Anthea Bell, translator
Henry Holt & Co (BYR)
April 14, 2015
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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. . . .
Dream a Little Dream was first published in German in 2013 (as Silber: Das erste Buch der Träume)and has since been translated into multiple languages - including Spanish, Italian and Russian. This week marks its English publication.
The whole idea of secret dream worlds - whether it's lucid dreaming, sharing dreams or something like Pivot Point or Passion of Mind with entire alternate lives - is almost guaranteed to draw me to a story. I love what the author creates in the 'dream' world and how it intersects with the character's normal/awake life.
Dream a Little Dream was different than any of the 'dream' books I've read before and I was surprised by how the author explained the Liv's dreams and the 'why.' It felt unique and creative and also held a lot of promise for where things can go in the rest of the trilogy.
I like that we meet Liv's character prior to these dreams. We get to know who she is, who her family is and what her life is like before she begins the dreams. Before anything 'other' is introduced.
Why her family moves so frequently is something I haven't seen in a character before. It created interest, for me, in Liv (and Mia) from the beginning. I also really appreciated how the author handled Liv starting at the new school. Characters starting at a new school and immediately having an insta-best friend is a bit of a pet peeve of mine.
It doesn't feel real. With Liv (and Mia's) first day at school, Gier found a way to have them included, quickly a part of things socially without it feeling forced.
The dream world, its ramification on the real world - both Liv's and more generally - were different than I was expecting. Some of Liv's decisions to go along with things, to not think they were a bad (terrible, horrible) idea, even if she didn't really believe, was annoying. I didn't really care if she thought it wasn't true, she could still say no. Then again, that wouldn't have made for a very interesting story, would it?
Now that we have met the characters, Liv knows what is, supposedly, taking place and their roles in each other's lives have been established (or at least what they could be has been), I'm really excited to see where things go in Book 2. Liv is a fun character, her family is great, the life she's living is full of possibilities and I am looking forward to seeing how everything progresses.
digital review copy received, via NetGalley, thanks to the publisher