YA Review: DREAM A LITTLE DREAM by Kerstin Gier

I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since I reviewed a young adult book, but that’s all right. I enjoyed catching up on the middle grade, too. Today I’m reviewing a book I picked up because I thought it might work as a comp title for my violin story, and the magic side of it does, so bonus! But also, I thoroughly enjoyed it, so here goes.

Dream A Little Dream by Kerstin GierMysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what’s really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn’t possibly know–unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute….

 

Here are the five things I loved most about the book.

1. Liv’s pull into the boys’ world – Based on the description, you can see this dream world is nothing to joke about. There’s some serious stuff going on there, but Ms. Gier does an excellent job convincing the reader Liv would continue exploring it despite the danger. Her drive to solve a mystery no matter what overrides her self-preservation, and it kept me engaged even when I wanted to shout, “Get out while you can, Liv!”

2. The literary quotes – As Liv is a fan of Sherlock Holmes (thus the mystery focus), by far the most quotes are from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but Liv also loves poetry, and both she and the boys quote from various poets throughout the book. It was originally written in German, so there are also references to German poets and folk songs. Oh! And after she sees Hamlet, there’s a quite funny dream involving it …

3. The secondary characters – From Liv and her sister Mia’s Christmas-loving au pair Lottie, to full-of-himself Jasper (who she labels Shaving Fun Ken), to Persephone Porter-Pergrin chattering non-stop until she freezes at the sight of Jasper, each character is so well-drawn. I also enjoyed how Ms. Gier used the dream doors to represent the characters in the fantasy world.

4. The swoon-worthy boys – While the description makes it seem like all four of these boys are to be admired, really only two of them deserve attention from a personality standpoint. One of them–Grayson–is off-limits as Liv’s future stepbrother, which leaves Henry. He’s cocky, obnoxious, and continually leaves Liv guessing–which is probably why I loved him. Some readers might not like this kind of boy, but I generally do. Note that Liv tends to be rather cocky and outspoken herself, so it’s a good fit. I enjoyed the romance side of the story, and since it’s planned as a trilogy, I’m interested in seeing where it goes.

5. The ending – I wasn’t sure how this book would leave room for further stories, but it managed to tie up the main story and then end with rather a cliffhanger. However, it wasn’t the kind of cliffhanger I found frustrating. I’m anxious to read the next book but not foaming at the mouth :).

Overall, I thought this book was a unique take on dreams, and I really enjoyed the setting. Have you read DREAM A LITTLE DREAM? What did you think?

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About Michelle I. Mason

I'm a full-time writer, focusing mainly on middle grade and young adult fiction with some freelance PR writing and editing on the side. I'm also a wife, mom, Christian, violinist, avid reader and St. Louis Cardinals fan. And I watch way too much TV.
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