BORN AT MIDNIGHT
(Condensed review on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/568652819)
Called ‘the worst book I’ve ever read’ by… someone. At some time. I decided to pick it up (by which I mean buy it on Kindle) and see if it manages to sink to the depths of Throne of Glass.
Could it possibly be worse than ToG?
Of course not! It was only called ‘the worst’ by someone who doesn’t find books like ‘Hush, Hush’ as hilarious as I do, and after my brain exploded reading the prologue of ‘Modelland’ and subsequently re-exploded many times over as I tried to read further, what better way to return to bad comprehensible YA than this… thing?
We begin with our heroine Kylie suffering the very worst of all traumas: her parents are getting divorced. Oh noes! Why are they getting divorced? For, you know—reasons. They can’t be bothered to come up with a reason so they just say ‘you wouldn’t understand’, which as far as I know is code for: ‘your father was caught shagging a camel wearing a sombrero whilst playing Justin Bieber on his iPod’.
Well, the mother does barbecue the fathers boxers. Make of that what you will.
This is especially hard for Kylie, as she’s picked up a stalker with slasher-killer powers. Don’t worry, Kylie, I’m sure it’s just your One True Love looking out for you!
Also her grandma’s dead and she’s in therapy, so things just aren’t looking up for Kylie. What’s worse is that she notices her neighbour not looking at her stalker and immediately concludes that that means she’s the only one who can see him, so clearly she’s an idiot—uh, I mean, she has magic powers.
Turns out Kylie’s boyfriend Trey has dumped her as well, and she wants to go to the cool kids party, which she usually doesn’t because it’s not supervised by his parents!
But at the party, Trey shows up with ‘his new slutty girlfriend’. As opposed to his old slutty girlfriend, who I guess was Kylie. Also, some guy called John spills some beer on her. Also there’s a mention of Kylie’s best friend Sara, so Kylie can wangst about how ever since having sex with a guy called Brad, all Sara thinks about is partying and having sex.
Party cop would approve!
Then the stalker shows up, and Trey’s like ‘soz ur grandma died n stuff’. Kylie hangs around being boring until the police show up… for no given reason. Also for no given reason they take everyone at the party to jail. Wow, things is harsh in yank-land!
Kylie’s mother acts like this is the END of the WORLD, and signs her up for a summer camp. Totes right to—I mean, how dare Kylie go to a party where there were drugs, and not take any of the drugs!
So, for an incredibly contrived reason, Kylie is off to juvenile delinquent camp for the rest of the summer, even though she’s never actually been in any trouble and the admin should have laughed her mother out of their office.
And the camp is named ‘Shadow Falls’.
Duuuuuuuuuh, that’s not at all ominous!
Then Kylie calls the other kids freaks because they have brightly coloured dyed hair and are goffs. Oh no! Ebony Darkness D’mentia Raven Way is on the bus! We’d better hope the Bark Lord doesn’t show up!
One of the freaks informs Kylie that the other kids call them ‘boneheads’. Because they’re all so stupid—I mean, because the camp used to be called Bone Creek. Apparently it was changed because of the old Native American Legend cliché.
Any minute now they’re going to go on a field trip to ‘Skull Island’, I just know it.
So the author of this book thinks that all goths are juvenile delinquents, does she? Well, I suppose if she learned about them from reading ‘My Immortal’, she’d think that way, but I’d suggest watching ‘Misfits’ instead.
Then Sara texts to say she’s pregnant.
*Cue EastEnders theme music*
Kylie muses on the horror of teen pregnancy in a stupid and laughable manner. One of the ‘freaks’ asks her if she’s okay, and Kylie responds by thinking rude thoughts but being too much of a coward to voice them.
Then the girl—called Miranda after the Reavers’ home world—fends off a psychic intrusion. We’re not told this is what’s happening, but it’s pretty obvious to anyone who’s, you know—read a book or seen a movie before.
And Kylie ignores it in favour of being glad she didn’t give up her virginity to Trey, because then she might have got pregnant like that ho Sara!
During a bathroom break, Kylie sees two of the girls talking and looking at her, and immediately thinks they’re ‘ganging up on her’. But some random guy who was on the bus tells her to chill, and she’s calmed by the Cullen-esque flecks of gold around his pupils.
Kylie is paranoid that the other kids are going to steal her stuff, but old gold-eyes tells her to chill again. His name’s Derek, and I’m guessing he’ll be our perfect bland love interest for this book.
They go to lunch, where the hall is filled with people with PIERCINGS and SHAVEN HEADS and TATTOOS. Oh, the horror!
Then after Kylie obsesses over eyebrows and thinks one guy might be her cat, the camp staff introduce themselves as Holiday Brandon and Sky Peacemaker.
Oh, and Sky’s a goff, and no doubt a kawai bitch as well.
Then when they ask if anyone has any questions, one of the goffs wants to know who Kylie is.
For a moment Kylie considers running, but then becomes afraid the goffs will try to eat her if she does (seriously) and nothing happens. Holiday and Sky *snigger* send all the old hands out, including cat-guy, who Kylie recognises as ‘Lucas Parker’, a former neighbour her father predicted would grow up to be a serial killer.
Holiday then tells the remaining kids to split into those who know why they’re there, and those who don’t. When Kylie tells them why she thinks she’s there, even the so-called freaks laugh, and Kylie is sent away with the other morons. She’s now worried everyone is going to think she’s a druggie.
Uh, Kylie? This is (supposedly) a juvenile delinquent camp. What makes you think any of these people would care? Except that they’ll try to steal your stash, of course.
But she has more important things to worry about, as Holiday reveals they all have magic powers, and that’s why they’re goffs, or something. One guy was turned into a vampire the week before, and apparently didn’t notice. Another girl had a dream about a wolf, so she obviously has powers.
