Together at Midnight

Together at Midnight

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 se...

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Title:Together at Midnight
Author:Jennifer Castle
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Together at Midnight Reviews

  • Lauren

    Jennifer Castle won me over with her debut novel The Beginning of After way back when. So when the chance arose to read and review her latest YA, Together At Midnight, I jumped at the opportunity. The cover was gorgeous, the storyline sounded interesting, and it took place during the holiday season - the week between Christmas and New Year’s to be exact. Simply put, I couldn’t wait to dive in! Thankfully, Together at Midnight is another must read by Jennifer.

    When Max and Kendall witness a terrib

    Jennifer Castle won me over with her debut novel The Beginning of After way back when. So when the chance arose to read and review her latest YA, Together At Midnight, I jumped at the opportunity. The cover was gorgeous, the storyline sounded interesting, and it took place during the holiday season - the week between Christmas and New Year’s to be exact. Simply put, I couldn’t wait to dive in! Thankfully, Together at Midnight is another must read by Jennifer.

    When Max and Kendall witness a terrible, tragic accident, they’re at a loss. They don’t know how to move on from such a quick yet monumental moment, and to make matters worse: they feel as if they could have prevented it. Thus begins their random acts of kindness across New York City, and from that moment starts an incredible journey – one that changes Max and Kendall’s lives for the better.

    When it comes down to it Kendall and Max are in an incredibly similar place: they’re at a crossroads in life, not sure of what to do next. Kendall has recently returned from a semester abroad, and she's feeling incredibly unsure in her skin. How she can she return to normalcy after being so happy with her adventures? Max, on the other hand, has chosen to put off college for a year. On the surface, he says he did it for his ex-girlfriend - she needed him around - but deep down he knows he did because he's afraid, afraid of the future and what it might meant for him.

    I loved them both equally. They were so incredibly easy to relate to it. I admired Kendall for his kindness as well as loyalty. She's the kind of person you'd be lucky to have as a friend. What I loved even more was the fact that Kendall was her own person. She didn't always do or say the right thing - sometimes she would stop randomly to write something important for her future novel down - but she so completely embraced it. She was more fearless than she gave herself credit for. Max, on the other hand, I feel was the more cynical out of the two, and I think most of it had to do with being afraid. I could relate to that - change is scary, especially when you're in that weird time between high school and college.

    Together Max and Kendall were a dynamic duo. I loved watching them explore New York City together and perform random acts of kindness. Better yet, I loved the changes that resulted from their adventures. Both became more confident and daring as well as helped each other find comfort in the unknown.

    Another aspect of Together at Midnight I enjoyed was the multiple POVs used. Jennifer included perspectives from Max, Kendall, and all the people they helped or tried to help on their journey. All the POVs flew perfectly together, and I especially loved seeing the viewpoints of the strangers. It added such a personal touch to the novel, and I especially liked when it gave more clarification to a situation, i.e. why wouldn't that woman accept help?

    I also enjoyed the slow-burn feel of the romance. When the novel begins, Kendall has been flirting via email with a guy she previously knew and Max is somewhat still tied up with his ex-girlfriend. Over the course of the book, however, Kendall and Max begin to see something in each other, something that begins to change their feelings towards their other relationships. Honestly, at times I really wondered if they would or wouldn't, but in the end, I was so incredibly happy with the conclusion.

    In all, Together at Midnight is another stellar release from Jennifer Castle. I said this when I first finished this book and it still rings true: my heart is so incredibly full from this novel. Seriously, it's beautifully written, thought provoking, and hopeful...it's actually inspired me to start my own random acts of kindness in 2018.

  • Jennifer

    Together at Midnight is a standalone YA contemporary novel. This is my first book by this author.

    I loved that this book was set in New York City. I loved that this book was set around the holidays. It made this the perfect book to read right now.

    This book has a bunch of 1st person narrators. But the main two narrators are Kendall and Max. Kendall (17/18) is a senior in high school. And Max (18) has just graduated high school.

