Thursday, August 18, 2016

Teen/YA Review: Dreamology

When I chose the teen/YA novel Dreamology by Lucy Keating as my next audio book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. In some ways, its synopsis sounded like just another teen romance, but I was pleasantly surprised by its originality, depth, and hint of the paranormal.

Alice has been dreaming of Max for as long as she can remember, ever since she was a little girl. Max used to be her friend and playmate in her dreams, as they enjoyed fantastical adventures together, in castles, on hot air balloons, and building with giant Legos made of chocolate. In recent years, though, since Alice became a teen, she and Max have become even closer and their relationship even more special, though it exists only in her dreams.

Now, Alice and her dad have moved from NYC back to Boston, where they lived when Alice was little. It’s a big adjustment for Alice, but she gets an even bigger shock when she walks into her first class on her first day in the new, exclusive private school. Max – her Max – is sitting there in her class, in real life. She has spent many hours with him in her dreams so she’d know him anywhere. But how can her dream be sitting right here in front of her?

Alice calls her best friend back in NYC, Sophie, to discuss her news. It is definitely the same Max from her dreams. At least, he looks the same, though he doesn’t quite act the same. In real life, Max is sometimes sullen and complicated…and he has a girlfriend. To complicate matters further, there is another boy, Oliver, at school who greets Alice warmly her first day and who feels like her only friend in this new place. But Alice loves Max.

Alice tries to make sense of her dreams coming to life, but nothing makes sense in this scenario. Eventually, as she searches for answers, she also finds that elements from her dreams start to bleed into her real life – crazy, dreamlike fantasy things that can’t possibly be real. As she gets to know the real Max, the mystery deepens, and she is desperate for answers.

I enjoyed this debut novel with a very unique plot and realistic, fully-formed characters. Their real-life interactions were engaging, and the concept of Alice’s dreams becoming reality was fascinating. Suspense built, as I wondered, like Alice, what could possibly be going on. I enjoyed the slight paranormal angle to the story, though there is a quasi-scientific explanation. The resolution of Alice’s problem was a bit too pat, but that didn’t dampen my enjoyment. I was completely absorbed in this original story with elements of romance, friendship, loss, and suspense.

HarperChildren’s Audio

You can listen to a sample of the audio at the Amazon link below: 

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