Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.
Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?
I have really mixed feelings about DREAMLAND. The premise was really interesting but the actual execution didn't quite live up to it. While I was kept engaged by the book for most of the read, I felt like there really wasn't a lot of momentum. Things that should have been focused on, weren't, and things that I feel mattered much less stayed front and center. It was rather frustrating at times. Even so, all could have been forgiven if the portrayal and focus on the Dreamland had of been different, or more. For a book with this kind of premise, I just expected a lot more attention and explanation to be tied to it. It just was a let down to be honest.
Onto the characters, I can't say that I really connected fully with any of them. Odea can't across as a petulant child at times, keeping everyone including her mother at arms length. And while a part of me understands Odea's rebellion due to the circumstances, it just rang a bit false. This non-connection came strongly through the book and despite the budding romance, most the characters felt flat.
Overall despite being engaged enough to keep reading, this one just didn't work for me. I wanted so much more and while there were parts and glimpses at that great person hinted to in the premise, ultimately it fell flat.