- File Size: 466 KB
- Print Length: 336 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: November 26, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BW3FPF4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,216 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Dream Student (The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 336 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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First of all, commendable cover art from Ami Low. Even though it is juvenile, it is still dark, quirky, and really captures the essence of the story. Personally, it is one of the best covers I have seen in the paranormal genre. The concept of Dream Student is exciting and intriguing. All the characters are well-fleshed out, especially the protagonist, Sara. The time setting of the late '80s is nostalgic. On the other hand, the book's pacing is quite slow which lasts until the middle part for me - there are times that I feel there are too many details about Sara's college life rather than her nightmares and the murderer instead. Even so, the believable dialogue and plot, coupled with the humor that J.J. DiBenedetto includes in his writing, greatly compensate for this minor flaw. The thrill of "who done it" does keep me on edge. Overall, a fascinating story from start to finish and I intend to read the next installment in the series.
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I like the idea of seeing into a murderer's dreams. It reminded me of the movie "Eyes of Laura Mars," where the heroine "sees" through the eyes of the murderer. In "Laura Mars," it makes sense that you "witness" murders-- you're seeing real events unfold before you.
Dreams are different. I don't expect to see a murderer "dream" what had actually happened, to the point of being able to pick out details such as license plate numbers. This inconsistency nagged throughout the book.
But that could be excused in a story that concentrates on the murders. Instead, "Dream Student" is in love with college dorm life and romance in the pre-Internet, pre-First Gulf War look-it-up-in-the-phone-book era. The heroine, Sara, is very well drawn as an imperfect, nerdy, yet very girly girl, and school is affectionately portrayed with its bad cafeteria food, potluck alcohol parties, final exam anxieties, and improvised male-female sleeping arrangements. Sara's romance with the clueless but very loyal Brian feels real, too.
I would rather have had a lot more thrills and chills, and a lot fewer Pizza! Pizza! runs.
**some spoilers ahead**
Sara is a pre-med college student and suddenly she starts being able to see other people's dreams. Not often, usually her roommate or boyfriend, but then they jump to a murderer. It is always the same thing until he kills the current girl and moves on to the next one. An interesting idea, and the dreams were the best part of the book, but it just didn't work for me. Maybe if they would have been a bigger part, and there would have been more dreams that weren't so normal, or just more people's dreams, it would have been more interesting. That and if Sara did something about the dreams, or used them for good, for the first 75% of the book.
So what was the first 75% of the book? Well it was a pretty boring, detailed description of Sara going to school. I swear you were told everything she ate, or didn't eat, or when she forgot to eat. It seemed like every single mealtime was in there. Why? I am not sure. I don't care. That is just one of the over detailed descriptions about her life in this book. There are also way too much detail about what classes she was going to and her study habits and just everything about her life. She is a college kid, finals are coming up, you don't have to detail every hour of her day. I will assume she is studying and going to class and eating sometimes. It was a bit too much.
The other issue with the book? It was almost all telling not showing. I like showing. If you just tell me I don't connect with the characters or what is happening. Sara meets Brian shortly after she sees his dream where he is dreaming of her. I actually liked that scene, liked how Sara described the love at first sight thing. I got it, but then it quickly just was not right for me. I don't know what it was. It was like someone who didn't know what this would be like writing what they think people would want to see or something. It was just off for me. Sara and Brian are both in love right away which was actually fine for me, but some of the thoughts she had about Brian...some of the ways she thought of him were just...I wouldn't want someone to think of me that way. It was almost like she didn't really like him that much at times, but for some reason she felt like she had to be with him. It was odd and I didn't like it. I didn't see the connection because once again we were told not shown. That and sometimes she spoke about herself in a strange way as well. She also got a different personality when all of this started, and she commented on it like why did I say that? I didn't know I wanted to do that until I said it? Odd. I've never spoken like that to anyone before, etc. It was just like she was being controlled by something or someone else, but nothing ever happened with that. It was just the way it was.
