Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review | "Dream Student" by J.J. DiBenedetto

I was sent an ebook copy "Dream Student", the first book in an already completed series, by the author. In exchange for a review, and my quick thoughts are that: it was a really fun story, pretty original (I haven't read too much that deals with dreams) caught somewhere within the realm of a realist fantasy which I think becomes more apparent as the series continues. However, the writing execution wasn't the greatest (not that unexpected considering the series is the author's first published work and writing is a skill that takes so much practice to get good at), and therein lie most of the problems I had with the book.
 As always, here's the Goodreads description:

Dream Student (Dreams, #1)What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams? If you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets…without them ever knowing?

Sara Barnes is about to find out. She thought that all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman in the next dorm who’s got a crush on her.

But when she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates…and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get Sara killed.

“Dream Student” is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.

So like I said, I had some technical issues with this book. The writing was a little unnatural and at times seemed abrupt and rushed. Very much like a first draft. There were unnecessary tangents and some inconsistency with details at times.While other times there were word choices that could be misconstrued if someone didn't just read the book for a quick story. (Ex. She wants to control the relationship, the way her boyfriend comes across at first.)
I felt like there were quite a few moments in the book that were intended to serve as an extra push that this could be realistic and that Sara has a real life regardless of the story arc, but they just kind of seemed out of place sometimes. 
I couldn't get behind Sara if I tried to analyze her as a character. She is supposed to be this very intelligent girl, and she reasoned through certain things like she was either half a step from being deranged or like a six year old. At one point she actually blames herself for certain events that occur because she helped a friend. I can understand the reasoning, but the wording of her feelings make it seem like she regrets her actions. 

Like I said, the storyline is fun and makes me want to continue the series eventually, but the writing isn't the best so I would recommend going into this without the intent of analyzing or thinking too critically. If you can look past the execution, the plot saves things a bit.

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