Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet.
Yes, Liv's dreams have been pretty weird lately.
Especially the one where she's in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.
The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream.
They're classmates from her new school in London, the school where she's starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again).
But what's really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn't possibly know--unless they actually are in her dreams?
Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute....
Three stars: A book with an interesting concept, but falters a bit with a weak ending.
Liv and her sister, Mia, are thrilled to be returning home to London to finally settle down in a house with their mom. The girls have been bounced around their whole lives, but now it appears they will have a cottage and a place to put down some roots. Unfortunately, once they arrive in London, their mother dashes their hopes. The cottage in the countryside is no more. Instead the girls will be living in yet another apartment and attending a fancy school. To make matters worse, their mother has a new boyfriend and a big announcement. Things take an odd turn when Liv has a strange dream and encounters four of the boys there from her new school. The next day she wakes rattled, but she knows it was just a dream, or is it?
What I Liked:
- This was my first book by this author and though I had a couple of issues, I enjoyed her creativity, her characters and the story. I especially enjoyed all the dream sequences. I can say that I liked this enough to continue the series.
- Olivia, Liv, is a fun character. She is fifteen, almost sixteen, at the beginning of the book. She has been bounced from school to school in her short life, and along the way she has learned a few things, including Kung Fu for protection. She is smart, sassy, and she has a terrific sense of humor. I especially enjoyed the relationship she has with her younger sister, Mia. When the two of them are together, they are particularly funny. Liv is character whom I immediately connected with and enjoyed throughout.
- I loved the whole concept of the dream world. Liv starts entering a strange world with all kinds of doors, where she encounters some of the boys from school there. I especially liked the idea of the doors. In the dreamworld, a person could enter another's dreams by going through their personal door. I enjoyed the creativity of the dream world, and the dream sequences were my favorite part of the story.
- The romance is sweet and pleasant. It is rather simple and straightforward. I appreciated the two started out as friends, and then it moves into something more. I was relieved to find that there wasn't a triangle, and I was most pleased to find that it was without drama and ridiculousness that I associate with YA.
- Surprisingly, even though I liked the romance, I found that I was even more invested in the relationship that Liv formed with her soon to be stepbrother. There was just something about the way he looked after Liv, I am actually hoping that something more might come of it.
- I also appreciated that this book had a strong focus on family. There is the fun sister bond between Olivia and Mia, as well as the forging of some new sibling bonds with the beginnings of a blended family. Liv's mother though certainly not perfect, plays a big role in the book. No absentee parents. I liked the inclusion of Lottie, the girl's nanny, as well. Overall, I loved the family focus.
- I found myself strangely drawn to the Titter Tattle blog written by the mysterious Secrecy. This is a blog all about the students at the school that Liv and Mia now attend, and it is full of all kinds of juicy gossip. The writer, Secrecy, remains a mystery. I found myself, like Liv and Mia, trying to unravel just who was behind the blog, and alas, I am still stymied at the end, hopefully next time out, I can figure it out.
- The ending was a bit lacking, and I was left with questions. Still it wasn't an annoying cliffhanger, and for that I am grateful.
And The Not So Much:
- I struggled a bit with the pacing. The book starts off fast and fun, and I found myself quickly drawn into the story. Then somewhere around the middle once the mystery and conflict is revealed, the book starts to drag as it stops focusing on the dream world and the main problem. Instead it deals with some of the more mundane, and I found myself losing interest. Finally, the book picks up right at the end, and the finale is chaotic, clunky and too abrupt.
- The ending needs work. There is this twist and then the big reveal as we learn the truth about who is behind the strange dreams and their villainous motives. Of course, there is the big speech from the villain and they explain (mostly) why they did what they did, the author even pokes fun at the villain grandstanding. However, I was left not completely satisfied with the developments especially when it came to the why. Overall, I was disappointed in the way it played out, and I had several questions at the end. I especially didn't like that the villain had such a small role prior to the finale and for the most part, was a mystery.
- I was excited at the idea of Liv joining a secret circle with four handsome and smart boys. I was expecting camaraderie and friendship, but that didn't happen. I was left wanting much more from the relationships, especially when it comes to the friendships between the boys. I also didn't feel like Arthur and Jasper were well developed at all. Jasper was nothing more than a handsome man whore, he was shallow, empty and totally underdeveloped. Arthur was also a mystery and I felt like I was missing a lot of detail when it came to his character. In comparison to the rest of the characters, these two needed much more work.
Dream a Little Dream was a good start to a creative and interesting series. I liked the characters, the story, and I loved the idea of the dreamworld. I was a bit disappointed in the finale, and I was frustrated with the lack of development with a couple of the characters. This wasn't a perfect read, but I liked it well enough that I plan to continue the series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.