Review: Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

Series: Silver #1

dream a little dream -kerstin gierMysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again).

But what’s really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn’t possibly know–unless they actually are in her dreams?

Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute….

4 Drink Me Potions

This sounds so trippy, was my very first thought upon seeing this book in the bookstore.

Weird lizard doorknobs? Talking statues? A girl with a machete? All found in crazy dreams that our protagonist Liv gets at night? Uh, heck yeah. This is totally trippy-sounding.

Knowing me and my love for Alice in Wonderland, Dream a Little Dream certainly seemed to remind me of Lewis Carroll’s level of eccentricity in storywriting. So I absolutely couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book.

Ok. Now I have to say, it wasn’t as crazy and eccentric as the premise may make it sound. That’s not to say that it wasn’t still very fascinating in so many facets. I will admit, this is my very first translated book. Most YA novels are just…well, written in English originally. However, I think this is not some story that gets lost in translation. It’s downright amazing. How so, you may ask? Friend, let me tell you.

The setting and culture
Yes, I think some people may start seeing a trend in which I absolutely ADORE stories set in London, whether historical or present day. There’s just something so fascinating with the Brits and their city. With the book beginning off with Liv and her sister and their au pair (I had to look up what this was…) leaving to move to London, I was more than excited from the start. And once they were there, the setting was just so beautifully described. I totally wanted to hop onto the next plane set for this destination. London just seemed to make this fantasy story really pop and come alive.

But – I think a lot of this excitement comes from loving the protagonist.

The characters
I shall start off with Liv. She makes for a wonderful character. She’s adventurous, curious when a mystery seems to be afoot, and sometimes even a little reckless when it comes to solving whatever has been hidden from her. I read a review where someone said that Gier writes with a voice that truly sounds like a teenager. And this statement is very true. Liv doesn’t come across as some mature little young person. She really does sound like a teenager trying to find her place in the world, while still enjoying the wonders of the world that seem more prevalent in teens.

And I love Liv’s relationship with the various secondary characters. From her younger sister Mia (who sounds more mature than Liv sometimes…), to her newfound almost-step family and even the not-always-the-nicest friend she made at school. They all fit into the story in their own place while enhancing the suspense as the big mysterious aspect of the story builds.

The “mystery”/plot twisters
There were a few rather interesting things that aren’t necessarily solved in this first novel in the series. Firstly, there’s some mysterious character named Secrecy who literally knows everyone’s secrets. It’s kinda scary how fast this person figures things out. And so far, this person’s identity remains a, well, secret. But, exciting, isn’t it? Especially when the answer doesn’t seem to be obvious to the reader.

The other thing was the ending that involved the central theme of the plot: the 4 boys who seem to have gotten themselves into rather dark dream magic. It was definitely an intriguing concept, being able to dream with someone else. Having a dream door that fits each individual’s personality? Man, makes me wonder what my dream door would look like. Being able to go into one’s dreams and live through that with them? Freaky and personal. Totally impinges on privacy rights – which makes it all the more cooler.

Anyway, I guess I’m saying that Dream a Little Dream definitely had its surprises when it came to the mysterious 4 boys. Plus, it didn’t hurt that all 4 of them were rather cute….and individually unique.

You’ve got Henry, who I still can’t make head or tails about. He’s so mysterious. Sometimes I wonder if we really know him yet. He’s definitely hiding something.
Then there’s Grayson, the sweet almost-stepbrother of Liv’s. He was introduced rather early on and I initially thought he’d be the one Liv falls for. Of course, I totally dig the big brother role he’s stepped into (and I think I’ve taken the little sis role heavily ’cause I DETEST his girlfriend).
Jasper’s…sweet, but not the brightest bulb in…well the world. He carries some innocence to his character, in the sense that the dark stuff they’re doing doesn’t tarnish who he is.
And finally, there’s Arthur. The golden boy and “best looking” of the four. I am still figuring him out.

That leaves me to just comment on one final thing.

Er, the romance
Don’t get me wrong. As you can see, I do love the boys. AND there was no love triangle! Hoorah! That’s like +10 points in my books already. I just…I love the one Liv picked but sometimes the chemistry didn’t feel quite right. Like, I’m not really sure how the guy suddenly fell for her. I understand Liv’s reaction more, but his attraction to her puzzles me. I hope it lasts through the sequel, but I really need closure on this or else I may just wish she ends up with her almost-step brother.

Anyway, this may not be as Alice in Wonderland-esque as I had wanted it to be, but it amazed me in so many other ways beyond what comparisons I initially may have drawn. Dream a Little Dream may be the only translated book I’ve read so far, but as biased as that may be, I think it’s probably the best I’ll find. Definitely worth the read. I cannot wait for book 2 – which is published but needs to be translated! Urgh! Impatience abounds.

Overall Recommendation:
Dream a Little Dream is a beautiful title for a beautiful fantastical story on dreams and mysterious magic. Set in the gorgeous city of London, we follow the amazing Liv as she finds herself in a new school and new possible stepfamily and – oh uh – falls into a mess that she cannot help but be curious about. Getting dragged into the world of shared dreams with four of the hottest guys at school, I must say, this book has it all. A definite must-read. Too bad it has to be published in German and then translated. I’m biting my nails in anxious impatience already! Gier is one story writer that you’ve got to try.

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