Sunday, October 30, 2011

Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter

It’s taking me a long time to read my book club book. I’m in a digital book club with a bunch of really awesome people (mostly other librarians), and we all have very different tastes in books. But we pretty much all like books about books or the people who love them. So, frankly, I don’t know why I keep looking for excuses to not keep reading this month’s pick. But the reason for my mini book club rant is that this book, Born at Midnight was part of my procrastination of the other book. I read all 398 pages in one sitting last night. And this was after telling myself that I’d read a few chapters and then get back to the other book I was reading.
And I know I have some more trump books coming. I pre-ordered Tamora Pierce’s latest -Mastiff, as well as Beautiful Chaos and Inheritance. And I know it will be hard to read anything else once these books come.
But back to Hunter’s book, I just loved it!  It wasn’t the best writing, and there were a lot of a-typical YA romance scenes, where the main girl is confused between two guys, when it’s clear to me who she belongs with. And the main girl Kylie is a bit of a whiner. Granted, she does have plenty of reason to whine. Her boyfriend breaks up with her because she won’t put out, her close grandmother just died, her parents announce their divorce, and she gets shipped off to some summer camp for troubled teens after being picked up at a police station for attending a party (where she didn’t drink or do drugs, but apparently others did). This also all happens at the same time (at the end of the school year).
Oh, and I forgot to mention she also has a stalker that no one else can see. When she gets to the camp for troubled teens, believing she’s at a camp with kids addicted to drugs, she realizes something else entirely. She’s at a camp for teens who are supernatural. She learns upon entering the camp (by witnessing it herself) that some people can shape shift. She learns about fairies, vampires, werewolves, and witches. And while she has trouble accepting that she might be a supernatural herself, she eventually learns that her stalker is a ghost and that he needs her help.
There’s a love triangle. There’s a lot of identity crisis and trying to figure out who she is. No one at the camp can get a good reading of Kylie. Apparently one of her supernatural characteristics is blocking others out of her mind and she kind of sticks out at a camp of strange teenagers because of this. There’s a lot of drama with her parent’s divorce and her possibly pregnant best friend at home. And then there’s the trouble of someone trying to frame the campers for bad things happening at an animal reservation park near by. The camp might have to close, just when Kylie is finally starting to accept who she is and feel at home there.
The book kind of read like a mixture of Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall, Kelley Armstrong’s  The Summoning, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. There was some talk of supernaturals in this book having some connection to the Gods. And just the fact that there is a camp for these teens makes me think of Percy Jackson. And I love when books combine so many different elements of the supernatural. Also, I loved reading about the tensions between the different creatures and how the camp acted as a neutral ground where everyone could learn to live with each other.
I kind of did not fully believe the ending Kylie had with her mother because I didn’t feel like that was like her mother’s character at all. It felt like Hunter just needed the plot to go a certain way, and forced it there with the mother, when really I feel like it could have played out longer. I mean I wanted to know some things. You can’t read a whole book and have absolutely no answers to your million questions. But, I just felt like it seemed forced.
I really want to know what Kylie is. I want to know who Kylie ends up with. And I want to see her friends again now that the camp is becoming a school. I will definitely read the next book. In fact, I already ordered it. I’m not sure I’m in love with the idea of the camp becoming a school. I get why it’s necessary for the series. And I get how it will end up helping a lot of kids who need it. But, part of book 1’s appeal to me was the summer element. Summer has this magical, growing up away from school and away from what’s normal, appeal to me. Ann Brashares totally understood the magic of summer. But, I guess if this means more books are possible, I’m not complaining.
I give this one a 9/10. And I’m really looking forward to what else this author has to say!

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