There are no spoilers in this review.
Together At Midnight is the perfect winter story, a heartwarming, brings-a-smile-on-your-face kind of read, perfect for this time of the year. With endearing main characters, a lovely setting filled with snow, heavy jackets and warm ski clothes, Together At Midnight, was, in one word, ADORABLE.
A VERY BEAUTIFUL AND POSITIVE CONTEMPORARY BOOK
In this story, we follow Kendall and Max, two former friends meeting each other again on a winter in New York. She is staying with her brother in the city, a very spontaneous decision after spending a semester abroad, lost and confused about what to do, where to go and who to be next. He is staying with his grandfather to take care of him, while they find a new care-taker. We follow them as they meet again, as they are witnesses to a tragic accident, as they, sort of on a whim, decide to challenge each other to perform random acts of kindness, something no one does anymore. Something they want to do. Not to stand by while things happen, but to make a difference in someone’s lives.
Originally, this is this “random acts of kindness” part of the book that attracted me: in a society obsessed with individualism, where smiling to strangers or asking someone crying alone in a corner if everything is okay just does NOT happen, Together At Midnight was a breath of fresh air, giving us a beautiful message in this winter season: that kindness can actually DO something for other people. Just a few words, a simple hello, something that doesn’t take time or costs anything, can go a long way. In that way, it was a really positive book and I loved it.
FLAWED CHARACTERS YOU WANT TO ROOT FOR
Told from two different point of views, we get to hear Kendall and Max’s story in Together At Midnight, as they re-discover each other, their lives, their stories, who they are and who they want to be. Both point of views felt distinct, different and unique and, most importantly, the story didn’t focus on them both and their friendship – it also focused on personal issues they had to overcome. Max was a great character, he was sweet, he was flawed, he was annoying at times with his obsession for his ex-girlfriend, but I rooted for him and wanted the best for him. Kendall was my favorite: she was a lot of fun, she was really relatable to me and I loved how her writer side jumped into the story. She invented stories for the people she met, wrote constantly in her notebook. She also had ADHD and I liked that this was included in the story and mentioned, even if I won’t speak about the representation, since I can’t attest if this was well, or not.
Another addition to the characters in this story were the people Kendall and Max met along the way, the people they tried to be kind with. We got, every once in a while, a point of view of one of these people they had tried to be kind with. This gave us a very interesting insight on their lives, what they were going through at the moment and how even a little bit of kindness could change them, their lives, the way they see things and so on.
A STORY OVER THE COURSE OF ONE WEEK
If Together At Midnight takes place over a week, it still gives the story a lot of time to properly develop, to allow the relationships to grow and change and turn into that little spark of a something more. Max and Kendall got to know each other a bit more, for sure, but we also get some interesting development of family relationships in this story: between Max and his grandfather as they slowly understand each other and manage to grow close to each other ; but also between Kendall and her brother.
Together at Midnight was a heartwarming, perfect story to read during winter-time. With interesting characters, set in a snow-covered New York City, spreading kindness like snowflakes all around the city… it was a quick and beautiful contemporary read for the lovers of romance, but also good character development.
Final rating: 4 drops!
A million thanks to the publisher for the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and review.
Jennifer Castle, Together At Midnight, Published by HarperTeen, January 2nd, 2018.
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?
Do you want to read Together At Midnight? Why, or why not?
Do you like to read sweet romances in the winter? Do you have any recommendations of sweet reads for this time of the year… Or are you more into dark fantasy at this time? Let me know in comments!