go through with her, she had already had that shock of entering a brand new world before we met her. However, the mystery of the murders and the who dunnit was intriguing and the twists and turns were fun.

Characters – It took me a while to warm to Dusty, she was a very typical teenager at the beginning – kind of selfish, a bit moody etc. I didn’t like the way she reacted to the first murder – it seemed to be more about her then the actual victim. However, she grew up a lot during the course of the book, and I actually grew to like her – she was funny, clever and ultimately good. I really liked her friend Serene (she reminded me of Serena from Gossip Girl for some reason) but apart from her, Dusty and Dusty’s two love interests we didn’t really get to know other characters – maybe they will be expanded on as the story progresses.

Love Triangles – I hate love triangles. Its not a gripe I have with this book alone, its with most books that involve a love triangle at it’s centre. I wasn’t really enamoured with either of Dusty’s choices – Eli seemed kind of nice but the full impact of him been thrown into this new world was never fully explored and Paul just didn’t seem to talk like a teenage boy would talk. That been said I really liked that at one point in the book Dusty talked about sex (It was still in a pretty PG way). It seems that in these kinds of fantasy (Percy Jackson, HP) sex is never really addressed, and although I love those series, its realistic and healthy for teenagers to address the subject.

Relationships – I really enjoyed Dusty’s relationship with her mum, it was probably my favourite part of the book. I thought it was really relatable – all teens have issues with their parents and I can’t remember when I last read a book when that complex relationship was explored in such a normal way. I wish more of the focus had been on this relationship rather then the love triangle though. I also wish that we had met Dusty’s dad – that would have made for a really interesting dynamic.

Summary – This book is a rough diamond. There are certain bits that shine (one dream sequence was beautiful to read) and others that seem a bit clumsy. I’m not sure I will rush to get the sequel, but I will probably pick it up sometime. This is definitely one for fans of murder mysteries, school based fantasies and love triangles.

*I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review

One thought on “The Nightmare Affair (Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett

Leave a Reply to picturemereading Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s