Genre: Paranormal, YA
Publication date: February 24, 2015
by St. Martin's Griffin
Joshlyn Weaver has always lived with a big secret. Ordinary kids spend their free time going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and searching on the internet.
But for her, an evening at home usually means entering people's dreams. For many generations, her family has been part of a very powerful and very secretive society of dream walkers. Tasked with the responsibility of lowering the world's general anxiety — which only leads to war and strife in the waking world — their job has always been to stop nightmares before they go too far.
By stopping nightmares while sleeping, they help to stop nightmares in real life.
But when an ancient feud within the dream walker society resurfaces right when a seemingly unconnected series of very strange and very scary events start occurring during her dream walks, Josh finds herself in a race against time. The one true dream walker has never been known. Could she be the one
-A copy was provided by St. Martin's Griffin for review-
“THERE HAS TO BE A BOOK TWO. THE STORY CANNOT END HERE.”
This was my mantra upon finishing this book. And boy, did I keep on repeating this with much fervor and passionate flailing. I mean, guys. GUYS. I found a 5 star book. THIS IS NOT A DRILL: I FOUND A 5 STAR BOOK. Where’s the confetti?! Where are the champagne?! WE NEED A GODDAMN CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN OVER HERE.
I am getting goosebumps all over my skin as I type this. I don’t even know how I’m going to review this book in the most logical, coherent way possible. I usually write my reviews in a calculated, objective (with a tint of emotional bias) manner, but right now, I don’t think that is possible. Warning: I may repeat the words awesome, fantastic, excellent, sublime, amazing, magnificent, epic many times. SAYING ALL OF THOSE WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH FOR THIS BOOK.
Basically? This book is awesome. It’s written so, so well that my mind is still so blown away at how amazingly thought-out everything here is. The plot, the characters, the development, the romance, the world-building, the complexity of human relationships, EVERYTHING. I loved how realistic they all felt – the feelings, the dialogue, the characters themselves – I found them so real and genuine that my heart really ached for them, that I wished I were there with them because I could see them as real people, not as fictional characters with personalities that feel forced. It was all just so natural.
Take the world-building for example. Basically, in this world, there is another realm where all dreams take place – all the happy dreams, all the nightmares, and this realm plays a big part in the world’s balance as a whole. If there are too many nightmares going on, it would mean the end of both worlds. That’s where Dream Walkers like Josh come in, people who have been resolving nightmares for generations. It may sound really simple, and you may be thinking, “Meh, that doesn’t sound complex at all.”
But this book will prove you wrong because the book really sets the world extensively with scientific explanations (that do not make you dizzy) and dream theories (that do make sense in-world). It may feel slow because of this, though (which seems to be the complaint of many reviewers), and I wouldn’t blame you if it feels to you that way if you read this, but for me, it was never a problem because the writing made up for it. The writing was so delicious to consume. I just loved how smooth and lyrical the narration was, and how it effectively gave life to the story and to the characters effortlessly.
Speaking of characters, can I just say that I love how Josh was so realistic and flawed at the same time? She was seen as the best of her generation, being able to resolve nightmares 88% of the time and with such ease and efficiency; but deep inside she was so insecure and plagued by guilt of a death that happened in the past that she thought was her fault. And these flaws were shown so realistically – she would be praised for her skills, and she would put walls around her and then think that if she were, what happened in the past wouldn’t have happened. She would get away from a dire situation, and she would berate herself for letting it happen in the first place. And best of all – it never felt overwhelming. It never felt contrived. They were all handled so sensitively, resolved gradually and realistically, and they even compliment the storyline at the same time.
And my GOD, WILL. WILL KANSAS. The love interest was just so bloody amazing. He’s an average joe who suddenly finds himself all mixed in affairs he never knew existed, and he handles them all like a champ. He is sweet, laid-back, kind, sensitive to the problems of the people around him, and has demons of his own. I loved how he was such a genuine partner to Josh, how he complimented her aggressive, reckless nature with his cautiousness and compassion. I loved how even though he was the love interest, his “development” with Josh never took center stage – they were all in the background and even moved alongside the real storyline. It made me yearn for scenes with both of them even more.
Long story short: Will Kansas is my current book boyfriend, and he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. MORE MALES LIKE HIM, PLEASE?!?!?!
I know I’ve talked about this book in length already. I just can’t get enough of this book, if you haven’t noticed yet. If you loved The Diviners by Libba Bray, you’ll definitely want this because that’s the feel I got from this book. But even if you don’t know that book, you guys definitely need to read this. It’s just so beautifully and masterfully written.