Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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Vibrantly offbeat and utterly original, Lucy Keating’s debut novel combines the unconventional romance of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the sweetness and heart of Jenny Han.
For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.
But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.
Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?
♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! Dreamology is a daydreamer’s paradise. It’s a story where the mystery of paranormal-esque moments unite with the beauty of everyday life in a magical way that allows two great characters to take the grand love out of their dreams and find it in their waking hours.
The premise of this novel and that very pretty cover had me racing to download this novel from Edelweiss. While a majority of what I had hyped this up to be in my head played out successfully on the page, there were a few minor issues that ultimately left me unable to give it a five-star rating overall.
♥ Review: The concept of this novel had me grabbyhands’ing all over the place to get this book because it just seemed so unique, and if I’m being honest, just the kind of swoony romantic love story that I’ve been waiting on. I mean, what girl doesn’t wish she could have her dream guy literally in real life? That’s the stuff of fantasies right there. Combine that with the fantastic ratings/reviews it was getting among my blogger friends and, obviously, I wanted in on this book ASAP. So, as soon as I got to it on my TBR list, I most definitely pounced on my kindle with giddy abandon and tossed my reservations about it to the wind. With that said, perhaps I should have gone into it with a little more caution, because some of the very things I feared would happen before I even read the first page came to fruition and that bummed me out a little. But I’ll get into all that in a bit, first let us get into the good parts.
To me, the shining stars of this novel were the characters Keating created within it. I really enjoyed Alice as both a character and a narrator. The way she envisioned the world and thrived in her dreams came through in a shining voice that was not only clear and authentic, but relatable and likable, too. I loved that she had these quirks about her that were founded by real life circumstances, and they made her feel all the more real. As for her dream guy, Max, when he wasn’t being a brooding hero that ignored her existence–though his explanation for said behavior was understandable–and acted like the Max from her dreams during those waking hours, I was actually quite fond of him as well. (Though, let’s be real, he was just too damn charming in those dreams for his own good. He had me in that first dream: hook, line, and sinker. *le sigh*) Together these two were great, but when you combined them in all their couple-y glory, it was so pleasant when we weren’t dealing with the angstier side of the relationship. In those fun instances, they truly seemed to bring out the best in each other. Aside from our two main characters, the author also gave us two exceptional secondary characters that I truly fell in love with easily. Sophie, Alice’s best friend, was freaking epic and I’d gladly accept her as my real life bestie. Though most of the interactions with Alice were limited to phone conversations, that girl was still a force of nature and a ball of energy. I dug her. Secondly, there was Oliver, who was flipping fantastic. He was vibrant and in-your-face and I just wanted to jump on his Segway and let him drive me around just so I could absorb some of his eccentric energy. (And when he let his more vulnerable, lonelier side show, LORD HELP ME, JUST CRAWL IN MY POCKET, OLIVER! I’ll give you many hugs and protect you.) There were also some other secondary characters, including Alice’s very involved father, but this review is already getting out of control.
The dreams that Max and Alice shared were also a major selling point for a great rating. I freaking loved them. There was magic and beauty and splendor in those dreams of whimsy and adventure, and I just found them really entertaining. To be honest, I wish my mind would manufacture dreams like those at least a time or two.
In regards to the plot, it was a huge mystery for me that I couldn’t wait to have explained. I was eager to find out how they found each other in their dreams and even more curious about the dream bleeding after they met in real life. So, if I’m being blunt, I was a tad disappointed in the explanation of it and the overall resolution. I feel like it was glossed over and didn’t get too technical in the scientific explanation of either aspect. Perhaps this was done intentionally because a majority of readers might not want lengthy, lecture-worthy dialogue about the hows, whys, and other theories, but I almost felt like the answers we were given were a. . .cop-out? I don’t think that’s the exact word I’m looking for, but it was seriously a brief exploration into the reason and then a little mind-finagling magic and Tada, conflict resolved! Go forth with your independent dream lives and be merry! Of course, I can totally live with the reasonings and the were given voice, I guess my curious mind just wanted more substance. (But, I mean, hello Christina, this is fiction. Get a hold of your life already!)
Another point of contention was something that I figured would happen, and that was that one or both of them would have a significant other in their real life. Lo and behold, that came to fruition. It wasn’t that the romantic interest was a bad person–they weren’t, in fact I really kind of liked them a lot–but you just knew it’d be the source of drama in the long run and that it would prolong Max and Alice from eventually ending up together. So, not necessarily a bad thing, but the love triangle predicament just seemed a little predictable is all.
As for the ending and life after their minds had been altered and their dreams were left to be their own, I thought we’d made it over the hurdle of them not being a couple, but apparently that was not to be the case. Admittedly, I was a little annoyed that Alice was reluctant to give up on Dream Max, especially when the real thing was right in front of her, but I could be sympathetic to her circumstance if I wanted to be. Luckily, Max showed up in a swoony grand gesture, Alice came to her senses, and all was set right in the magical world of fiction which left me with a pleasant feeling of satisfaction settling in my chest.
♥ Teaser Quote:
“I can’t lose you,” he says for a third time, in a whisper. And I take his face in my hands and push his hair behind his ears, as I stroke his jaw with my fingers.
“You’ll never lose me,” I say. “I’m right here.” And I kiss him again.
~quote taken from the eARC of Dreamology at 83%
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♥ Rec It? Yes! It was a unique story told in a wholly original way. I was captivated by the plot and found the characters to be very endearing. But I’m not sure I’m very reliable at this point because even if I would have disliked the book, I probably still would have bought it just to see that gorgeous cover on my bookshelf.
♥ A very special thanks to HarperTEEN and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.
*Disclaimer: An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