Thursday, February 23, 2017

The girl who could not dream by Sarah Beth Durst

I don't like to admit how long it's been since I really got into a good middle grade novel. I have been focusing on nonfiction and younger titles for a long time and nothing seemed to grab me. However, I'm coming to the end of selections for my middle grade book club that I've read and I determined to try some things. I went through several and still didn't get into them and then I picked up this one and fell right into it.

Sophie (which is an awesome book name - my book club readers have been quite vocal on "weird" book names) doesn't dream. What makes this even more frustrating is that she's surrounded by dreams. One illicit venture into her parents' dream shop and she acquires a companion - Monster. Life continues after this brief adventure, hiding from normal people, distributing dream catchers at school to collect nightmares, but then Sophie is seen by a client and the next thing she knows she's on a desperate venture to save her parents from the mysterious Mr. Nightmare. Can Sophie use her talent to make dream creatures real to avert tragedy or will everything be devoured by nightmares?

Sarah Beth Durst is an excellent wordsmith and she creates a tapestry of magic, humor, and fear, catching Sophie's emotions and Monster's personality, the chilling flavor of nightmares, and the wonder of the dream shop in her net. This is a pure comfort read, with plenty of fantastical details to light the imagination and intrigue the mind and a satisfying ending with just a hint of unresolved plots to keep the reader dreaming.

Verdict: I like the paperback cover (pictured to the right) better than the original and I look forward to introducing this to my fantasy fans and my book club.

ISBN: 9780544935266 (pb ed.); Published 2015 by Clarion (pb edition 2017); Purchased for the library

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