Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dare to Dream~Carys Jones | Review

Title: Dare to Dream
Author: Carys Jones
Genre: YA Dystopia
Length: 260 Pages
Publication: February 2015
My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Maggie Trafford has a hard life. Between school, where she doesn't fit in, and home where she stands out even more, she just feels lost. When she starts having nightmares about red lightning destroying the world around her, her world changes. And when injuries sustained in those nightmares follow her into the waking world, she knows they aren't just dreams. Then Stonehenge begins to fall and she knows the two things are connected. What if the fall of the monument is a timer counting down to the end of society as we know it?

The concept of this novel was really fascinating. In general dystopian stories are written about the aftermath of some event that wiped out society. They focus on the new society and its problems, which can be very interesting, but this was kind of a story leading up to the destruction, so I was intrigued. 

The story is told in third person, from various perspectives, focusing mainly on Maggie. I thought this worked really well, although I do think the writing could use some more polish to improve the overall flow of the story. We see most of the events through Maggie's eyes, but on occasion we get scenes from other characters, which was interesting. 

The first half of the novel focuses mainly on the dreams and Maggie's life leading up to the outcome of those dreams. While I enjoyed some aspects of this portion of the story, it never really reached its full potential. The dreams themselves were kind of glossed over and the family issues seemed to just get deeper and deeper without much resolution for my liking. This first half was kind of slow and repetitive in many instances. With more focus on the dreams and maybe even some more development into Maggie's family life, this would flow much more smoothly. 

The second half of the novel focuses on what happens in regards to Maggie's dreams. I won't give too many details because I don't want to spoil anyone, but we mainly follow Maggie, her best friend Dawn, and friend/classmate Andy. I was hoping that once we hit this point the story would pick up and become faster paced, but it stayed at pretty much the same pace throughout this portion as well.

The fact that this is kind of introducing a dystopian world instead of taking place in an already functioning dystopian society is one of the main reasons I think this story is as slow as it is. The author is trying to set background as to why what's happening is happening, which I understand. I can also see why most authors choose to focus on an already established society rather than introducing one.  

The story ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, hinting at a sequel. I don't know if this is intended as a series, but that's what it looks like. 

This story has lots of potential. Overall it was fun, but not brilliant. A very imaginative concept that would appeal to many readers.

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