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Thursday, February 04, 2016

John Dreamer by Elise Celine

John Dreamer had a really interesting and unique concept, but failed a little in it's execution.

The book opens when Andy wakes up to find herself in a vast white room with seven chairs.  She notices that one has her name on it, and the style of the chair fits her personality.  One by one, other teens appear in the room, all of whom have their own chairs (with different styles/personalities).  What are they doing there?  How did they get there?  Are they dreaming?  Or even dead?  And if not, how do they get out?  Eventually a very flamboyant guy called simply The Guardian appears and explains just a tiny bit to them:  they are all here to fulfill their dreams.  Then he disappears again.  What on earth does that mean?!?  And what's next?

First (of course), the good!  As I mentioned, this is a totally new-to-me plot.  It doesn't fit neatly into any of the more common YA genres, like paranormal or dystopian.  I suppose I'd call it "psychological suspense light."  I was definitely hooked from the beginning, wanting to know more, just like the characters.  I tried to guess at what The Guardian meant when he told them that they would all fulfill their dreams, and I couldn't.  Also, Andy was kind of an everywoman.  She wasn't overly smart or overly pretty or overly confident or overly shy.   Even the outfit she is described as wearing is average:  a white top with jean shorts and sneakers.  Almost anyone could identify with her.  The remaining six characters covered the gambit from short & nerdy to chubby & shy to an everyman (male)... something for everyone!

A big appeal of the book was the mystery, so I won't tell you what The Guardian means about fulfilling dreams.  But once that part of the story starts to unfold, it is rather neat to see each character's reaction, and what happens when they have attempted to fulfill their dream.

So now the flip side:  John Dreamer was a pretty short, quick read (only 203 Kindle pages), which didn't leave a lot of room for character development.  I felt like all the characters (even the main character) were very 2D.  And I wanted more!  This story was totally interesting, and I would have happily read a longer book with more character development.  Just as with the characters feeling a little flat due to short length, the action also fell a little flat due to the short length.  Again, I would have happily read a longer book if it meant more detail and development of the dreams!  No one is ever going to like every single character in every book, but I think I would have really liked most of these characters... if I got to know them better.

This is kind of a side note, but I would go see this if someone made it into a movie!  The Guardian is just screaming to be on the silver screen.  (I vote for Christopher Walken for his part.)  With Hollywood borrowing so heavily from the book store lately, I hope someone discovers John Dreamer for next year's YA summer flick.

A quick, slightly flawed, but still entertaining read.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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