by Lisa McMann
genre: paranormal, YA
Are you fascinated by dreams? I am, so when I heard about this novel I had to read it!
(Taken from Goodreads)
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime. She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control. Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant
After recently reading Dracula, I really enjoyed what this novel provided me. I generally don’t enjoy YA novels as much because they can feel shallow and follow the “high school” formula but this novel was different. I do have to note though, that the main reason why I enjoyed this novel was because of the concept: Janie witnesses other people’s dreams.
The novel kept moving at a good speed, there were enough character sub-plots to satisfy and I liked the romance which grew (although it was predictable). I didn’t feel like the story dragged at all, if anything some extra details would have been nice. At first I thought it was going to be a paranormal novel where the major action plot is very much about “saving the world”. Thankfully it wasn’t. I’m a big fan of light fantasy or light paranormal where the abilities are important to the story but the story doesn’t turn into some superhero novel. In all honesty, the plot didn’t actually need Janie’s powers but I’m glad they were in there. It gave the novel it’s own flavour.
I really liked the kind of relationship Janie and Cabel had. The romance was satisfying, sweet, and touching. I would have liked to have found out more about Janie and her mother’s relationship, as well with Cable and his father’s. I know that they were explained but I felt like they were particularly important and needed some extra attention. But I have a feeling that more will come in the following novels. For many, the third person present narration may frustrate but it didn’t take away from the story in my case.
This was a short novel that had the right mix of paranormal, originality, romance, “growing up” YA themes, and mystery. There was also a sprinkle of crime in the mix. There was a certain plot change that I can’t say I particularly enjoyed (I won’t state it because of spoilers) but it felt a little… fantastical, but not in the magic way. It is a light read and while I would have liked to see the story deepen in areas, I was impressed by the novel and enjoyed the journey. I’m excited to read the following novels in the Dream-Catcher series.
4 out of 5 stars
- You enjoy quirky, paranormal concepts incorporated into novels (in this case, dream catching).
- You want a short, enjoyable, YA read.
- You’re looking for something “different”.
This book is not for you if:
- You are looking for a heavy characterisation storyline with elaborate descriptions.
- You dislike third person present narration.
- If you dislike novels that take place during high school.
– Ermisenda Alvarez
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