I read "Dream Me" by Kathryn Berla for the "read a book with a person on the cover" part of the booktubathon last week, and I loved it!
Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me access to "Dream Me". It was a really cute story with an unexpected twist.
Teen drinking as well as drunk/abusive parents play a role in "Dream Me" so if you're sensitive to that I'd suggest maybe not reading it. The abuse is never shown, just alluded to.
"Dream Me" is a contemporary read with a slight sci-fi twist that tells the story of Babe, a teenage girl who experiences dreams of a boy, Zat. She doesn't understand these dreams until part way through the novel.
"Dream Me" is written in both first and third person. I like reading books told in first person cause I feel I can connect to the character and what's happening more. Also we see articles from Babe's blog. These are significant to the story because it helps her cope with what's happening to her, both in her dreams with Zat, and in reality with real people. Zat's parts are written in third person, which worked well as he is from the future and none of us have experienced that and we don't know what will happen. This is just the authors take on it for this story.
There's a strong friendship element to "Dream Me" as well the romance. Babe has never really had any friends before apart from her ex boyfriend, who's in California. She gets to know and befriends, Mai a girl that works in her parents Korean food store, a rich boy with secrets of his own, LeGrand, as well as well as other characters that hang out where she works. I do however feel that the romance is a little insta-lovey though, so if that's not your thing, I wouldn't recommend this! The friendship element is perhaps stronger than the romance, however.
The main character is Babe. She's just moved to Florida from California with her parents. The town Babe's family has moved to has a rich and a poor side. Babe lives on the poor side.
"I had to live on a street named after a fish?"
shows how Babe is shocked about the name of her street. This also shows that she's not afraid to think anything.
Babe experiences weird dreams when she's in Florida. These dreams feature a guy called Zat. He's from the future, when earth is deemed unliveable. He's just about to move to a new planet when he becomes a part of Babe's dreams.
The contemporary side of this story is that Babe is a lover of tennis. She meets new friends when she's playing at the court. As well as Legrand's drunken dad who openly flirts with her. This is where the drunken parent comes in. As I said above, he doesn't abuse Babe. She thinks he could possibly abuse her, though.
I immediately liked and felt a connection to Babe's character. She's a spunky, fun loving girl who just wants an easy life.
"My Mom calls me Baby. Waaah!"
shows that Babe has a personality. Some main characters don't, I feel, which ultimately lets the book down, but Babe's is established within the first chapter of the story.
In Zat's first chapter we understand that the earth, in his futuristic time, is coming to an end. The main reason Zat becomes a part of Babe's Dreams is so that he can live on as in his time the earths population is seriously dwindling.
"Others forged ahead with the hope of discovering a new world. A new Earth, the way it once was".
I feel that if any character was a little underdeveloped it was Zat's character. He's meant to be from far into the future but you wouldn't know.
"His hands grow thick and rough. They curl around mine like roots of an ancient tree. His skin turns the color of amber. His nails morph into talons"
Is literally the only thing that stood out to me and made Zat different to a regular human being living in the 21st century. Without that description, Zat could just be a regular male character. It would have been nice if he'd had some powers or something that made him stand out other than this little description.
I felt that these two different time lines of Babe and Zat were established well at the beginning and I never felt confused about who I was reading about.
Babe doubted her ability to believe while Zat doubted his ability to be real. I don't want to spoil anything else but I really enjoyed "Dream Me". I think it's worth the read if you like love stories, strong friendships or characters with a goal to accomplish.
What did I like about "Dream Me"?
I liked the use of first person as I said above.
I liked how all of the real characters grew to accept each other, even though they were all different.
I liked how Mai and Babe supported each other throughout. There was never any backstabbing between them.
I liked how we got to see articles from Babe's blog, and how we got to see her responses to comments on it. It brought a different take on the story.
What didn't I like about "Dream Me"?
I didn't like how Zat didn't really seem different to any other character in the book. I felt he should have at least had something different.
I wish Zat had been focused on a little more. I get that the story is more about Babe but Zat plays an important role still. If he'd been from the 21st century the amount of detail we got would have been fine. I wanted more though, because he was from the future.
I didn't like how short the story was. I felt it wrapped up to soon and that more could have happened to the characters.
I didn't like the ending. I found it confusing.
I'm giving "Dream Me" 4 Stars because although I loved the story as a whole there were a couple of things that didn't quite make sense for me. One of those being the ending, which I don't want to spoil.
Stand by for my next review coming in a few minutes...