by Kody Keplinger
Whitley knows she can join in with the happy family activities, but that would make others think she was okay with the situation, right?
And she’s definitely not okay with the situation.
This is my second Keplinger novel – I felt mediocre about Shut Out – and I quiet enjoyed her most recent outing. As you may be able to tell by the description, Whitley is not particularly the easiest protag to follow along. She makes it EXTREMELY difficult to root for her.
At least, she does when you’re an adult. I can see Whitley being highly relateable to teens. 15-year-old Kell would have been muttering sounds of agreement as she read this book. Because, for me, the heart of this novel was a girl who felt misunderstood and alone. By family. By friends. And opted to express this in not the healthiest of ways.
So when she’s unknowingly tossed into a brand-spanking-home-by-5 family by her beloved dad (grrr – I don’t want to give away too much. but grrr nonetheless), her only reaction is to push back. So, yeah. Angsty.
However, Keplinger does a great job of slowly pulling Whitley out of her angsty armor, which allows us to continue to root for her. Even though she’s STILL making stupid decisions.
Keplinger also deserves props for her portrayal of family dynamics. Every single character is flawed (well, except the tiny one.) and with issues. But no one is entirely awful, entirely sad or entirely awesome. Families are complicated things and Midsummer really captures the issues created by these complications. And how perspectives are created and how they change.
A really good, complicated, angsty novel from Keplinger. She doesn’t shy away from the darker, meaner character, and it’s a refreshing read.
Published by: Poppy
Where this book came from: ARC from the publisher