Goodreads: Dream a Little Dream
Series: The Silver Trilogy
Published: April 14, 2015 (US)
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….
Dream a Little Dream by Kristin Gier is a breath of fresh air, a book that’s entertaining, a little smart, and so unique it actually doesn’t sound like a single other YA book on the market. Gier skillfully combines demons, dreams, and ordinary contemporary high school to create a story that walks a tantalizing line between the real and the seemingly impossible.
Protagonist Olivia (Liv) Silver steals the book from the first pages. In Liv, Gier creates a popular girl who is in many ways refreshingly normal. Liv is multi-faceted, and Gier lets her speak for herself. There is no attempt to build Liv up as a stereotypical popular girl obsessed with her appearance and social connections but also no attempt to defend her from that stereotype, to rub readers’ noses into the fact that a popular girl might actually be both intelligent and kind. Liv just simply is all of these things–a reader of classics, a member of her school’s “It” group, a silly sister, a sometimes fashionista, and she makes all of work together without comment. This is how popular girls should be written.
Liv’s sister Mia, however, is a strong contender for my favorite character. She’s sassy, smart, and funny. She makes the sort of mean but clever underhanded comments all of us would be tempted to make if thrown into the difficult situations she is, and it’s easy to love her for it when she’s a book character instead of a real human being. Add in Mia’s real attachment to her family, her nanny, and her dog, and she’s incredibly likable.
I only wish the plot were as strong as the characterization. Though the pacing is generally good, there are times the book borders on being so slow in an attempt to be “suspenseful” that I wanted to give up on finding out what the big mystery was. Even worse, none of the plot seems to add up by the end of the novel. After finishing, I’m still uncertain which parts are real and which parts are entirely in characters’ minds. I just don’t know what was going on, and I’m really unclear on how this is supposed to be leading into a sequel.
Dream a Little Dream is a fun read, but I would have like to see a little more substance and world-building. I wouldn’t mind reading the sequel if it happened to fall into my hands, but I don’t think I’ll be seeking it out.