Book Reviews

Review — Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

Book title: Dream a Little Dream
Author: Kerstin Gier, translated from the German by Anthea Bell
Series: The Silver Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company BFYR
Release date: April 2015
Format: egalley, 336 pages
Source: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Henry Holt & Co.!

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Synopsis:

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals.

The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . .


The review:

Dream a Little Dream wasn’t what I expected, but I did enjoy it. The plot took a while to go anywhere, though. I kept waiting to be sucked in but I never got that feeling. I also wanted more dream sequences! The ones we got were awesome, but so much of the book takes place in our contemporary world when I wanted and wished for more fantasy.

Our protagonist is Olivia “Liv” Silver, a fifteen/sixteen-year-old whose curiosity gets her in some sticky situations. I loved Liv’s snarkiness but thought she was incredibly stupid to keep pursuing the strange mystery concerning her shared dreams when she’s literally been told to stay away from it all. When things get fishy, and potentially dangerous, why don’t heroines (or heroes) ever do the smart thing and either 1) stay the hell out of it, or 2) confide in someone they trust and get help? Well, because then we wouldn’t have a story, that’s why! Still, it aggravates me. I want to root for smart protagonists, not impulsive, reckless ones.

I also kept forgetting Liv was fifteen-sixteen (she has her sixteenth birthday in the book). On occasion I even forgot her name was Liv, not gonna lie. I also kept forgetting that the four boys also caught up in the whole shared dreams escapade (Grayson, Henry, Jasper, and Arthur) were high school seniors, a few years older than Liv. I didn’t think the age gap between Liv and boys was necessary, since it didn’t even matter for the plot. The book also reads slightly more Tween than YA, but this isn’t a bad thing at all.

The boys were a fun bunch, all different, but none of them super fleshed-out. Henry, the love interest, was so cute, though! He and Liv are adorable together and I hope they continue to strengthen their relationship in the sequels. I liked Grayson, and liked how he took on the role of protective older brother so easily. (Oh, yeah — Liv’s mom is getting married to Grayson’s dad. It’s not a peaceful transition for anyone, let me tell you. And speaking of the parents… they’re awfully neglectful and carefree! It was kind of frightening how little they seemed to care about their kids’ welfare.)

In terms of other supporting characters, Liv’s little sister Mia cracked me up every time all the time. She was a riot, and I died laughing when she baaaaa-ed like a sheep at Liv, who was going all “lovesick sheep” on Henry. There’s also a character named Anabel, who starts out seemingly one thing but turns out to be another. (SPOILER ALERT: She’s batshit crazy! END OF SPOILER.) There’s also a Gossip Girl-like blogger, who calls herself (or himself?) “Secrecy”. The blog is the school’s nasty gossip column, and while the frequent blog posts were entertaining, I never thought they added much to the overall plot. They seemed a little irrelevant. I also haven’t guessed who Secrecy is yet… Do I really care? Not really, since the Tittle-Tattle Blog doesn’t yet seem like it’s uber-important.

And here’s a little something that irked me about the writing (or, perhaps, the translation by Anthea Bell, since Kerstin Gier is a German author) — it’s minimal, but distracting: The word “iPhone” was used constantly! “iPhone” sticks out because of it’s unique spelling and huge brand name. Whenever Grayson was using his phone, it was mentioned as his “iPhone” — and never just a plain old “phone”. It would have been fine to use “iPhone” once or twice to establish that Grayson’s an Apple user, but then just to use “phone” to indicate it. Instead, it’s “iPhone this” and “iPhone that” and it got on my nerves. This might not irritate other readers, but it was really distracting for me.

Dream a Little Dream was a good book that I wished had given me a little bit more. It takes a while for things to get interesting, and there’s not a huge amount of actual plot. I wish there’d been more dream scenes. The characters are all fine, but I wasn’t super drawn to any of them. It does have some flaws, but it’s overall a really enjoyable story that is easy to read and has a super crazy (if predictable) climactic ending. I feel like Dream a Little Dream was a sort of set-up type of book for the rest of the series. I’m very curious to find out what happens next for the characters, and I’ll definitely be picking up the second book when it’s released in English. For now, though, if you like somewhat strange books with a small dose of fantasy that has an amusing main character with a hilarious little sister and some mysterious, cute boys, then I’d definitely recommend this book to you. ♦


So tell me…

Have you read Dream a Little Dream? If you haven’t, would you be interested to? What’s the last book about dreams that you read? Comment below letting me know! And, as always, happy reading!

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