Khanh the Killjoy

The Nightmare Affair - Mindee Arnett 4.5I'm so happy to have read this book after the glut of horrible, unoriginal YA paranormal I've been encountering lately. I love the concept, premise, and execution. The characters are well-balanced and believable, the mystery is well thought out, and even if it's not terribly difficult to figure out whodunnit, this is one of the far better YA books I've read in awhile.The summary: Dusty (Destiny) is a Nightmare, one of the only ones left in the world, attending Arkwell school. She's rather infamous there, thanks to her mom's terrible bad-girl reputation from her time at this school, and so Dusty's had kind of a rough go of it since she came into her powers around a year ago. As a Nightmare, she gets her powers from people's dreams, so she sits on their chest and goes into their dreams to absorb them, and on this night, she finds herself on top of her old crush, Eli. Embarrassing, no? Eli somehow awakens, counteracts her spell, and it turns out that Eli and Dusty are a magical team, and he, too, gets sent to Arkwell. Someone has been killing the people at the school, and Dusty is determined to get to the bottom of the case.She and Eli gets off to a rough start, and to top it off, her mother sneaks back into the school. More mysterious things happen, people get hurt, and Dusty finds out more about herself and her kind's nature.I love the mystery and the way romance and friendship is treated. The relationship between Eli and Dusty is a complicated one, they're both involved in other relationships and both of them have reasons to resent the other, but they work it out despite their complex relationship. Eli first comes off as a jackass, but he's all too human (no pun intended) and the way he comes around for Dusty is believable and sweet. Dusty is a great character, a believable teenager, and smart-assed, but never TSTL. She does get herself into some stupid situations while trying her hand at investigating, but she never does anything that makes me want to facepalm. Excellent book, and while this isn't meant to be a series afaik, I would not mind reading the next book if one will be written.