A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
When I saw that Dream Boy by author Madelyn Rosenberg was about I was so, so eager to get reading. The premise was interesting and unlike anything else I had ever heard of before—which was made me so eager to get reading. A novel about a boy from your dreams that shows up in real life? Who wouldn’t want something like that! To say the least after finishing Dream Boy, you might not want that as much as you’d think.
In Dream Boy, Annabelle Manning has dreams about the beautiful, irresistible Josh. He’s perfect. Everything that a dream boy would be. Sadly Josh is just a part of her imagination and will never become a part of her reality. Or so Annabelle thinks up until she sees him standing in the doorway of her classroom in real life. Suddenly Josh is very, very real except that he isn’t Josh at all. His name is Martin Zirkle and he knows exactly who he is to Annabelle. None of her friends want to believe it. Even Annabelle isn’t quite sure about what’s happening and then she starts to have nightmares. Terrifying nightmares that have her worried that if she can bring one figment of her imagination to life what’s stopping her nightmare from becoming a part of her reality too?
What got me right off the bat with Dream Boy is that the introductory chapter is beautifully written. It pulled me in and kept me interested in the entire novel. It’s absolutely perfect. The writing in Dream Boy is, for the most part, very well-written in terms of properly expressing Annabelle’s thoughts and the setting, major plot-points, etc. When it comes to more romantic scenes that involve kisses and the like there isn’t as much detail with, for some readers, might be a turn-off. I personally didn’t pay it much mind.
Dream Boy wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it is without Martin’s character. He’s a boy who knows that he isn’t from this world and has only been in it for a limited amount of time. Everything is new to him and some of the comments he makes are just unintentionally hilarious on his part. His feelings for Annabelle are what drive him to do a lot of possessive, territorial things around her friend Will, which are all cause for entertaining scenes.
I do feel like Martin’s character doesn’t do much growth through the novel but hope that if we get to see him again in the future his character gets to see more development. And though their romance does play a key role in the novel’s plot, the romance between Annabelle and Martin isn’t very organic. The entire cast of characters in Dream Boy is very diverse. I personally took a liking to Annabelle’s best friend Talon who is very cool and very intelligent when it comes to helping Annabelle uncover just what’s at work here. Annabelle herself is a character who I couldn’t relate with but that isn’t to say that other readers might be able to.
The big bad antagonist in Dream Boy is pretty intimidating and the nightmares that Annabelle has are very well-described. There’s a constant foreboding presence while reading the novel which makes it feel more ominous than you’d imagine. If there is a book 2 I can’t wait to see just how everything plays out for Annabelle and the others.
I would recommend Dream Boy to readers who are looking for a novel with a unique plot. To readers who are looking for a novel that’s borderline paranormal- romance and to any readers who are just looking for a new novel that will keep them hooked throughout.