Release Date: July
Arc provided by Sourcebooks Fire through Netgalley
In case the five star rating isn't obvious enough, I loved this story! ~inserts huge grin and lots and lots of fangirling~
It must be difficult being an author in our time and age striving for originality.
Let's face it: The publishing market has been flooded by vampires, demons, zombies, werewolves and so on and on. If it has a paranormal trait, chances are it has been read and re-read by the public.
This one... well some authors have used it as well, but in a dramatically lesser scale.
And as far as everything I've read... never like this.
In the small town of Chilton, Virginia, Annabelle is your typical high school student. She feels trapped in her life. She feels like she's not going anywhere, and only her friends keep her grounded in her life and mostly sane.
Her best friend is Will Connor and... getting into the southern spirit, he's the cool wind to her bigger than life existence. Will is the friend every girl wants to have. He has an incredible mind and just the right dose of wittiness in him.
As you can read, this sounds like a very YA type of story but, the good kind of YA! Where the characters aren't cardboard stereotypes, having instead a life of their own: a chaotic, messy, real teenager's lives.
It was great!
The authors were able to create a vast number of characters, each of them perfectly defined and, most importantly of all, interesting to read about!
There's girl power. There's healthy, normal girls' friendship, which _in case you've been reading the latest YA books_ you know how hard it is to find!!
Annabelle falls in love, but that doesn't mean that that will be the story's single plot, with a whole lot of drama and teen angst.
This is one of the sanest YA books I've ever read! And it has a paranormal twist! So yes, this was masterfully crafted!!
The first page is perfect. It sets the tone for what is coming, but it also snares us completely. Please bear in mind that this is an ARC and, as such, susceptible to changes:
"I’ve always been a dreamer. Daydreams. Night dreams. Dreams of grandeur and dreams of escape. If I were an onion and you pulled back the papery outside, you’d find layer after layer of eye-watering dreams. And in the center, where there’s that little curlicue of onion heart? There’d be a puff of smoke from the dreams that burned away."
I dare you to begin this book, and being able to DNF it.
The writing is pretty much perfect.
They may be teenagers, but they do know how to properly speak, and I couldn't help but appreciate the small tidbits that would be "carelessly" thrown once in awhile (lol)... so we could see that these kids have a solid cultural background. Perfect balance between: I'm funny... and smart. Try to keep up with me!
Ever read a story where you feel like the characters of the book you're reading would be BFF with another book's characters?
Well, I have. The first time was with author Jenn Bennett's character "Jupe (Jupiter)". The kid is so amazing that I couldn't help but think that he would be right at home with Sarah Rees Brennan's The Lynburn Legacy world. And now, for the second time, I find characters so interesting that I couldn't help thinking: Hey, Talon has the potential to be Angela's best friend! They're both secondary characters, but they definitely know how to steal the main character's spotlight.
In case you're not "computing", this means that I really, really like them!!
So, perfect writing, perfect characters, a love interest... with a small dash of love triangle in it (I know!! But it's really small, and it works!), perfect plot!
It was so good! And you know why?
Because the characters question what is happening to them, they don't fall into easy plotholes.
Imagine what would happen if your dreams started coming true... if people from your dreams started appearing in real life. After a while would you be able to differentiate reality from dreams?
And what would happen if the same thing happened with nightmares?
Imagine a creepy nightmare stalking you and your friends in our average day routine.
Imagine lots and lots of creepy, slithering reptiles...
The last part is amazing. I honestly couldn't read it fast enough. I wanted to know what was going to happen, while at the same time dreading the outcome!
Oh, and the cover?
Completely enticing, and knowing that the tree with the bottles hanging on its branches plays such a big part on the story, just makes it even more perfect.
The only thing that left me a little... unsatisfied (a tiny little bit) was the ending... I wanted a few more pages!
Something from Annabelle or even Will's point of view, would have been nice.
In the end, everything is pretty much resolved, as much as one can resolve things in a plot with a paranormal setting, but I can't help wondering if there's going to be another book... or books?
Either way I'm happy. Of course having loved this, I wouldn't mind getting back into this world.
Mary Crockett Oficial Site (where you can check the author's happy dance ;) )
Pre-order "Dream Boy"