Publishing Info: September 22, 2015 by HarperCollins
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 15, 2015
Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.
Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?
I was so excited to start DREAMLAND and was thrilled to see it as an audiobook from Harper Teen (thank you for the review copy!) so I just couldn’t wait to start it. I just adore books involving dreams because the possibilities are endless and every new story has a brand-new take on what character interactions with dreams mean.
I was incredibly interested as the book kicked off and I loved the concept and rules around Dea’s ability to dreamwalk. There were some pretty specific rules that hint at something sinister and come with very specific warnings should Dea break those rules and I was super anxious to find out what they were! The dream worlds were interesting and it was really fun to see how Dea interacted with the dreamer and within the dream world.
I also really liked the relationships in this book! I enjoyed the mother-daughter relationship with Dea and her mom. I liked that her mom was present for most of the book and that she was there to help Dea when she needed it. Clearly her mom had a few secrets of her own and that didn’t make life easy, but I enjoyed their positive relationship (well, until things started falling apart). I also enjoyed the buding romance between Dea and Connor. They had a great report and they were a really fun couple to get to know! Naturally, I love any couple that has a little bit of banter going so that was a definite bonus!
I did really have issues with the world building throughout the book, though, and that was sadly a big deal. There were a lot of world-building concepts that were introduced but not developed until the very end of the book and there were even some concepts that weren’t introduced at all until they were necessary in this big, epic conclusion. It made it confusing that all of a sudden there were so many THINGS that Dea never knew about and therefore the reader never knew about and it really threw the book for a crazy loop. I felt like the way things were revealed and resolved at the end were entirely too abrupt and very info-dumpy, which is usually a problem I have in the beginning of a book, not the end. The fact that all of this happened at once — including several big reveals, a huge world-building concept, and a ton of action — well, it really gave the book an entirely different feel and not at all what I had experienced throughout the first three quarters. I would have loved some more hints at what was to come in the end instead of being totally surprised by it. I love a good reveal but it felt like way too much all at once.
With how much happened in the end of this book, I really felt that it could have benefited from being two separate books. I’m not sure if there was enough information to really split into two FULL books but it really did have a very distinct splitting point for me where it felt like two different concepts that should have been separated. The ending of the book also left me with some feelings that maybe a second book had been a possibility but didn’t come to fruition? Or maybe it was just a bit of an open ending. Any which way you slice it, I had some pretty big issues with the ending and it just didn’t feel cohesive and solid to me. I wouldn’t say disappointed but it really wasn’t the satisfying ending that I was hoping for.
Sadly this had a few too many world-building issues coupled with some info-dumps towards the end. I was engaged the whole time and I mostly enjoyed the characters but it just wasn’t quite the satisfying ending that I was hoping for. I really wish some things would have been slowly revealed throughout the book which really would have kept me even more hooked and allowed some concepts to sink in as the reader continued.
I really enjoyed this one as an audiobook! I’m actually really glad I listened to it on audio because Kristine Hvam is an awesome narrator and totally kept me hooked as I was listening! It was definitely a plus to have this as an audiobook too because once I start encountering issues, I have a hard time putting down a print book and then picking it back up again. When I start to feel iffy about things that are happening, it’s really hard to feel that motivation to pick up a book again so this was perfect as audio because I was so into the characters thanks to the narration and it was easy to keep on reading since I listen to my audiobooks mostly during my drives.
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Dea // Character Obsessions: Dreamwalking, family, Connor, answers.
Dea was pretty spunky and I really enjoyed her character from start to finish! I really admired her determination and even though she was a bit of a loose cannon sometimes, she was always an enjoyable character for me. I loved how her relationships started and developed throughout.
Kept Me Hooked On: Dream worlds. I just loved books involving dreams and dream worlds. It’s so interesting so see what the author does with the concept!
Left Me Wanting More: World-building. The world building was such a bummer for me. It just didn’t come together well at all and there were so many moments where it could have.
Get a second opinion
As much as I enjoyed parts of this, I find it hard to really recommend when I struggled with some major construction issues. It was a fun read but ultimately left me frustrated.
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(Click the cover to see my review!)