Wednesday, March 26, 2014

John Dreamer by Elise Celine

The Basics:
John Dreamer by Elise Celine
Book One in John Dreamer Trilogy
YA, Romance
Published February 12, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

The concept sounded fresh and intriguing.

“The only thing in this place that’s true: You will not return to the life you knew”

Andy wasn’t usually sure about much, but she was absolutely certain this was the weirdest day of her life as she stood stranded in the middle of a great white room with six strangers. Well, they were mostly strangers. She could have sworn she’d seen the guy with the green eyes before, and maybe that was why he kept staring at her. When a man calling himself the Guardian appeared and said they had come to make their deepest dreams come true, they embark on an adventure none of them ever imagined—where anything is possible—and the consequences of their actions would change them forever.

My thoughts:i

John Dreamer had so much potential.

We've got a white room with a line of chairs reflecting the personalities of the people who start appearing in the room. There's seven of them, and together they're going to confront an individual's inner... conflict? Flaw?

On top of this, our heroine immediately 'clicks' with one of the characters - John D. Reamur. There's something a little familiar about him, something very reassuring, and she's attracted even though she doesn't want to be.

Unfortunately, I found this book really didactic. There was so much emphasis on learning the lesson of each character that it bogged down the sense of story. Maybe because the characters were all interacting in this place that was 'other', that was a construct for learning these lessons, reduced my sense of urgency or tension?  I don't know, there was something missing to really make this a compelling story.

The characters are strong (and need to be), with back stories that were intriguing though we didn't get to spend as much time with them as I wanted to.

I did think that the reveal on John's identity was a good pay-off. His story wasn't what I was expecting, but it was pretty darn good.

Bottom line:

Great concept, not a great execution. Perhaps the second and third books in the series will build on this foundation in a more engaging way?

3 stars
For fans of concept fiction, big YA romance fans

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