≡ Menu

Review: Dream Girl

Review: Dream Girl post image

Title: Dream Girl
Author: Lauren Mechling
Year: 2008
Genre: YA Fiction
Acquired: Received for review from author/publisher
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Two Sentence Summary: Since she was a little girl, Claire Voyante has had dreams that have connections to her real life. Will Claire learn to use these dreams in time to help protect a new friend while trying to find her place in a totally new school?

One Sentence Review: Claire is a sweet narrator you can’t help but root for and want to know more about, even though the plot occasionally feels confused and the minor characters sometimes slip into the background.

Long Review: Fifteen-year-old Claire Voyant has always had dreams with odd connections to real life. Images she sees during her dreams show up during the day, but she’s never been able to make sense of them. When Claire’s former socialite grandmother Kiki gives her a black-and-white onyx cameo for her birthday, the dreams change and Claire starts to be able to interpret what they mean.

As if that’s not enough, Claire is also starting the year at a new school — Henry Hudson High School — a place for gifted kids that end up not being that friendly. Claire soon befriends Becca, another new student with some strange secrets of her own. Friendship with Becca pulls Claire into some dangerous situations where she’ll need to figure out what her dreams mean in order to protect her new friend.

While I’m not much of a reader of YA fiction anymore, I’m glad I accepted this book for review. I tend to like books with quirky teenagers and high school without the trashy drama, and this book certainly delivers on that. Claire is a smart and funny narrator who isn’t afraid to share her insecurities and embarrassments. Claire’s odd little brother, French professor father, and horoscope writing mother are also nice additions to the story. Many of these background characters didn’t get developed as much as I wish they did, but I’m optimistic for more in the sequel.

Because Claire is the narrator of the story, the book remains confused as long as she is confused — pretty much the first 3/4 of the plot. We’re learning about Claire’s dreams and their implications right along with her, so we don’t really know what’s going on until she does. There are parts around the middle of the story where the plot seems to get bogged down in all the confusion, but the book is short enough that those parts don’t last long enough to make you want to put it down.

I’ve seen this book compared to the Gossip Girl series in that there is a lot of high fashion and snooty teenagers at an exclusive high school. I think it’s a slightly misleading comparison. The students in Dream Girl are sweeter, there’s a lot fewer unbelievable situations (despite the fact that the main character is a psychic), and it’s just more fun. Gossip Girl made me cringe, this book continually made me smile. If you like high school drama that’s not trashy or sweet narrators developing unlikely powers, then Dream Girl is one to pick up.

I was also sent Mechling’s sequel to this book, Dream Life, which I just finished and am looking forward to reviewing soon.

Other Reviews: Steph Sue Reads | The Novel World | The Book Muncher | Harmony Book Reviews | The Well-Read Child |

If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kathy January 20, 2010, 7:05 pm

    I don’t like trashy YA, so I’d probably enjoy this book too! Great review!

    • Kim January 21, 2010, 4:56 pm

      Kathy: Yes, I think you might. I hate trashy YA so much. The Gossip Girl book I read just annoyed me.

  • Aarti January 20, 2010, 10:11 pm

    I would have a little trouble getting past the Claire Voyant name, but I’m glad it’s worth the effort of getting past that 🙂

    • Kim January 21, 2010, 4:56 pm

      Aarti: The name is a little obvious, but I thought it was more “funny ha ha” rather than annoying 🙂

  • Lisa January 20, 2010, 11:44 pm

    Sounds like just the thing for my almost 15yo that is just starting to like books but really has to find ones that grab her. Otherwise she give up after about 10 pages.

    • Kim January 21, 2010, 4:57 pm

      Lisa: Yes, give this one a try. I think it starts out pretty well, and has a mix of topics to keep a reader interested.

  • Belle January 21, 2010, 4:54 pm

    This sounds like an interesting series. I actually find the Claire Voyant name kind of cute, but then again, I’ve always been fond of the puns in Piers Antony Xanth novels!

    • Kim January 21, 2010, 4:58 pm

      Belle: I think it’s cute too, mostly because the author (and the character) makes jokes about it in the book. Being silly and knowing it works better for me than being clever and failing 🙂

  • Julia Smith January 22, 2010, 1:01 pm

    I adore ‘Claire Voyant’ – totally appeals. And the cover is really, really nice.

    • Kim January 24, 2010, 3:10 pm

      Julia: I think you either love the name or find it annoying. I think it’s funny 🙂

  • Kay January 24, 2010, 1:36 am

    Great review! I enjoy trashy drama sometimes, but usually I prefer high school stories without it, so I would probably like this one. I’ve seen it around a lot lately, I might give it a try!

    • Kim January 24, 2010, 3:11 pm

      Kay: I tend to like high school stories without it too — it seems closer to my high school experience. I’m trying to write a little bit more about that in my review of the second book in this series, Dream Life.

  • Jennifer February 10, 2010, 7:05 pm

    This sounds like a fun book. I enjoy fun, well rounded characters and it’s nice to see some high school drama that’s clean and fun.

    • Kim February 10, 2010, 8:39 pm

      Jennifer: Yes, I totally agree. It was a fun book to read.