Welcome to the blog tour for Dream Girl by S. J. Lomas! Be sure to check out the other tour stops and enter the tour-wide giveaway below!
Dream Girl by S. J. Lomas
Expected Publication: November 2013, 258 pages
Age Level: Young Adult
For Christine, dreams have never meant much. Until she meets Gabriel. Everyone thinks Christine should stay away from her new coworker at the library—thanks to his bad reputation—but when her dreams grow more vivid and she becomes entangled in a dangerous dream world with Gabriel every night, she can’t stay away. Soon it’s clear there is far more to dreams than Christine ever imagined, and now she’s on the path to making the biggest, and strangest, decision of her life.
The idea for Dream Girl is one that immediately piqued my interest. I've always had this great love for dreams and the power they can have. Just the idea that dreams can be real to those sucked into them, that's fascinating! In this book, Christine is a normal teenager who finds herself sucked into the Dreamworld after meeting her new coworker, Gabriel. Gabriel is mysterious and there's an instant connection between the two. They begin to confide in one another and then find each other in the Dreamworld, where things can get real very quickly. I mean, you can get hurt or even die in the Dreamworld! Needless to say, Christine's life has been turned upside-down. What is this big mystery behind the Dreamworld? How has Christine been summoned there? Who is Gabriel really? So many questions within this novel.
I liked the idea of being able to go into dreams and have them be so real, even though it could be terrifying. I think that's a great and horrific idea. I loved it. Other than the initial idea behind the story, there were other parts I enjoyed as well. I liked Christine for the most part. She is a fairly likeable character who seems to be a good kid with a level head on her shoulders. She works in a library too, which, having done the same, I totally love. She just wants to be able to finish out her high school years in the same place, without having to move to Texas. (Her father got a transfer there.) During Christine's jaunts into the dreamworld, she meets a guy named Leo. I really think I like Leo. He's level-headed, a quick thinker, kind, helpful and seems to be quite trustworthy. I liked him pretty much from the instant he popped up in the field Christine finds herself in inside the Dreamworld.
Now with all the interesting ideas, I did have some issues. I didn't like how the book transitions into the dream sequences. There's no separation, which makes it incredibly confusing when you're reading along all normal-like and them bam! You're wondering what the heck is going on because everything has changed so suddenly. Like within the next sentence kind of suddenly. I'm hoping this is more to do with this being an ARC than anything else. I hope that the finished copy will show some sort of differentiation between the dream and what's happening in real life. Even a page break would have been nice. Maybe italicize it or... something? There's also no differentiating between inner monologue and the regular text. Like, at one point, there's a letter and the character reading the letter has some inner monologue within the same part, but it's not shown as being something that isn't in the letter. I don't know, it was all just so confusing.
There was also a big fat case of insta-love in this book. Though I generally can't stand insta-love, sometimes it works. I don't see that it worked for this story, though. They take one look at each other and they're suddenly in love with one another. Gabriel gives her some weird letter (that you don't even know it's a story until Christine stops reading it and says what it is) and like wants to bare his soul to her. Christine is blowing off her friends and being much less the level-headed person I first took her as. And this all happens in an incredibly short period of time! It went so fast and intense. The whole story was on like a warp-speed, too. No time at all passes when all this life altering stuff happens. It was really confusing at points, but that might just have been me. Also, I don't really like Gabriel. Maybe it's not so much that I don't like him, it's that, though we get chapters told from his point of view, we still don't know much of anything about him or his personality or motives. He just seemed really flat, like he was meant to be this brooding, handsome, mysterious guy, but there's no real substance to his character. I don't know. Maybe I just connected more with Leo and Christine than I did Gabriel.
Overall, I liked this story. It had an interesting idea behind it and it really picked up near the end, making me want to know what happens next. I don't regret the time I spent reading it, but I do wish this good idea had been executed maybe a little differently? Maybe the finished copy will be much better and all my complaints will be null and void. Dream Girl is definitely an interesting idea and I would like to see where the author takes us in the next installment.
A favorite quote: “In that brief instant of eye contact, I felt the disorienting fuzziness that comes between sleep and wakefulness.”
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S.J. is a cheerful Michigan girl who writes strange and somewhat dark stories. Young adult literature is her preferred genre, with an extra special fondness for books by Michael Lawrence, Beth Revis and Eve Marie Mont. She thinks she'd enjoy living an extra life in a dreamworld, especially if she could dream her way to England. Facebook is her social media of choice, find her at https://www.facebook.com/SJLomas.
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