Friday, May 2, 2014

John Dreamer by Elise Celine, A Review

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john dreamer - elise celine

I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Here is my honest review.

Book Description

Andy wasn’t usually sure about much, but she was absolutely certain this was the weirdest day of her life as she stood stranded in the middle of a great white room with six strangers. Well, they were mostly strangers. She could have sworn she’d seen the guy with the green eyes before, and maybe that was why he kept staring at her. When a man calling himself the Guardian appeared and said they had come to make their deepest dreams come true, they embark on an adventure none of them ever imagined, and the consequences of their actions would change them forever.


This book is written in first person which is not usually my favorite perspective when reading a book. It does work well in the Young Adult genre and certainly is fitting to this story. Celine's prose is very simple and straightforward. At first, this bothered me: it felt so simplistic and rather stereotypical (which I saw another reviewer point out). After reading several chapters, it struck me that the writing had beauty in its simplicity. At one point I remember thinking that the story was reminiscent of The Breakfast Club, one of my favorite movies growing up. So, about the stereotypical comment made by another reviewer: at first glance, yes, the characters do seem to be without depth and they certainly fit into common stereotypes: the nerd, the princess, the loner, et cetera. 

But that is what makes this story so compelling. On the surface, every one of us would fall into one stereotype or another. But that is only the surface - there is so much more to us than how others perceive us. More than how we sometimes perceive ourselves. It is this universal truth that Celine hits on and exposes. 

I won't spoil anything - I hope - but the ending...I can't decide if it is frustrating (no clear resolution but done so well that it is pretty much okay) or perfection (because how often is life tied up in a perfect package?) After looking up the book on Amazon, I realized that it is listed as part of a series. Hmm. I almost like wondering what next for Andy and John. But I confess that I would seek out the next book.

Another element I enjoyed are the photographs in the book; they are beautiful and haunting. A lovely addition. 

I would recommend that parents of teenagers read this book. It would work beautifully into a high school literature selection (and probably be far more enjoyable for freshman than Romeo & Juliet). I can certainly see the book leading to great discussion on how we view and treat each other. 

I gave this book:  

★ = I did not like it     ★ = It was okay     ★ = I liked it    
★ = I really liked it     ★ = I loved it

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