BOOK REVIEW: MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT by Jessica Pennington

*Thank you to TorTeen for the e-arc*

I only just realised that I wrote this review months ago and never posted it so… here you go.

‘Meet Me at Midnight’ is the story of Asher and Sidney, family friends who spend every summer together in neighbouring lake-houses. From the offset, we learn that they ‘hate’ each other, in a friendly sort of way, pranking each other at every opportunity and basically making each other’s lives miserable. The reader, along with the other characters, is perfectly aware that there is some kind of romantic interest underlying these pranks, but for the first part of the book, we simply watch them competing to outdo the other person’.

They’ve been doing this for years, but when they finally take the pranks a step too far in the summer before college, they decide to make a truce and work together against a whole new target. Of course, this truce then turns into a summer fling, and the two re-evaluate their friendship completely, facing a new set of challenges along the way.

I did enjoy this book, but I had a couple of problems with it. In terms of the characters, I really loved Asher’s character and how consistent he stayed throughout the book. It became obvious to me early on that he wasn’t as on-board with the hate-relationship between himself and Sidney and that he had other intentions all along. His humour was amusing, his motives were believable and some of his romantic gestures were really adorable. Sidney, on the other hand, wasn’t so likeable for me. I found her to be irritating and irrational, jumping to conclusions without giving others a chance to explain themselves and generally struggling to manoeuvre other people’s feelings. The redeeming factor for this is that multiple people in the novel, including Sidney herself, appear completely aware of how dislikable she is, and many times she is called out for her behaviour.

I found the story to be sweet and I did like seeing their relationship develop, but I also feel as though some moments were a little unnecessary. There are some parts of this book that I loved and raced through, but these were interspersed with moments that I feel the book could have done without. This wasn’t really an issue because I still happily made it through the entire novel, but I do think that the book was dragged out a little more than it could have been.

The writing itself was really impressive and I loved how well Jessica Pennington differentiated between Asher and Sidney’s voices. Her style of writing was extremely easy to read and I feel as though this is one of the reasons why the book is so quick to get through. I will definitely have a look at the author’s other work because I feel that her ideas and writing are very enjoyable, even though parts of this book specifically just weren’t for me.

Overall, despite the issues I had with this book, I loved the premise and think that this would be a good, easy summer read. Some of the romantic moments really warmed my heart and parts of this book did leave me laughing out loud so, if you’re looking for a sweet YA contemporary, you might really enjoy this.

RATING: 3/5

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