One last thing, this book is set in 1989/1990. I am not sure why. Really the only reason I know this is because the date was at the beginning of every chapter. It was just like if you are going to set the book at a certain time then set it in that time. There was only one or two scenes where I thought oh if this were now they would just use their cell phone or something. Basically there was no way to tell this was set in 1989/1990. It was just another thing I found odd.
So the last 25% of the book Sara finally decides to start trying to do something with her dreams. She finally figures out who the killer is (who unfortunately is the guy I figured it would be when you first see him at the beginning of the story) and then instead of going to the police they try and solve the crime themselves! I mean what if the police don't believe them? I get that, but really if it were me I would go to them first. If they did nothing then maybe I would try and stop it myself. But police first. Really when I saw the first girl who was killed and recognized her from my dreams I would have went to them to try and help with the next girl. Even if they didn't believe me I would have tried, and afterwards I would start trying to figure out if I can find a way to figure out who the killer is. I mean you have access to his dreams so maybe you can find something. I wouldn't just try not to think about it and hope it goes away and I don't have to continue seeing girls who are murdered every night. I guess that is just me.
Overall not a very good read. It had so much promise, but it just didn't work for me.
This review was originally posted to Jen in Bookland
An intriguing paranormal story with suspense and romance. Sara learns she can see other's dreams, which leads her to looking for a local killer. I really enjoyed that part of the story. The romance part wasn't that great for me, but I'm not a fan of insta-love. This is a super-sized dose of insta-love. This is the first book in the Dream series, and I plan to read more.
Top international reviews
The central idea of dreaming the future was done well and you could believe the central character's despair and emotional distress at what they were forced to watch each night.
There are many aspects of this story which are strong but it did not leave me with a lingering impression and the ending was a little too gung-ho for my tastes. The characters could have left an anonymous tip for the police, for example. I also felt that the relationships were at times a little too cosy and at others a little too geared towards the young adult market for me to enjoy, which is why I couldn't give it the full five stars.
Having said this, younger readers and lovers of young adult fiction should love the book as a laidback, romantic read with a dangerous mystery threaded throughout.
The book tells the story from Sera perception. She begins by having a dream with an unknown boy, who having a dream/fantasy of her in a cheerleaders costumes, and she comes to the conclusion that she is experiencing someone else's dream. She doesn't confirm this fact until she actually meets the guy from her dream...
Sounds all fun? For example when she saw her friend/roommate having a pseudo-sex dream of Sean Connery... That would be some teasing material right there (which she doesn't use)... But early on she starts having nightmares, experiences the acts of another that is not harmless or have any good intentions..
Its hard to write a story review without giving the plot of the story away, though you could probably already guess or read from another review or synopsis. So in that case i will just say if i had to class this book, i would put it under crime/thriller/suspense.
I try to go into a book without knowing very much, when i came to this book i thought it would have been more supernatural/fantasy, which i tend to like. I would not but this book under supernatural, even if it does have a supernatural aspect. That being said overall it was a good read and glad i did not judge this book of the book cover (which looks terrible in my opinion).
There's a good balance of romance vs. mystery.
I felt really sorry for Sara; poor girl. I had to keep reading to find out what happened.
Really nicely written. And I love the mention of Scooby Doo. This gang have fewer clues to go on though, and I don't think Fred ever shacked up with Daphne! Shaggy may have had some nightmares which weren't ever documented. ;-P I hope Sara starts earning some money soon so she can go buy a Scooby Van/Audi! ;-P
I thoroughly recommend this book to those who like young adult suspense. Slight paranormal theme from the dreams/nightmares too.
Thought it was nicely written and at times felt like you were really there. Dreams are an interesting part of our life and it really makes you think about your own dreams and the story they tell. I do feel abit for Sara though with the nightmares! They are not fun :(
Would definitely recommend this book!
Great great book, a must read for anyone who likes romance, mystery and something slightly different.