Book Reviews

{e-ARC} Book Review: “Together at Midnight” by Jennifer Castle


Title: “Together at Midnight”
Author: Jennifer Castle
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Pages: N/A
Copy: e-ARC
My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Combining the emotional deftness of Sarah Dessen with the magical spark of New York City in wintertime, this affecting novel will inspire readers to pay closer attention to the world around them.

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?

Jennifer Castle’s latest novel is a romantic, thought-provoking tale of human connection and how we find—and make—our place in the world.

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I received an e-ARC on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I only expected to read a cute, heartwarming holiday romance but Together at Midnight proved to be a whole lot more. It definitely had a lovely will-they-or-won’t-they romance, but the core of this book is about kindness and human society – unexpected but a pleasant surprise. As Max and Kendall performed random acts of kindness, I started to wonder if I could be as kind and brave as they were to the people they encountered. It also caused me to ponder the same question they brought up: what does it truly mean to be kind?

The story is mainly told in Kendall and Max’s alternating perspectives, but there are also single chapters in between, told in the point of view of the people they affected with their kind acts. Normally, I don’t really enjoy multiple POV’s in contemporary novels but in this story they actually added a nice touch. It gave us more insight into the lives of these strangers and made them feel more genuine and whole, something we wouldn’t get in real life.

Kendall and Max were my favorite characters because I could relate to certain aspects of both their personalities. I admire how adventurous Kendall is (she studied abroad) and how she is able to make up characters for random people she passes by on the street. With Max, I can relate to his tendency to prioritize others first, usually to the detriment of his own aspirations. Although I wish the ending had been a little bit different, it made sense and left me feeling hopeful.

Moving, charming, and full of heart, Together at Midnight is a perfect story for the holiday season, but also for when you’re looking for a lovely, heartwarming read.

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Jennifer Castle is the author of ten books for children and teens. Her YA novels published by HarperCollins include The Beginning of After (an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and a Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best” Book for Teens), You Look Different in Real Life (a 2015 Florida Teens Read Selection), What Happens Now, and the upcoming Together at Midnight. Her four-book middle grade fantasy series Butterfly Wishes is due out from Bloomsbury USA in December. She’s also the co-author of two non-fiction books, Friends and Frenemies: The Good, the Bad, and the Awkward and Famous Friends: Best Buds, Rocky Relationships, and Awesomely Odd Couples from Past to Present.

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Thanks for reading and hope to see you on my next post!

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2 thoughts on “{e-ARC} Book Review: “Together at Midnight” by Jennifer Castle

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