Kylie thinks it’s bullshit, because apparently she wasn’t entirely brainless, but everyone else is like, ‘hey, that’s cool’, including a girl who learns she’s half fairy.
Holiday decides to offer Kylie proof that supernatural creatures exist and asks a guy to come in and turn into a unicorn. He does so.
Holiday sends everyone out of the room.
Yeah, that really required a whole chapter to itself.
It turns out Kylie’s therapist is a supernatural creature who referred her over to the camp because she didn’t know what kind of magical creature Kylie was. Apparently she can talk to dead people, or something.
Holiday tells her she must accept her gift, because otherwise there won’t be a story, and they know she has a gift because they can’t read her mind (so she’s Bella from Twilight?) and was born at midnight.
Wait a minute! No lie here, guys… I was born at midnight! That means I must have magical powers too!
Then stalker-ghost guy shows up!
…and does nothing. We immediately cut to another scene of some guys telling Holiday and Sky to stop… something, or they’ll shut the camp down. Derek, Miranda, and some girl called Della show up to have a boring conversation, and Kylie swans off when she gets a phone call.
Turns out the phone call was from Trey, and he wanted to get back together with her via boring conversation, but Kylie has to go listen to ‘introductions’.
Derek informs her he’s half fae, and then Lucas shows up to tell her she dropped her wallet with her mother’s credit card—
Her mother’s credit card!?
Why the hell would her mother give her that!?
Oh, and then she reminisces about how Lucas killed her cat that one time. Wow. Never saw that one coming.
Kylie hides out in her room, ignores calls from her parents and cries, but tells Miranda and Della it’s just allergies and like complete morons they believe her.
An asinine conversation ensues, and then they go for lunch for another asinine conversation, where Miranda reveals she turned a guy into a toad for… some reason, and Della has some Count Chocula with blood instead of milk. And also blood instead of Count Chocula.
Miranda informs Kylie that she too will have to drink blood in order to better understand her vampire friends, and that all the different creatures do presentations at the camp. Derek pops by to be boring, which for some reason makes Miranda and Della antagonistic towards each other.
Then unicorn-boy drops by to let everyone know he’s a pervert.
Sara calls in to remind Kylie that she’s pregnant, apparently so she has a reason to be in the story. Della retrieves Kylie so they can have a dull conversation about vampires. Then another vampire shows up.
This vampire is Della’s cousin, and he’s evil, and tells her to accept being evil too, but Della tells him to get da fuk out and she and Kylie go to the bonfire. On the way, Della goes on some more about being a vampire and how hard it is. My heart bleeds.
Oh, and Lucas saw the whole thing. I’m sure that will be important later.
High-school cliques: monster edition is taking place at the campfire, and Kylie uses her brilliant powers of deduction to make the observation that even though Derek is a fairy, he’s definitely not gay, because… he doesn’t walk like a gay?
Uh, I’m not sure if you can really tell from the walk, dear.
Then she remembers how some guys once threw a rock at her for no reason, but Lucas saved her and I guess that means he’s the hypotenuse. So, fairy-psychic-werewolf triangle, that’s a new one.
Quarter-way mark; let’s hope for shorter summaries.
Anyway, Kylie finds a kitten that happened to be wandering around, and takes it in so it will be safe from monsters without wondering, you know, what the hell a kitten is doing wandering around camp monster. Of course it turns out to be Perry the pervert, and so she kicks him out.
This prompts Della and Miranda to talk about some other sex offenders they pulled dumb pranks on and a good time is had by all, until stalker-ghost shows up and bleeds the word ‘help’ onto the floor. Della and Miranda RUN AWAY! And Kylie faints.
Kylie wakes up in Holiday’s office so she can have a boring conversation with her. The next day Kylie muses over having had a sex dream about Lucas, and talks to Miranda about how ‘all mothers are bitches’.
No. No they’re not. Don’t insult my mum, ‘Born at Midnight’, only I’m allowed to do that!
Anyway, Miranda tells her some backstory about her being destined to be the High Priestess of witches unless she fails to overcome her dyslexia, heart bleeds, yawn.
Then some guys show up.
…and do nothing.
Miranda says they’re from the supernatural division of the FBI, who want to make sure supernatural creatures don’t destroy the world. Vampires and werewolves are at war, of course, and somehow started the American Civil War, and witches hate fairies which somehow lead to the Black Death.
Then Kylie has some boring phone conversations, and Della shows up to tell her that Derek gave some vampire a pint of his blood in exchange for being partnered up with Kylie for their partnering up thing.
Uh… that’s going a bit far, don’t you think?
Kylie tries to get Derek to, you know, not give up a pint of blood in exchange for spending an hour with her, but apparently there’s no going back now, so they go out into the woods, no doubt so he can show her what the skin of a killer looks like.
Then they have the most boring conversation yet.
Derek asks Kylie about her relationship with Lucas, which leads to nothing, and she asks him about his deadbeat fairy-dad, who left the family some time ago. Huh. Maybe Derek will have to go on a quest to find him, like in Degaré.
Then a random snake shows up, which for some reason really turns them both on, and they’re about to kiss when suddenly someone yells ‘stop’ so that the love triangle can retain some suspense.
To no surprise it’s Lucas, and his arrival leads to… nothing!
Derek whines some more about how Holiday wants him to embrace his gift of being able to read people’s emotions, and then they go back to whining about the blood deal—but don’t worry! Derek isn’t actually going to let the vampire bite him, because that would be ‘gay’.
No homo, bro—amirite?
Then Derek tells her that about 1% of the population are magical creatures. Yeah. Right. And they’re all rich because they use their gifts to become rich. And they’re all goffs because…
Well, he doesn’t explain that one. They do whine about his powers some more though.
(CONTINUED IN PART TWO)