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 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?

Together at Midnight Details

TitleTogether at Midnight
Author
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062250544
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Together at Midnight Review

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “I put my toes on the tip of the curb and look down and think maybe a cliff is no different than a street corner. Sometimes you just have to take a step, and sometimes you have to take a leap, and either way, all that really matters is that you’re not standing still.” 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.) “I put my toes on the tip of the curb and look down and think maybe a cliff is no different than a street corner. Sometimes you just have to take a step, and sometimes you have to take a leap, and either way, all that really matters is that you’re not standing still.” 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
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 I just loved this one!
  • Sam Kozbial
    January 1, 1970
    This was delightful and heartwarming and even a little unexpected. I loved Max. I loved Kendall. I loved tagging along with those two as they tried to commit random acts of kindness in NYC, while also trying to figuring out their own personal issues. Full review to follow. *I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book BLOG | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
    January 1, 1970
    I'm glad Together at Midnight is being published during winter because it's perfect for that time of the year. New York, during the last couple of days of December, two people and a couple of strangers. It was perfect. The way Jennifer Castle writes is just atmospheric. If you are on a lookout for a cozy winter read, look no further.
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  • Ginger at GReadsBooks.com
    January 1, 1970
    Jennifer Castle is such a quietly strong voice in the YA community today. This is my third novel of her’s to read & once again I’m wow’ed by the beauty of her storytelling. For fans of books set in New York City, throw in the holiday season, plus a task at hand for two misguided teens — you’ll want to read this novel!
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  • Jasprit
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    Together At Midnight is an inspiring YA novel - romantic, but also so much more about kindness, society, and being brave enough to step outside yourself to help others.Kendall, just home from a year studying abroad, doesn't want to resume her regular life, including returning to her old high school. So she flees to New York to stay with her brother and reconnect with an old friend-and unrequited crush-hoping that the past months talking online mean there is a chance for a romantic future. She do Together At Midnight is an inspiring YA novel - romantic, but also so much more about kindness, society, and being brave enough to step outside yourself to help others.Kendall, just home from a year studying abroad, doesn't want to resume her regular life, including returning to her old high school. So she flees to New York to stay with her brother and reconnect with an old friend-and unrequited crush-hoping that the past months talking online mean there is a chance for a romantic future. She doesn't expect to run into Max, Jamie's friend, and the guy who saw her breakdown over Jamie's rejection last year. She certainly doesn't expect to bond with him after witnessing a traumatic event. But as they traverse the streets of New York, working together on a dare to spread kindness and hopefully make up for their previous lack of action, there is no denying their growing connection. Despite my initial beliefs about the title indicating that this book would cover just one night's adventures, it actually occurs over the span of a week. There is something so delicious about reading about these two teens as they embark on an adventure of sharing kindness. Despite everything else happening in their lives, despite being unsure about their futures or shamed about their pasts, they connect in a really honest and beautiful way. The book conveys a wonderful message of connecting with others in a busy world, where it is sometimes too risky to interfere or check if someone is okay.The romance really starts as both a crush and a deep friendship. While Kendall is crushing on Jamie, and has been for years, it is Max with whom she develops a true connection-a friendship. Despite there being two love interests, the book never really strays into love triangle territory as there is no real drama eventuating from the relationships.The book is written from both Max and Kendall's perspectives, in alternating chapters. But what really makes this book special are the short sections written from the perspectives of each of the people Max and Kendall stop to help. These little sections are so incredibly powerful and bring such depth to the story. They also challenge the reader to look beyond first expectations or assumptions. Together At Midnight is a touching story of romance, connection, and community. A sweet and enjoyable read.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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