Saturday, September 26, 2015

THE DREAMER by E.J. Mellow

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.

There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?

Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.

I do admit that I was a little bit reluctant to read The Dreamer. I’ve always been a little bit skeptical of indie books because of previous experiences. But I am happy to say that I was not disappointed by The Dreamer.
Two main things that I absolutely loved about this book - the idea, and the romance. Let’s start with the idea.
We meet Molly, our MC, right as she gets struck by lightning. Luckily, she is fine, but she starts having these odd dreams of this different, all too vivid world. This idea almost seems cliche, but when I thought about it I realized I have never encountered a book where dreaming is actually a reality. It takes Molly a while to realize that this world she is being transported to is a real place, and when she does, she realizes that she has a real problem. She has a hard time coming to terms with it (because really, who wouldn’t have a hard time with that?) but as all lovable main characters are, she is up to the challenge. And her biggest might just be... Dev.
Dev. Don’t even get me started! He’s that super attractive guy that every good NA/YA novel needs. But at the same time, it’s kind of like... Do I even like him? He kind of sucks. But daaaang he is attractive. We’ve all been there as readers of Young Adult novels. But then of course, we won’t only have Dev, but we also have Jared, who is her super nice (earthly) boyfriend who only wants nothing more than to be there for her. The two extremes. And to be honest, I still don’t know where I stand when it comes to choosing between them...
While there was a lot of great things in this novel, I did have one slight problem with The Dreamer - it was a little bit slow. It almost was like an introductory book to get us ready for the awesomeness that the second book promises (which I am sure is coming). It was still interesting, but I didn’t feel that the plot was completely developed and at times didn’t see character’s goals. Nonetheless, it ended in a way that was too tempting to say no too. Talk about a cliff hanger! I need the second right now!
I do recommend The Dreamer for slightly older audiences (I would say 15 and up) and for those who enjoy fantasy and romance. I give it 3.9 stars, because it deserves more than 3.5 by doesn’t quite make four because of the pacing.
Get ready for The Divide, which comes out this October!


Thursday, September 17, 2015


I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.

And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor’s office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.

April won’t let Jonah go without a fight.

He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?

I have always been a sucker for books that battle the stigmatisms surrounding mental illnesses. So when this one crossed my path, I knew that I had to get my eager hands on it. Your Voice is All I Hear  is probably one of the best books that I picked up in 2015.
Your Voice is All I Hear is all about the relationship between April and Jonah. From the very beginning, I was drawn into this book by the characters. April was shy and soft spoken, and when Jonah comes into her school as a new student, she thinks she has no chance. But instead of looking at the prettiest girls in the class, he looks right to April and outright calls her pretty on the first day in front of everybody. This inevitably leads to their coming together in an official boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, and a really cute one at that.
And next thing we know, Jonah’s in a mental hospital.
The most painful part of this book (and there was a lot of pain) was when her mother told April to give up on Jonah, because she deserved better. I feel like this happens all too much. Jonah was a nice, great boy, but because he has a mental illness people automatically think lowly of him and accuse him of being “crazy.” I wanted nothing more than to shout at the mother that though mental illness can be hard to deal with, it is still none other than a sickness. And there are cures, and ways to deal with it. April stayed by Jonah’s side faithfully throughout the book, and it was because of this that I felt a great deal of respect toward the main character. Through thick and thin, she was with him.
I would be lying if I said that this book wasn’t painful to read. It was emotional and brutal - and yet, honest. These are issues that need to be addressed, whether people want to or not. It’s a book that you look back and you remember, definitely not the kind that you finish, set down, and forget about.
The only reason I don’t give Your Voice is All I Hear five stars - I sometimes felt that the pacing was somewhat off. I felt like Jonah’s condition went from critical for one hundred pages, to suddenly stable and acting one hundred percent normal. But with the whole book put into consideration, it was hardly a problem.
I would say that Your Voice is All I Hear is for a bit of an older audience just because it does get scary and upsetting at times. But there are obvious positive messages and role models. A must read for sure!
So next time you’re in your local bookstore, make sure you look for Your Voice is All I Hear!