Monday, December 14, 2015

Dream Boy

Title: Dream Boy
Author: Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 3.5 Cows

Goodreads Description: Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class.

One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares.

            What happens when your darkest thoughts and greatest wishes from dreams start to come to life? Well, that’s what Annabelle Manning is about to find out. Fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s, The Dream Thieves, will love Dream Boy by author duo Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg.  This YA debut will make you question who is real and who are “dreams,” people who crossed the dream threshold bridging the gap between the dream world and the real world.
            For me, one of my favorite parts about this book was that Crockett and Rosenberg made an effort to include some psychoanalysis about dreams.  As someone who used to keep a dream journal, I find the whole concept of dreams and why we dream the things we do, fascinating.  Apparently I’m not the only one.  As Annabelle quickly discovers, there's more than one person with a vested interest in dreams in her small town of Chilton, Virginia.   
            There was so much potential for this book that quite frankly, I thought just wasn’t reached. I liked the plot itself, but it was lacking in so many regards that it kind of ruined the book for me.  Dream Boy had a great start, but it tapered off pretty quickly. There were your typical run-of-the-mill scenes featuring football games and high school dances that were just a little too cliché for me.  Understandably football games and dances ARE a big aspect of high school culture in our world today, but their inclusion in the book almost felt forced and took away from the storyline for me.  It felt similar to a sentiment voiced by someone I met recently, who basically said including diversity for the sake of diversity is defeating the purpose of it altogether.  If you can do it well, great! If not, you should probably avoid using it altogether.  I think the same can be said of some of these elements in YA books.
            Despite these gripes, I do think Dream Boy was decent!  It’s relatively short and makes for a quick read, which may have been its saving grace (at least for me) because it diverted attention from the substandard parts of the book. While I didn’t fall in love with the main characters, I did like Will, Martin, and Annabelle.  Although I haven’t heard of any sequels to this book, I am holding out some hope that there might be more to this story down the road and I would be willing to read more by Crockett and Rosenberg.  



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