Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Review: Dreamland by Alyson Noel

Title: Dreamland
Author: Alyson Noel
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: September 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: After Life, Dreams, Magic, & Family Ties
Pages: 210
Plot: (From Back of Book)

“The dismal truth of my existence bloomed before me: While I may have excelled at Soul Catching, I was a total failure when it came to having an afterlife. My Social life was even deader than me.  I had no friends.  No hobbies.  No place to go…

Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work.  So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a away to contact her sister, Ever.  She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams.  As a dream jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate.  As a dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer.  But dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up.  Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio.  What she finds is a far cry from a dream.  Can Riley break though the nightmare to reach her sister?”

I was very passionate about The Immortals series and when I came across The Riley Bloom series I was very excited and very curious.  I loved her character in The Immortals; she was always so quirky and entertaining that I knew then that this would be an interesting spin-off. 

I found that Dreamland wasn’t as dreamy as I thought it would be.  It definitely held more than a few nightmares that I wouldn’t want to find myself in!  Compared to Radiance and Shimmer, it was a little darker and lonely.  Overall, it was a great addition to the series.  I’m sure that Alyson Noel knew what she was doing and felt that it was needed for Riley’s character development.

Noel creates an intriguing afterlife in the Here & Now.  The world that she paints is one that is truly wondrous and full of spender and mystery.  Her characters light up the story as they are fun, curious, absorbing, and meddling.  I love that all Alyson Noel’s books are easy reads, her writing has this free flow style to them. 

Riley Bloom is the typical little sister who idolizes her big sister.  Even in the afterlife she still wants to contact her.   But then twelve year old Riley has a few things to learn about the afterlife.  As impatient as this twelve year old can be, she’s always looking for the easy way out or the quick way to do things… and she learns the hard way that she won’t get anywhere with her selfish ways. 

I felt this book earned an A-, as it was darkly forlorn but still wholesomely engrossing.  If you were a fan of Immortals then find out what happened to Riley after she crossed the bridge!

My Rating: 18/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing Style: 5


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