REVIEW #81: The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett

Title: The Nightmare Affair
Series: The Arkwell Academy #1
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: March 5th 2013
Pages: Hardcover, 367 pages
Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

Dusty is a nightmare. My original thoughts… What the heck is a nightmare? A nightmare is someone who feeds of others nightmares by touching or sitting on top of a sleeping person and entering their dream. There are rare kinds of nightmares that when paired with the correct person have a dream-seer ability. Dusty is paired with Eli, (enter cute boy of the story). Eli and Dusty are assigned the task of finding out more on the murder of their classmate. Meanwhile, another person is murdered, their teacher. Dusty and Eli with the help of some others try to figure out why people are being murdered and who the murderer is.

The whole idea of actually being a nightmare was quite interesting. I have read a decent amount of supernatural books but had not encountered nightmares before so I found the concept fresh and unique. I am also a fan of books that are set in boarding schools (Hex Hall, Gallagher Girls, etc). The Arkwell Academy had magickind students with the occasional exceptions of non-magickind students.  The dark setting matched perfectly with the murder mystery plot.  A nice bonus too was that this book, while it is to be a series, does not have a real cliffhanger ending.

While the story was fun and easy to read, the characters were a little dry; not one of the characters really sticks with you. Overall the characters were pretty unmemorable and sometimes a bit predictable. The ending was also predictable; the Eli-Dusty dynamic was easy to guess where it was going. There are also a good number of hints dropped about who were the bad guys.  But my biggest issue was the last couple pages, I just found them a corny and super cliché.

The Nightmare Affair was easily 3.5 stars, I found the story fun, fresh and a quick read. The whole idea of a Nightmare was new to me and I enjoyed reading about it. While I have read some negative reviews of this book, I would still recommend it.  The Nightmare Affair is like the Gallagher Girls and Xmen combined into one school with a mix of Hex Hall.  



  1. Oh, how I hate corny and cliché parts! And unmemorable characters are not something I enjoy either. Despite that, I really like the original concept. I haven't heard of Nightmares before, so that is interesting :) and like you, I love the setting!

    Thanks for the great review.

  2. Bummer! I read the synopsis of this book and was totally hooked.

    1. I mean I would still check it out but maybe not make it the top of your list :)

  3. That's a bummer that you didn't really like all the characters that much. I just ordered a copy of this and can't wait to read it when it gets here!

    1. I can't wait to see what you think! Hopefully you like the characters a bit more :)


Copyright © 2014 The Quiet Concert
Template and Design by New Chapter Designs