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Friday, February 23, 2018

Together at Midnight | Book Review

Together at Midnight

Written by: Jennifer Castle
Number of Pages: 334

Average Rating: 3.8 / 5 stars
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Published: January 2, 2018
Read in February 2018

Summary According to Goodreads

What does it really mean to be kind…and why does it sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do? High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets. 

Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight?

My Thoughts

This is almost the perfect example of a three star book: it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I was able to close it and say “okay, I read that. Now what?”

I liked the characters together, but not individually and that doesn’t tend to happen in my reading experiences. Kendall was adventurous, but she also tended to meddle in other people’s business a little too much. Max was a sweetheart, but was not confident in himself at all. I appreciated that they were able to come together after witnessing such a traumatic accident, because they were very similar in that neither of them had a plan and were just taking life day by day. They brought out the best in each other, and helped each other grow and get a better sense of self.

After each random act of kindness they perform, we get a few pages from that persons perspective and some insight into what is going on with their life. Unfortunately, I didn’t like these excepts! I found them to be kind of disappointing, and would have preferred to keep it mysterious so that the reader could gather their own ideas. 

My only hesitation going into this novel was the “other romantic entanglements” line in the synopsis. I was weary that this would lead to a cheating plot line, but thankfully that was avoided and instead became a mild love triangle. It was handled more tamely and discretely than I’ve seen in other novels, but I got frustrated at points because it seemed as though everyone forgot about this other guy. I didn’t love the way that this trio was handled in the end, it seemed a bit out of character, but I was already over that relationship anyway and didn’t care too much.

Overall, I am glad that I picked this up as it was light and quirky, but nothing to blow me out of the water. As much as the ending frustrated me being so open-ended, I appreciate the direction that she took it. I’m hoping there is at least a novella that captures what happens after, but I am content with how well it fit the characters development. The characters were relatable, and the plot was unique, so I would recommend picking this up if you are into contemporaries! 

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