Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Hi all!

A fun new series!

Title: The Nightmare Affair
Series: The Arkwell Academy #1
Release date: 5th of March 2013
Published by: McMillan
Imprint: Tor Teen
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Paranormal
Pages: 368 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from for Kindle


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.


This book sounded so awesome in theory: magic school, murder, mystery – a lot of m-s. And I was most eager to get my hands on it. In practice, however, I was left a bit hanging unfortunately. All the potential was there and it exceeded in many aspects, but nothing amazing really stood out. Nevertheless, I had fun with this book, it’s a light and entertaining story. 

Liked: The overall concept, very Harry Potter-ish, but from a girl point of view. The details and peculiarities of this magic world were at times quite charming, funny and interesting. It had a strong heroine – Dusty, she was a slight mess and messy, but she stood her ground and was quite brave. The potential development of the Dusty/Eli couple – I predict pure goodness there. While the bad guy was somewhat predictable, the whole mystery/explanations/truth behind the on goings was surprising and intriguing. It flew by extremely fast, very easy to read. 

Didn’t like so much: As already mentioned, nothing crossed the line of amazing, not that it always has to and not that it’s bad, but the book was average overall. Dusty’s mother, I know most people are and will be fond of her, but she was just so all over the place and careless with and self-centered to Dusty that I couldn’t find her appealing at all. 

I have to admit that the first chapter with Dusty going to sit on Eli’s naked chest and invade his dreams was exciting, awkward, funny and sexy. One of my definite favorites. I was impatiently looking forward to their chemistry and reactions to when they met again after the dream fiasco. I didn’t, however, really get the outcome I was anticipating, but nonetheless, I liked the relationship of the couple. It remained quite distant and clinical for a long time, but I liked that there wasn’t too much instant unexplainable fire (hate or love) between them. They were both hesitant and learning - I mean - if you have borderline naughty yet so awkward dream gazing sessions together every week, during a murder case, while trying to uncover the culprit amongst all sort of weird supernatural folk, you wouldn’t be too keen to move fast or at all as well. This fish out of water situation was especially hard on Eli, who basically had his whole life altered because of Dusty, and not always to the better. 


As already mentioned Dusty was a likable heroine, spunky, sassy and quirky. She caught herself constantly in unfavorable and embarrassing situations and dealt with as best as she could manage. She wasn’t always the smartest player in the room, but she made it up with cuteness and charm. She wasn’t full out afraid of anything and always managed to act and not freeze. Nevertheless, despite me liking her on a basic level, she lacked something... something extra to take her apart from other similar heroines. 

We didn’t really get much info on Eli or insight on what was going around in his mind. Yes, he was out of place and in a totally foreign environment and tried to cope, but he still remained slightly distant to me. I hope he will be a bigger player in the upcoming books so we get to know the real him and he won’t only be the “vessel” all the time. 


A decent first book in a decent new series with a cute heroine and full-of-potential setting. Nothing overly extraordinary, but entertaining and enjoyable enough to look forward to reading the second book in the series.

3 stars!



  1. good to know this new release! haven't read it but it's definitely been on my list

    abstract art

  2. Definitely check it out! You never know if you might end loving something! :) Some books stay on my TBR shelf for ages and after I read them, I'm mad that I missed out on something great for so long.


There was an error in this gadget