Title: Meet Me at Midnight
Author: Jessica Pennington
Release Date: April 7, 2020 (aka my birthday!)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Tor Teen for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!
Sidney and Asher should have clicked. Two star swimmers forced to spend their summers on a lake together sounds like the perfect match. But it’s the same every year—in between cookouts and boat rides and family-imposed bonfires, Sidney and Asher spend the dog days of summer finding the ultimate ways to prank each other. And now, after their senior year, they’re determined to make it the most epic summer yet.
But their plans are thrown in sudden jeopardy when their feud causes their families to be kicked out of their beloved lake houses. Once in their new accommodations, Sidney expects the prank war to continue as usual. But then she gets a note—Meet me at midnight. And Asher has a proposition for her: join forces for one last summer of epic pranks, against a shared enemy—the woman who kicked them out.
Their truce should make things simpler, but six years of tormenting one another isn’t so easy to ignore. Kind of like the undeniable attraction growing between them.
Sidney and Asher have been pranking each other all summer every summer since the end of their first summer together. Usually the pranks are good-nature and there are rules to make sure neither of them takes it too far and no one gets hurt. This summer is different though, both are headed off to college after and neither plans on coming back to the lake for the whole season next year. Things start off like every other summer; mild pranks, hanging with friends and parties. Sidney meets a cute new boy in town and even scores a date with him only to come home from it to a disgusting prank from Asher. In a fit of rage she retaliates a little too hard and ends up getting both families kicked out of their cabins. Now both families are staying under one roof, but instead of continuing to prank each other, Asher and Sidney team up to revenge prank the owner of the cabins who kicked them out.
This review is so hard to write because I don’t want to spoil anything. It is an enemies to lovers trope which I love but it didn’t go down the way I expected it to. There was so much witty banter, sass and sexual tension that kept me on my toes. It’s the perfect spring break/summer read, but fair warning you won’t want to put it down once you start it.
➽ Sidney – Prank master extraordinaire, until she takes things a little too far. She’s the queen of week long relationships and there’s the possibility of some trust issues going on there. Especially when her and Asher call a truce on their pranks. She wants to trust him, but after years of being enemies it’s hard to put it all behind her. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop though may not be the best life strategy.
➽ Asher – Beyond the pranks he’s so sweet, kind and thoughtful. A secret nerd who loves swimming and is a pack rat with possessions that are meaningful to him. I don’t think he could be any cuter of a character. He’s got a secret though, a life changing confession that could change things between him and Sidney. With the end of the prank war on each other this might be the summer to come clean and tell her everything.
I loved the pranking aspect of this book. While some were typical teenage pranks that we’ve all pulled, like forking someone’s yard, some were so out of the box I’m still trying to figure out how they were pulled off. The prank war has been going on since the end of their first summer, but who started it first and why is a mystery to the reader. I had my guesses and my why was pretty close but I was totally wrong about the who. It was a cute little twist to the typical YA romance.
For two people who have spent their whole summers together from a young age, they rally know nothing about each other beyond the tidbits of information given between their moms. Their passion for swimming helps to sort of crack the door of friendship during their early morning training sessions. We get to learn about each character as they learn about each other beyond summer. The dual POV helped to give us a more rounded point of view and see if maybe their were some more feelings happening behind the years of pranking and keeping their distance from each other. Some flashbacks to their first summer together also help to create a full behind-the-scenes look of the origins of their friendship and where it all went wrong. These scenes are scattered throughout the book and had me puzzled as to where it all when wrong.
The ending was perfect and goes beyond summer, thank goodness, but I do wish there had been a bit more the the epilogue. Meet Me at Midnight is the perfect summer romance that I scrounge for every year. Pennington’s writing still has some underdeveloped plot lines that I found the same problem with in her other book When Summer Ends which I read last year. If romance is the main focus it felt like those plot lines could just be gotten rid of thus eliminating the problem all together. The romance was strong though and I loved Sidney and Asher so I’m willing to overlook that small flaw.
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