Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg and Mary Crockett

 photo dreamboy_zpsfdd76d88.jpg
Read July 1 - 2, 2014
Book: Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg and Mary Crockett
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Number of Pages: 336
Genre/s: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley

Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class.

One of her friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares. - (source)

“I've always been a dreamer. Daydreams. Night dreams. Dreams of grandeur and dreams of escape. If I were an onion and you pulled back the papery outside, you'd find layer after layer of eye-watering dreams. And in the center, where there's that little curlicue of onion heart? There'd be a puff of smoke from the dreams that burned away.” - taken from an uncorrected ARC 
What if what you dream about becomes a reality? Annabelle found out she has this unique power in the form of one, gorgeous boy. Clearly having a dream so powerful, it can bring a being into life, only happens in a SciFi show and easily makes for an interesting read. But alas, in Dream Boy, this is where the interest starts and ends. Because after the novelty of having your dream boy become a reality faded, the only thing this novel inspired me to do, is to take a nap myself. Twice. I can't even begin to tell you how a total snoozefest this book was.

I have no qualms in being this harsh because I tried so hard to like this book. However, Dream Boy made this too difficult, and it wasn't long until I gave up. The characters are abysmally dull, and the pacing is just dreadful. As I turn page after page, all I could think about was: I'm one page closer to the end of the book. I wanted to be done with it, so I can finally move on with my life. I've yet to not finish a book, but this one came so close.

Annabelle, our main protagonist, is so boring. I definitely get it why she has to dream people up so her life could become interesting. I believe there were so many opportunities for her to become likeable and engaging. For instance, if we had explored more about her Dad, or her drawings, or her friendship with Talon and Selena, then I might've grown to like her. Martin Zirkle, the dream boy, does not have any redeeming qualities, either. He's as flat as a cardboard. He's cluelessness is not endearing in anyway, much more his stalkerish, possessive behavior. This could be explained by his lack of social understanding, since Annabelle literally just dreamed him to life, but I won't make that excuse for him.

"I mean," Martin said, "how do you know Annabelle?"
"If you were close you wouldn't have to ask that question."
Martin grabbed my hand and pulled me onto his lap. "Close enough?"
Okay, forget the western. It was more like that thing where dogs pee on their property as a message to other dogs.
— Um, just no. *facepalm*

I'm trying to think of something positive to say about Dream Boy, but all I can come up with circles back to its captivating concept: Dreams and Nightmares—the reason I picked up this book in the first place. Annabelle did choose the right guy for her in the end, so I have to give credit where credit is due. Will can also be included in this very short list because he's the only character I cared about. He almost made me feel something at the end of the book. Almost.

I had high hopes about Dream Boy. I'm deeply disappointed because if you have this intriguing premise in your arsenal, you basically have a sure tool  in crafting a fantastic novel. A slight focus on the world-building in the dream world and having more fleshed-out, dynamic characters might have made this book better. The meaning behind Annabelle's dreaming powers was never adequately explained, too. The explanation was sloppy and prohibitive, and the readers are just left to swallow it up and pretend it all made sense. Also, let's be honest, if you write a story about a special girl, a chosen one, who has to battle an evil entity to save all those she holds dear, it needs to be a girl we can sympathize and root for. Unfortunately, Annabelle doesn't fit the bill.

Dream Boy failed to live up to its potential. Drab and lackluster, even Will is not enough to change how I feel about this novel. Now excuse me, while I dream away the bitter taste this book left in my mouth.

Cupid's Verdict:
 photo 2cupidsa_zps934002cc.png
2 Cupids

A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review.


  1. "is to take a nap myself. Twice." Hahaha. Oh, no! So sorry this was a yawnfest for you! You have never DNF'd a book? Holy smoke! I DNF very, very few reads, but I wish I had your strength and endurance to power through. You go, girl! So sorry the characters fell so flat for you :( At least you didn't outrigt hate it and found a few things to compliment, yeah? Sorry the MC wasn't your cup of tea. Hope your next read is better :) Great review, Sarah!

  2. Hah, I've had episode like that, where I only wanted to sleep after reading a few pages. That's a surefire sign that the book is not hooking me line and sinker - when I would rather sleep than read on. Needless to say, I don't blame you, as it seems this one was quite boring especially with that snoozefest of a heroine. I hate it when a character is bland. Give her or him some personality, won't ya?!

