Book Review: Dream Boy by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg

Title:  Dream Boy
Author:  Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg
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Genre Type: Paranormal, Romance, Dreams
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
Pages:  336 pages
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

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 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

If dreams can come true…then so can nightmares

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.

Close your eyes. (No, not really because you have to read this. ) Pretend. Now imagine young, teen Annabelle, your typical sweet if a bit sarcastic teen dreaming up the most swoon-worthy, handsome, poetic-waxing boy she can imagine. Her very own dream boy' that is everything she hopes for and desires.

Now, imagine that same dream boy' suddenly walking into her science class the very next day, very much alive. And with those impossible blue eyes, whispers her name "Annabelle" as he brushes by her. Yes, my heart was pounding too. Now add to this delightful story, a darker edge. You see when Annabelle dreams of her idea boyfriend and suddenly like a fairy tale he comes true for her,  the nightmares start to begin. Annabelle realizes that she may have crossed a line between dreams and reality, and she may have brought something dark and dangerous across with her dream boy.  And, Annabelle has something it wants badly.

With Dream Boy, authors Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg have created a dreamlike landscape,  and given us a twisty, paranormal mystery and romance. What makes this story so enjoyable is how well the reader is immersed into Annabelle's world. A mix of modern day High School, and a touch of a dreamlike landscape that Annabelle enters into in her dreams. I enjoyed the mix of both throughout the story, and their sort of parallel worlds kept me guessing as to how much was real and how much was possible a dream ore something else entirely.

The characters were well developed with distinct personalities making it easy to fall into this story. Annabelle is sweet, artistic, and has this sense of humor that I liked.  I felt her excitement over her dream boy, as well as her confusion at her ability to pull things from her dreams. Martin, aka Dream Boy, is pretty swoon-worthy. He's all that Annabelle would dream of in a boyfriend and seems to know her as well. Sweet, romantic, good looking and totally into Annabelle. I kept wondering myself, is he too perfect? Aw, but I really liked him. Then, there's Will. Yay, for Will. Her best friend since forever. He's the boy who lives next door and has seen Annabelle at her finest and at her worst. The type a friend you can share your dreams and secrets with. Wow, he's super sweet and adores Annabelle. I could feel the torn emotions between Annabelle and these two boys. I was surprised how well they both were woven into the story without tons of drama or the feeling of a doomed love triangle styled romance.

That tree on the cover. Yes, it plays a special part in the story that I won't soon forget. A battle is on, and the mystery behind Annabelle's dreams come to a head where she will need the help from both Martin and Will. Filled with action and suspense the ending just crept up on me and the end was a nice twist that took me by surprise.

Dream Boy was a nice break from the usual young adult paranormal and the mystery and romance were equally fascinating. I was captivated until the very end. A great choice for readers looking for something different and a ending with a satisfactory, yet surprise twist. Oh yeah. You can pretend to open your eyes now.

My Rating: 4 stars. I really liked it.

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for my fair review. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for the review opportunity!