Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Dreams Are My Nightmares

"Once a Nightmare was in place around a victim
the magic kicked in, rendering the person powerless, 
even to wake.
Which was why a girl like me,
five foot four and 115 pounds,
could sit on top of a sleeping boy without his knowing.
Thank goodness for the little things."
--Mindee Arnett, The Nightmare Affair

Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Tor Teen, 367 pages
Publication Date: March 5th, 2013
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads Description

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.

My Thoughts

Another one of my Top Ten debuts and in hindsight I made some pretty darn good picks! This was one of my top 2 paranormal picks for debuts and this was such a fun read. I am not gonna lie. I have a huge soft spot for magic. I mean, c'mon, Harry Potter ruled most of my life. I'll take magic in any more I can get it. This book was a great interpretation of a magical world. It was so unique in that it combined so many magical elements and kinds of magical creatures, in addition to some new ones. We had the token wizards, witches and fairies. But we ALSO had the introduction of Nightmares (duh), demons, hags, sirens, seers, and even a few legends pop up. Oh the list goes on! I have never found a book that not only took the well-known elements of magic but also created new ones. Not only that, but the entire structure of this magic world was so creative and different. We have the magic world divided into three distinct sub-categories of creatures depending on where they draw their magic from. We have an unseen force that controls how magic is used...most notably how magic cannot be used to harm any other magical being, how cool is that?

Our main focus of the story is Dusty, nickname for Destiny, and she is a Nightmare. A magical creature that feeds off the dreams of others in order to fuel their magic. Dusty's story begins after she is feeding on a very hot young man that she used to know and he discovers her. From there our story continues. Want to know more? Read the book :) Dusty is a firecrackers. Her mouth gets her into more trouble than she can handle because she shoots off any and every sarcastic remark that comes to mind. Amazing. She is absolutely hilarious and makes no apologies for what she says. She is definitely a fighter. Her mom has never been in the picture until she found out about her magical abilities and is a total outsider at school. She embraces it. She stands up for herself and does her own thing. Love to find this in a character.

The supporting characters are also a really great addition to make the story whole. Eli, the aforementioned hot young man, is prevalent throughout the story. Typical brooding hottie but with a prominent sensitive disposition. He really cares about Dusty and everybody can tell...except for her that is, silly girl. He is smart and clever and also likes to stick up for the underdogs. Ador. Her one and only best friend Selene is also a fantastic character. She is a siren and completely shuns her beauty and natural ability. Her loyalty to Dusty and her political convictions toward her own kind were 100% right on and at times hilarious. The three of these characters made a really great team together and I loved reading about their adventure.

The story was pretty fast paced. It kept me interested and I just loved reading and finding out about this magical world and all it's quirks. I also love anything that has to do with any type of boarding school or magic school. Hogwarts, anyone?! SPEAKING of, I have to say that I did find just a few similarities between our story and some Harry Potter. Very small details but I love love loved it! Only a psycho Harry Potter fan would notice but I smiled to myself a few times because it brought me back to those wonderful books. 

This story looks like it is the first in a series but what I also really liked was there was a definite conclusion to the story but also left room open for more. I will definitely be picking up the next book when it comes out. The entire idea of this book is so unique and new that I am looking forward to more. I really enjoyed the world that Arnett created and I can't wait to read more about it! 


  1. I enjoyed this one too! I really liked the Harry Potter vibe of it too, definitely going to read the next book. Great review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, I am a greedy reader, I will always take magic any day of the week!

  2. Sounds like a good read, especially for a reader experiencing Harry Potter Withdrawal Symptoms. I am glad that the author introduced new creatures too. I love the idea that Dusty is a Nightmare. I would love to see her perspective when feeding off someone's dreams. Interesting!

  3. It drives me crazy when series leave you hanging. Good to know there's a little wrap up at the end of this one. And a person who is actually a nightmare? Clever! I love it.


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