Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

DreamlandTitle: Dreamland
Author: Robert L. Anderson
Series: No series – Stand alone
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: September 22nd, 2015
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

The summary of Dreamland from Goodreads:

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?

Dreamland was a decent book. It blended different worlds really well and I liked Odea and Connor. I just felt myself disconnecting from the story at times and I think that’s why I wasn’t able to fully love the book.

The Good:

Odea is, for the most part, easily likable. She’s a regular teen, aside from being able to walk dreams, who wants to have stability and friends. She’s followed the rules her mother gave her for years and has dealt with moving constantly. She’s finally found a friend and when Connor arrives, she finds a sweet boy she’d like to get to know.

I felt for Dea. Her life has been very unstable because she’s moving a lot and she’s never really felt like she belonged. I also liked her fighting spirit. She’s never questioned her mother, but she finally wants some answers about her life and what she can do. The lack of answers is what really creates problems for her.

The blending of the real world and the dream world was done really well. I enjoyed how dreams were described and how they fell apart. Dea’s need to have a connection to a person through something valuable to them makes sense. You can learn a lot about a person based on what they value, and it was easy to understand how those pieces could create an easier portal to their dreams. Even the more developed aspects of the dream world were well done.

The Bad:

I had a few issues with the book. The first being communication. I know Odea had to be in the dark about some things, but it bothers me (not only in this book) when a lot of problems could be fixed with simple communication. If Odea’s mother had simply answered Odea’s questions honestly, or explained the reasons behind the rules, a lot of trouble could have been avoided. Yes, I know, the book wouldn’t be the same if they had communicated, but it still bothered me.

My other issue with the book is that it felt like it was try to tackle two different stories in one. There’s the story involving Odea’s mother and the story involving the murder of Connor’s mother. I can see how they connect, but to still felt like the book was trying to tackle too much in one attempt. There wasn’t quite enough of a connection between the two for me to see how they flowed together.

The Recommendation:

If the lack of communication isn’t going to bother you, this is a good fantasy book to pick up. The dream world was one of the more interesting aspects of the novel and I think that’s what draws people to the book. The dream world is worth a read.

Purchasing Links:

Barnes and Noble

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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