Review: “Dare to Dream” by Carys Jones

"Dare to Dream" by Carys JonesA review by Domoni.

Maggie keeps having the same dream. She is watching the world end from her bedroom window. Red lightning rains down from the sky obliterating everything around her. Every time she wakes up it feels like much more than a dream. She isn’t getting any rest and life is getting out of control. No one is taking her seriously; not her mess of a mother or her combative siblings. Her best friend Dawn wants to support her but when Maggie is starting to believe that the dreams mean the world is going to end Dawn isn’t sure what to believe. Running on fumes Maggie takes a sleeping pill Dawn gives her. All it does is trap her in the dream long past when she normally awakens. The exploding window slices her face and when she does awaken she finds the injuries are real. Now the stones of Stonehenge are falling and Maggie believes it to be a count down to the end.  What should she do and how can she save the people who matter to her most?

This story is broken up into two parts. The first part is about Maggie and her home life and her dreams. She is a brilliant student destined to go somewhere in life despite her less than great home life.  Her mother drinks too much and doesn’t do a great job of providing for her brood and her four siblings that are all rather awful. Plus, she must deal with the her own idol worshiping of the absent father.  When the dreams start she starts to fall apart.  As the world watches Stonehenge fall, Maggie gets closer to crazy knowing that when that last stone falls the world is doomed.  This half of the books took a long time for me to get into. It could be all over the place for me. There was a lot that was jammed in and some didn’t make sense. Random things were added in that really was not necessary at progressing the story and just made it hard to follow. Like Maggie finding her father and being disappointed he isn’t what she expected. Or the blurb about her father also having the dream, we never hear another thing about him so I don’t know what the point of that was at all.  But the last ⅓ of the first part really kicked into gear as Maggie tried to save the people she loved.

The second part of the book was much better than the first. Maggie and Dawn and Andy, an intelligent boy from Maggie’s class that has a crush on her, are traveling to find safety led only by one short dream that the caves at a park about 20 miles from her home will keep them safe. They persevere, despite the constant night brought on by smoke and dust from the destruction that took the world just as Maggie’s dreams told her it would. They are just 14 year old kids and they behave just as you would expect. Between irrational anger and hysterical meltdowns the kids keep walking hoping to find other survivors and relative safety. This part of the book I could not put down. I loved each moment and fell in love with this author for it.

After completing the book I had to jump online and search to see if there was any word about a sequel and I really hope there is. Though there were things that put me off in the first half and made it hard to follow at first, it came together. So in the end it won me over and I recommend it.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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