Sep 20, 2015

A girl who walks dreams || Dreamland by Robert L.Anderson

Title : Dreamland
Author: Robert L.Anderson
Release Date : September 22nd 2015
Publisher : Harper Teen

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 received an ARC of this book from Harper Teen in exchange for a honest review.
*Quotes shared in the review may not be in the final copy.*

Dea walks dreams. She's always been able to do it and more than a gift or a power, it has become an unwanted part of her life. It prevents her from being normal, along with the constant moving, a weird and secretive mother, a life where mirrors are prohibited and clocks are welcomed - she has always been an outsider, a freak and a loner. For a short time, she thinks that everything's alright, with the entry of Connor, the new guy, who understands her and might even like her, but it doesn't take a long time, for him to be exactly what shatters Dea's carefully constructed life of dreams, lies, confusion and secrets.

Dreamland was a mess of a book. But it was also a beautiful and fascinating mess. I adored reading this book, where everything was all over the place, and the writing was whimsical and eerie. The story was intriguing, at times creepy, thrilling and unpredictable.

"The hall was cool and dark, and smelled like rosemary. Other than the tick-tick-tick of a dozen old clocks, it was quiet. Dea's mom was a nut about clocks..... Sometimes Dea felt like that crocodile in Peter Pan, like a ticking clock was lodged in her belly and she couldn't escape it. Every so often, her heart picked up upon the rhythm."

I had mixed feelings for Odea. Sometimes I felt a deep connection to her, and empathized with her, as she was a loner and bullied at school, plus struggles with the fact that no body can understand her. But she was also frustrating at times. There were times when she was pushy, stubborn, and stupid. But I also wanted to excuse her for those traits, as she had too much on her plate which must have been really hard to handle.

"Dea was six years old the first time she walked a dream

It was an accident"

I liked Connor. The romance in this book, was subtle, though it did have importance to the plot. However, Connor was a great companion, a good friend and most of all, a stable and sensible guy who was the one thing that made sense in Dea's life. 

Dreamland is not just a story about Dea's dream walking. Rather it's a story of two quests. One involves the search for a person, and the other is a murder mystery. Dea's life gets entangled with both of these quests, while her habit of dream walking drags her into trouble as much as it helps her.

One of the best things about the book is the writing. It was creepy as hell, and I loved it! The constant mention of the ticking of clocks, the birds that lead the way out of dreams and most of all, the faceless men - they gave me nightmares! - everything was described perfectly, to the point, I could envision them in front of my eyes.

"They had no faces. No eyes, no noses, no cheekbones or foreheads, just a swirl of flesh-coloured skin, barely patched together, like some horrible painting left to bleed in the rain."

There were also a few misses, as well. I felt like some parts of the story dragged a bit, but it wasn't so bad, and the book got saved by the fact that it had an engaging beginning and an eventful ending, which makes you don't mind the middle. And I wanted more dream walking. I liked the fact that the book focused on a mystery as well, but I wanted to see more of the dreams. 

Overall, Dreamland was a great read! I'd recommend this book to fans of messy books like me. If you enjoy a good amount of creepiness in your reads, then Dreamland will be the book for you. It won't be Inception - gotta admit that - but then, nothing can beat that movie. But still, I felt like Dreamland gave a remarkable take on dreams and mysteries, and I enjoyed it a lot!

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