Is Kimberly Blackadar the modern Jane Austen? I’ll leave that judgement up to the reader. In Nothing but Trouble After Midnight we have the mating, dating, waiting, baiting, hating, berating that characterize the behavior of teenage girls. The early chapters are light, fun, easy reading. I love the way Kimberly “disobeys” some of the popular “rules”. For example, we’ve been told not to use anything other than “said” to indicate dialogue. We are not to use, “she mumbled” or “he shrieked”. The fact that she breaks the rule adds visual interest to the action and dialogue.
Characters are believable and well developed. Description is just right, guiding but not replacing the reader’s imagination. Some might object to the extensive use of simile. My reaction is the opposite: the similes are creative, and remind me of one of my daughters when she was a teen. Also a writer, she used creative simile in her speech, and this novel is written in the first person as though someone like my daughter had written this in her teens. So the narrative and the dialogue fit Chloe as we come to know her.
I like the way the title is introduced early in the novel, in fact the second chapter. It helps to set the tone better than just sitting on the cover.
But the novel goes much deeper than the early chapters, and deals with an important issue with skillful sensitivity. The polish of the novel is excellent; I only found one typo in the whole book and it was a word transposition.
Why did I have trouble focusing my eyes on the last page? Perhaps the air was dry. Perhaps I should admit that I was emotionally touched.