    Kendall has just returned home from a few months in Europe. Max has dec

    Together at Midnight is a standalone YA contemporary novel. This is my first book by this author.

    I loved that this book was set in New York City. I loved that this book was set around the holidays. It made this the perfect book to read right now.

    This book has a bunch of 1st person narrators. But the main two narrators are Kendall and Max. Kendall (17/18) is a senior in high school. And Max (18) has just graduated high school.

    Kendall has just returned home from a few months in Europe. Max has decided to take a year off before going to university. They happen to witness a tragic accident that shakes them up. This leads them to wanting to perform random acts of kindness.

    This book takes place over a week (from December 26th-January 2nd).

    There is some romance in this story. But it isn't the key element. Although there is a bit of a love quadrangle.

    I really liked this book. But I was not expecting the story to be told the way it was. There were many narrators. Normally I do not really like the idea of too many narrators. But in this case it worked. And it was so different. The extra narrators were people that they helped. These were interesting perspectives. Because when you do something nice for a stranger, you never really know what their circumstances might be.

    Kendall was an interesting girl. She has ADHD. She is constantly writing in her notebook and making up histories for people she sees.

    Max was interesting as well. I really liked his grandfather and that whole storyline.

    My only real issue would be with the ending. It wasn't bad, but I'm not sure that it was satisfying to me. But overall this was a really moving and wonderful story. I loved the idea of the random acts of kindness. It made it the perfect story to read around the holidays.

    Thanks to edelweiss and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this book.

  • Sam Kozbial

    I thought this book was going to be about two people committing random acts of kindness around NYC, but it was about so much more. It was about relationships, finding your passion, and finding yourself.

    •Pro: I found both Kendall and Max very likable and relatable. Both had great personal qualities, and I would love to have either of them as my friend. I found myself rooting for them both equally as they struggled with the big question of what to do next.

    •Pro: Speaking of that big question, I en

    I thought this book was going to be about two people committing random acts of kindness around NYC, but it was about so much more. It was about relationships, finding your passion, and finding yourself.

    •Pro: I found both Kendall and Max very likable and relatable. Both had great personal qualities, and I would love to have either of them as my friend. I found myself rooting for them both equally as they struggled with the big question of what to do next.

    •Pro: Speaking of that big question, I enjoyed that both characters were sort of adrift. They were caught in this in-between, and they could not stay there forever. They had to make some major decisions, and I was glad I got to be part of that process.

    •Pro: A family focus is always a plus for me, and there were some great family moments in this book. I loved the relationship between Kendall and her brother, but I absolutely adored watching Max and his grandfather connect. There was a lot more to Big E than met the eye. Maybe he didn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but I didn't doubt his love for Max by the end of this book.

    •Con: I would have liked a jump ahead to see how Kendall and Max were doing. I didn't hate the ending, but Kendall and Max had made some big decisions at the end of the book, but I would love to know how it all worked out.

    •Pro: The format really added a little extra something to this story. The majority of the book is told from Kendall and Max's points of view, but after each act of kindness, we had a little commentary from the strangers involved in the acts. These additional POVs provided interesting insight and were such a welcomed addition for me.

    •Pro: I didn't care about the ex-girlfriend or the crush, I was all about Max and Kendall. I was shipping them from the very beginning and really wanted this romance to pan out, because they were so good together.

    •Pro: I never tire of books set in my hometown, and it was fun running around NYC with Kendall and Max. We did so many fun things, but I especially loved the snowstorm.

    Overall: This book was delightful and heartwarming as it delivered unexpected surprises. I loved the exploration of kindness and connection, and how was grateful to share this journey with Max and Kendall as found their passions and their paths.

    *I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book

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  • Cait • A Page with a View

    3.5 stars. I've been looking for more contemporaries set in winter, so the setting was easily my favorite part of this story. There's just something magical about NYC with snow!

