Book Title:
Dreamfall
Book Author:
Amy Plum
Book Series:
Dreamfall, #1
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
April 24th, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss - Thank you!

Synopsis

Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse...but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

My Review

When I first read the synopsis for Dreamfall, I knew that I was going to love the book.  The whole idea of a group of teenagers suffering from problems preventing them from getting sleep getting trapped inside a dreamlike world full of their most terrifying nightmares not only intrigued me, but it was something that I pretty much needed to read.  I’m all about weird, creepy kinds of things like this.

This is also my very first book by Amy Plum, although I have heard of her other books and I actually own a copy of After the End.

To start off the review, have you seen the cover for this thing?  It’s not only creepy, but the colors and the design are a genius idea, perfectly fitting the story within the pages of the book.  I love the cover – it’s probably one of my absolute favorite book covers of 2017 (if not all time).

Dreamfall follows a group of teenagers as they undergo an experimental procedure that they believe will help cure their insomnia.  Since the first test subject to the experiment seemed to handle it okay, they reached out the study to another group.  They are all there for a variety of different reasons – different things that are keeping them awake at night.  Each one who is a part of the study has a different story, but they are all there for the same result – to finally be able to sleep again.

“No one could possibly understand unless they had a sleep disorder themselves.  They wouldn’t know that being so tired during the day that you can barely function and then wide-awake at night can make you crazy.  Literally.”

However, once the group of teens that are taking part in the study find themselves asleep in the lab, they start having dreams while they are under observation and the electric pulses are going through their brains.  They don’t know what’s going on with their actual bodies – they only know what they are seeing in their dreams – and those things are not sunshine and rainbows.

When they begin to find each other one by one, they realize that they are living through each other’s most terrifying nightmares – from scary churches to menacing clowns, these nightmares threaten their lives – for real.  When they start realizing that maybe when you die in the dream, you die in real life, they start to wonder how long until they will be able to wake up.

As they go through dreams, they get to know each other and their deepest fears, and they end up forming a bond and attempting to work together in order to survive.

But something even more sinister than nightmares is at work here, threatening the group from ever making it out alive.

 Dreamfall is told through three different alternating points of view – our main characters Cata, Fergus, who are subjects in the experiment, and Jaime, who is an observer over the experiment.  I love how the author included details from Jaime’s point of view, because it allows the reader to get a great sense of what is going on outside the dreamworld, whereas Cata and Fergus’s characters are narrating what is going on inside the dream world.  It’s a pretty interesting setup, and it really works.

At first I thought it was going to be a bit confusing, hopping and out of the dream world, but it wasn’t – it was actually a really easy story to follow.  There are a few characters in the dream world with Cata and Fergus, but not an overwhelming amount, and they all had their very own personalities, allowing us to get to know them and form opinions.  None of them were your traditional cookie cutter side characters – they all had their own problems and a depth that made them really interesting to read about.

While the teens are fighting for their lives inside the dream world, living through each other’s worst nightmares, on the outside, in the experiment room, we learn about them as Jaime goes through their files and reads up on them.  We learn a lot about them through their files, and while some ends are left loose, others are kind of tied up and we discover their backstories.

This book does end on a major cliffhanger, so I’m really excited to read the next one.  While I did find the ending to be a tad bit confusing, I had to re-read it a few times before it finally sunk in.  I don’t think it was any fault of the author, though – I think maybe I just hadn’t paid close enough attention to detail in the beginning of the book.

If you love thrillers and books that make you squirm (and that may bring on a nightmare or two), do not miss out on Dreamfall.  It’s such a fun book (and pretty darn frightening at some points – which is why I didn’t read this one before bed).

4 stars
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12 Responses to Dreamfall by Amy Plum

  1. Even though I don’t typically like books that could give me nightmares, your review still has me very tempted to check out Dreamfall because it sounds so unique.

    • Kelly says:

      It definitely is unique! I haven’t read anything else like this one – it’s definitely worth checking out. Just don’t read it at bedtime =P

  2. I haven’t heard of this series yet and I am really intrigued by that whole concept of being trapped in a nightmare. That is so unique! I think that the alternating perspectives approach would really add a perfect flavour to this one and I am so happy that you enjoyed it so much. This is one I will add to my TBR! 🙂
    Olivia @ The Candid Cover recently posted…Friday Reads #7: Perennials by Mandy BermanMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I hope you enjoy it when you read it – it’s really unlike anything else I’ve read and probably one of my favorites just for the incredibly unique premise (and pretty darn terrifying nightmares in the book!).

  3. Raven says:

    I haven’t read any books from Amy Plum but this sounds very interesting and also a bit freaky! I might give this a try! Nice Review! 🙂
    Raven recently posted…Ninja Girl By Cookie O’Gorman [Review]My Profile

  4. I don’t think I’ve read any books by Amy Plum but I’ve been meaning to! I’ve heard great things about her other books and now this one sounds like a must read as well! Lovely review, Kelly. 😀
    Analee @ Book Snacks recently posted…YAY Organization! // How I use my bullet journal for book bloggingMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! It definitely is a must read, especially if you are looking for something a little bit different. It’s fun and kind of scary at times.

  5. HOW have I not heard of this book before now? It sounds absolutely AMAZING, and something that I want to read right now. I just added it to my Goodreads TBR because I think I could fall in love with this. It sounds like a kind of Nightmare on Elm Street story, which is great because horror movies are my favourites 😀

    I find it really hard to be scared by a book, so I’m hoping that this one brings the creep factor – which it sounds like it does. I’m really interested to see what dreams are written about because dreams don’t have any rules, so they could be incredibly scary!

    I hope you like the second book as much as this one, Kelly 😀
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin: Read ItMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      This isn’t a downright horror novel, which is what I liked about it – it was more or less something that played upon the fears of the characters in the book, and the general atmosphere was simply creepy, which made it so delightful.

      I hadn’t really thought of it being like Nightmare on Elm Street before, but now I can definitely see the two of them being kind of alike. I’ve loved those movies since I was little…definitely going to have to have a movie binge day soon!

  6. Dreams are so fascinating in real life so anytime I see a book featuring them I am instantly intrigued! I’m so glad to see good things on this one because it sounds so good!
    Sara @ Forever 17 Books recently posted…‘Waiting On’ Wednesday (104): Beasts Made of Night by Tochi OnyebuchiMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I’m the same way – I love any books that deal with dreams! This is a good one, and I think my favorite book that has cool dream sequences in it is probably Dreamology by Lucy Keating!

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