    Hope your next read is better <3 *crosses fingers*

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  3. Ouch. This book sounds like it had a LOT of potential. I mean, that's a really good and mostly original idea, right? But poorly executed . . . *sighs* I hate when that happens. An awesome premise can't make up for crap characters. Thanks for the heads-up, b/c this was definitely on my watchlist. Great review though ;)

  4. Oh! I'm sorry to hear this was such a boring read. It sounds like it had a cool concept but it wasn't well executed, which happens to a lot of times in books unfortunately. I think I'll be staying away from this one.
    I hope your next read is stronger! :)

  5. Yikes! You know it isn't good when you have to count down the pages and are relieved when you are done. Sounds like all around this was poorly executed and delivered.

  6. *cries* oh no no no I am about to read this anyday so when I saw the review pop up in my mind I was thinking as I slowly scrolled down "please be good please be good" followed by a sounding nooooooooooooooo.

    ""I'm one page closer to the end of the book" and so not in a good way. I still must give this one a read I must I'm going to try to scrub my brain of your thoughts. Course I might have to wait several weeks now. Looking forward to comparing notes!

  7. So I'm totally judging books by their covers again, but that is one sweet-ass beauty of a cover. Too bad the story wasn't as good; I'm honestly so sick and tired of all these cover and blurb baits. What's worse is that this book was so BORING for you! Those are the kinds of books I absolutely can't stand; I just don't have the patience to bear with them, so it's amazing that you were able to finish it!

    Lol, that quote about Martin, though. There is adorable weird, and then there is creepy weird. This was definitely creepy weird, and it sounds like the beginnings of instalove. >.> Did the book have any? And heh, I'm glad that Annabelle made the right decision. I don't like love triangles, but when the protag chooses the right guy, then I guess that makes it a little bit better.

    Great review, Sarah! So disappointing that such an awesome idea went to waste. I'll be staying far, far away from this book. :P

  8. Well shoot! I was so looking forward to this one, the whole dream/nightmare aspect intrigued me as much as it clearly did you, so I'm really bummed the characters and story didn't live up to the fantastic premise and gorgeous cover. *sigh* I think I'm going to take a pass on this one Sarah, I hope whatever you pick up next is AMAZING and the exact opposite of dull:)

  9. I hadn't heard of this one before, but I always hate it when a novel seems to have so much promise and fails to utilize it to its full potential. I'll be skipping this for sure and I hope your next read is far better!

  10. It's a shame you didn't enjoy this, but I can understand why - dull characters are the worst! And I hate weird creepy stalkerish behaviour as well, I don't know why so many books have that kind of character. Thanks for your honesty - you may not have enjoyed the book, but I enjoyed reading your review! :)

  11. LOL! Well taking naps while reading is never a good sign. I haven't heard of this one but the idea sounds really good. Sadly it wasn't as good as it sounds it seem. I'm so sorry it was a disappointment for you and I hope you'll enjoy your next read much more. Great review! :)

  12. The premise does sound really interesting but it sucks that it didn't live up to its potential. Worst, it's BORING and the main character is also guilty of being the same. How can you root for a character when she makes you so uninterested with her plight that you'd rather nap, right? The cover is gorgeous but I guess that and an interesting premise is the only thing this book has going for it. Lovely review, Sarah and I hope your next read is better :)

  13. Hmm, too bad about this one, I liked the sound of it too. Guess you can't really argue about all the faults though, I think this book would drive me insane. I hate hate hate slow boring books more than anything. I do like that cover though ;)

  14. I can understand your feelings towards this. I've experience books like this. Hope your next read is better:

  15. There's nothing I hate more than when a book completely fails to live up to its potential. 2 stars? Yeah, I'm going to run in the opposite direction. Thanks for the honest review. :)

  16. BAhahaha, that quote. It has me rolling. I might have to read this one to add to my list of terribad books! Is it bad that I find horrible writing amusing? I think I might be sick! I'm sorry you had to suffer through it! Next time grab a lot of wine and just laugh manically when this nonsense is in front of you... last book I scared my fiance doing just that.

  17. That's always a shame especially when a book has a strong start with what sounds like a really neat premise but then just falls flat. I usually don't have a lot of patience for dull characters especially. I love them best when they're complex and intriguing - mysterious, even (like in Complicit - read that if you haven't!!). But LOL about Annabelle being so boring her dreams just HAD to come through to make her life bearable, no? Baha!! Hopefully your next read will be better!

  18. Ouch. I'm sorry that this book has to be a total let down, Sarah! The premise sounds amazing, but yeah... the execution seems poor. Reading about cardboard characters always make me want to take a nap as well haha. It would be much better if there were more explanation why Annabelle has the power in the first place.

    Thank you for the awesome, honest review! <3 :)


Thank you for the comments. I really appreciate and lovelovelove them and will try to reply as fast as I can. Have a blog? Post your blog URL along with your comments below. I would love to visit.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...