    The story takes place during the holiday season after Kendall returns from a semester in Europe. She goes to stay with her brother and his boyfriend in NYC while she processes how her next semester of high school will go. Max is the other main character who's taking a gap year before college. They both see a woman possibl

    3.5 stars. I've been looking for more contemporaries set in winter, so the setting was easily my favorite part of this story. There's just something magical about NYC with snow!

    The story takes place during the holiday season after Kendall returns from a semester in Europe. She goes to stay with her brother and his boyfriend in NYC while she processes how her next semester of high school will go. Max is the other main character who's taking a gap year before college. They both see a woman possibly die (but don't step in to help) and then later decide to do acts of kindness for strangers.

    I loved how Kendall would make up full background stories for random people she saw around the city. That was one of the richest parts of the story for sure. And her family was full of engaging characters as well!

    The writing was a bit melancholy and not as easy to breeze through. It read less like the upbeat rom coms that I've come to expect from a lot of winter contemporaries and more like an insightful character study. And it's a short read but there were still a lot of POVs... like you hear from Kendall, Max, the woman who was hurt, the strangers they help, other people in their lives, etc. And that's not necessarily bad, but the brevity did make it harder to get fully invested in anything.

    So this is more of a light winter read that would be perfect for winter break (except it's a January release). The back compares it to Sarah Dessen, but I'd also throw Nina LaCour in there too!

    Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC.

  • Sarah

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA contemporary story about a guy and girl who wanted to complete seven random acts of kindness before New Year’s Day in New Yo

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA contemporary story about a guy and girl who wanted to complete seven random acts of kindness before New Year’s Day in New York City.

    I liked Kendall and Max in this, and I liked Kendall’s sense of adventure. Max was a really kind person and went out of his way to help people, and Kendall didn’t let her shortcomings hold her back.

    The storyline in this was about Max and Kendall trying to complete seven random acts of kindness before New Year’s Day in New York City after seeing an accident that they felt they could have possibly prevented. This was an interesting storyline, and it was nice to get a chapter from each of the people that they helped to see what their help really meant.

    The ending to this wasn’t a happily ever after as such, but was a fitting ending.

    ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

    7 out of 10

  • Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}

    Review

    Oh what a lovely little story this was. I loved the focus on doing RAKs - random acts of kindness. I mean we called all serve to do more of them ourselves and help make the world a little bit of a kinder place. What a wonderful message to have in a book.

    Besides that, I really enjoyed the characters Kendall and Max. They each had their own stuff going on and circumstances bring them together again during the days before New Year's. We see how this time together really bonds them and leads

    Review

    Oh what a lovely little story this was. I loved the focus on doing RAKs - random acts of kindness. I mean we called all serve to do more of them ourselves and help make the world a little bit of a kinder place. What a wonderful message to have in a book.

    Besides that, I really enjoyed the characters Kendall and Max. They each had their own stuff going on and circumstances bring them together again during the days before New Year's. We see how this time together really bonds them and leads to feelings. The romance was so sweet.

    Plus they are in New York! I LOVE books set in New York and then during the holidays is a bonus.

    I will absolutely be picking up more from Jennifer Castle in the future.

    Review

    Susan Bishop Crispell's last book, The Secret Ingredient of Wishes was such a fun, unexpected read for me last year that I couldn't wait for her next book. Dreaming in Chocolate had the fun elements of magical realism and the lovely small town setting like Wishes but had a bit more of heavy side to it.

    Penelope is a single mom to daughter Ella and runs a cafe with her mother in a small town. This cafe is special as Penelope and her mother have recipes that include magic. Penelope starts to doubt the magic as it hasn't helped her when she needs it the most.

    I loved the focus here on family as well a sweet romance that is included in the story. I of course loved the magical element that was also a favorite in her last book. Again this was a bit on the heavier side which I wans't expecting. Still I enjoyed this sweet story that had a very heartwarming ending.

  • maymay ☕

    - Stepping into a puddle of water AFTER I PUT ON BRAND NEW SOCKS

    - Love triangles

    And yet somehow I managed to love this book despite the very evident love triangle. Who have I become?

