The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett
Series: The Arkwell Academy #1
Author: Mindee Arnett
Expected Publication: 5th March 2013 by Tor Teen
Source: E-copy from NetGalley for an honest review
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.
When I read the synopsis for this book, I thought it sounded pretty good, though I didn't fathom just how good it would be! This wasn't a romance novel, it was a book of adventure and mystery, and I loved every second of it!
The characters in The Nightmare Affair were just fabulous. I immediately knew who I liked, who I didn't like, who I trusted, who I didn't trust and who was going to get with who. Of course, I knew these things for all of five minutes before I realised these characters were too well-done to be figured out this early on. In fact several of the things I felt for sure were true/would happen were wrong which leaves me severely doubting my detective skills.
As soon as I heard about 'F' I immediately guessed what it stood for (and I was right, yay detective skills!) and was pretty sure of who it stood for, but this was just a tiny piece of the puzzle and the rest was completely hidden from me. I just couldn't work out who the main baddie was. I jumped from character to character to character until the only people left who I hadn't suspected were Dusty and Eli! As frustrating as it was not to be able to guess 'who dunnit' I was really pleased at how well written the mystery was. I was really taken on adventure and I was surprised at almost every turn.
I loved that the relationships were real and that just because Dusty and Eli were crazily linked they weren't immediately thrown together to live out a long, tortured, forbidden love! I was expecting, as happens in a lot of YA books these days, that they'd fall in love but Eli (or Dusty) wouldn't want to admit because they weren't both human, or something along those lines but instead their relationship was fairly slow and took a while to build into a friendship. I don't want to say anything to spoil the book so I'm not going to say whether or not they get together, or fall in love with someone else, or get eaten by dragons.. you shall just have to read the book (or ask someone else who's read it)!
I'm not sure I can find much wrong with this book, it was just so great! The story was mostly unpredictable and the characters all had their own personalities. I really liked this book but I could feel something 'more' towards the end and I just know the next book is going to progress and grow, and that I'm going to love it just as much, if not more!