The Nightmare Dilemma

The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy, #2)

Rating: 1 Star

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The second in a thrilling new fantastical mystery series

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.

Read to 50% and then skimmed the rest of the book. It was boring, tedious, and I really, really wanted to punch Dusty by the second chapter. Which is kinda disappointing because the first in the series was not this bad, at all. I remember liking it well enough, though I would have to say for the life of me I cannot remember exactly what happened. It wasn’t memorable in any way.

I felt like I was reading a bad impersonation of Nancy Drew. All Dusty and her crew do is wonder around their magical boarding school to find hints and clues, and – look at that! – of course they stumble upon just what they needed. I felt like it had all the right clichés going on here – they’re at a boarding school, the Dream Team (what they call their little detective club) secretly gets help from government officials to solve cases, all the adults and teachers are jerks and talk down to them, and they throw in a good measure of good life choices into the plot.

Honestly, though, I would have been fine with the storyline and plot had it not been for Dusty and Eli. Which kind of sucks because they’re the two main characters.

Dusty tries to act all tough, but she cries a lot, is all around stupid in her decisions, and is ALWAYS moping about her non-existent love life with Eli.

Eli just plainly pisses me off. He’s the “hot guy” for no apparent reason. All the girls want him, and I’m forced to ask, “Why?” He has done absolutely nothing that would make me think that he’s an attractive guy. What does Dusty even like about him? Is it just because he’s hot??? There’s no substance to their attraction at all.

He also seems to automatically become the most popular guy at school who has the hottest siren drooling over him, but, oh – guess what? – he doesn’t freakin’ notice. Or care, it seems. But instead walks around with a “too cool for you” air.

I want to smack him.

He’s quick to anger, is overly protective of Dusty when he really has no right to boss her around. And when she obviously wants him to kiss her or . . . do something, anything, he apologizes?!?! WHAT IS THIS?

And he’s not alone in this horrible attempt at a possible romantic couple. Dusty’s just as stupid. If you want him to kiss you, girl, and he’s obviously too scared to make the first move, KISS HIM. But instead, you’re taking up pages and pages of wondering if he likes you (even after he’s kissed you) and act like if he’s not the one to make the first move, then it’s just not going to happen.

I would really like to see the girl make the first move. Instead, they’re just going around in circles.

I hate that authors rely on this almost . . . confusion state to put two characters in. Like it’s some kind of foreplay. She’s not sure he likes her and later we find out that he’s been in love with her from the beginning and somewhere after 2/3 into the novel he finally makes his move. Usually after some screaming and yelling and all around (read: annoying) confusion among the characters.

WHAT IS THIS??

And then there are all the characters around them. What’s with all the adults and teachers being 100% jerks ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME?? I get that there are always going to be those people, but seriously?? I was rolling my eyes at just how bad all of the adults are in this novel. There’s not one adult that is likeable.

There are also these poor attempts to put in some equality of magickind lessons. I felt like I was reading “how to be nice to everyone and treat everyone equal.” It was so cliché and . . . well . . . boring. I felt like the author just put it in there for space filler and because she wanted there to be some kind of grand lesson in this book.

This was like a bad mix of Harry Potter and Nancy Drew.

It was really disappointing. The first book was fine, but this was just painful to read.

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