    I feel like this book would be the kind of contemporary I would write (if I ever finished any WIPs) bc I’ve had a slightly similar idea and so automatically I’m going to be biased

    but idk reading these KIND of cute contemporaries just make my heart sigh

    Also it takes place in winter, so you a

    - Stepping into a puddle of water AFTER I PUT ON BRAND NEW SOCKS

    - Love triangles

    And yet somehow I managed to love this book despite the very evident love triangle. Who have I become?

    I feel like this book would be the kind of contemporary I would write (if I ever finished any WIPs) bc I’ve had a slightly similar idea and so automatically I’m going to be biased

    but idk reading these KIND of cute contemporaries just make my heart sigh

    Also it takes place in winter, so you already know im trash

    - Kendall isn’t the smart genius girl, she actually struggles with her grades and getting into universities

    - Max is a baby bean who doesn’t have any clue where to take his life

    - SO RELATABLE

    - Its fun and cute and also has some deep moments

    - I REALLY LOVED THE SMALL SIDE STORIES THAT GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO THE LIVES OF THE EVERYDAY PEOPLE WE NORMALLY WALK BY

    - Family centered story always wins my heart

    - Big E omg

    - The whole story is basically centered around little acts of kindnesssssss aww my sweet, caring babies

    - Kendall is so cute she makes up background stories for random strangers she sees

    - Light, cute story that you can finish in no time

    - I legit started the audiobook bc I was working on blog posts and needed to listen to something AND BEFORE I KNEW IT I WAS LIKE HALFWAY THROUGH

    - Okay the ending took me by surprise bc I was expecting some cheesy cliché ending but WOW A REALISITC ENDING IM IMPRESSED

    - Obvs the love triangle

    - But I didn’t like HATE it, I barely even recognized it

    - it was more like I’ve built a reputation on hating love triangles so I just felt like it was my civil duty to continue

    - it might not be a memorable book but its really cute and entertaining

    - uhhhh besides that not much really to complain about

    -

    - Or maybe its just that the story is pretty adorbs

    4 stars!!

  • Jen Ryland

    I usually struggle with realistic fiction that features more than two narrators, but this book really pleased me - a great first read of 2018!

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    I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.

  • Jasprit

    Together at Midnight was definitely a different read than what I was expecting it to be, Castle’s way of giving us the story completely won me over. You could say I wasn’t really expecting much with Kendall and Max setting themselves to perform random acts of kindness, anyone could do this right? But what would you even class as a random act of kindness, how would you know you’re even helping someone? This ended up being one tough act to complete, you may be trying to help an individual, but may

    Together at Midnight was definitely a different read than what I was expecting it to be, Castle’s way of giving us the story completely won me over. You could say I wasn’t really expecting much with Kendall and Max setting themselves to perform random acts of kindness, anyone could do this right? But what would you even class as a random act of kindness, how would you know you’re even helping someone? This ended up being one tough act to complete, you may be trying to help an individual, but maybe they don’t want your help in the first place and maybe your assumptions of the situation that person is in is entirely wrong too. And this is exactly what Kendall and Max had to deal with, they had their own things going on, but decided to go that extra mile for other people. I did like watching see how things would enfold for both Kendall and Max and the people that they would come across the way, but most of all I liked how the chapters we got straight after Kendall and Max carried out their acts of kindness were from the people who they performed the acts with. It gave us great insights into more than what Kendall and Max saw and told us what was really going on with them. The journey that Max and Kendall went through was one I really enjoyed, I liked how it led them to make sense of what was going on with their own lives too and go on to develop a really great relationship. Together at Midnight was such an adorable read, I found myself quite attached to Kendall and Max’s characters and what went on with their lives, when chapters did jump to different perspectives, I was itching to get back to their chapters to find out what was going on with them. Along with Max and Kendall being two of my favourite characters, I also quickly became attached to Big E, he was one of the most unexpected characters that I thought I would grow to like, but he really was a lot of fun to be around. Together at Midnight was definitely one of those hidden gem books that I ended up reading this year and it really was a beautiful read to pass up on.

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