Review: Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

Review: Together at Midnight by Jennifer CastleTitle: Together at Midnight
Author: Jennifer Castle
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 2, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

What does it really mean to be kind . . . and why does it sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do? High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets.

Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight?

Amazon | Book Depository

Review

As 2018 draws to a close, what better read to end off with than Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle? This book is so touching as it tells the story of two people doing random acts of kindness at New Year’s. I enjoyed the main characters and their complexity, and the short chapters from the people they help add depth to the story. Fans of books like Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares will love this influential story.

This book tells the story of two teens who make it their goal to complete seven random acts of kindness before New Year’s in New York after they witness an accident. The story contains a powerful message, and I loved the way that the main characters are able to turn something tragic into something that is helpful and inspiring to others. As well, the New York setting is so magical, and it was interesting to follow the main characters around the city. This book is uplifting, and it will leave readers feeling inspired to do random acts of kindness themselves.

I enjoyed both the main characters, Kendall and Max. they are relatable, and the feelings they experience after being bystanders are so real. Their compassion and willingness to do simple things that can make a person’s day are also inspiring. What is interesting is the fact that both of them are taking a break from school for different reasons, and I appreciated how the author explains factors such as ADHD and how it might impact a person’s education. Overall, Kendall and Max have entertaining voices, and they are both well developed.

One of my favourite aspects of the book was the occasional chapter from the perspective of someone Kendall and Max helped. These short chapters really highlight the message of the book, and they show that you never really know what someone else is going through. What is touching about others’ narrations is the fact that the reader can see the impact of a small action on that character. I am not normally a fan of too many different narrations, but it worked out very well in this case.

Together at Midnight is an influential novel about random acts of kindness during the holidays. I enjoyed the complex main characters and the bits of narration from the people that are helped. I would definitely recommend this one, and it will leave readers with a smile.

About Jennifer Castle

Image of Jennifer Castle

Jennifer Castle received her B.A. in Creative Writing at Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist’s assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that’s an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. Her debut, THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection as well as a Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" book. YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE was a 2015 Florida Teens Read selection. Her most recent novel, WHAT HAPPENS NOW, was published in June 2016. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her husband and daughters.


13 thoughts on “Review: Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

  1. Phantom Paper says:

    You’ve convinced me! Now I want to read this 😁 Sounds a little like Mitch Albom’s type of stories, I like the POVs of the people they helped, makes me curious how they’ve been impacted by the act of kindness.

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