Title: Dream a Little Dream
Author: Kerstin Gier
Translator: Anthea Bell
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Henry Hold & Co. Books for Young Readers (Macmillan imprint)
Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv's dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she's in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals. The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They're classmates from her new school in London, the school where's she's starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn't possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery....
Dream a Little Dream is fun and bright, magical and mysterious.
Liv is a curious girl. She's annoyed with her mother (who wouldn't be), disappointed in the turn her life has taken (goodbye, country cottage), and perplexed by some of her classmates. How could they know things she's only said in dreams? It doesn't take long for her to want to know more, for her to discover their secret and its source. Her relationship with her younger sister Mia is a breath of fresh air. It's so nice to see siblings who support each other, who don't hate or mildly dislike each other. Liv is definitely the more practical one with Mia being a natural-born detective. If only Mia had appeared a bit more often.
The magic and its origin are rather interesting. It doesn't overwhelm the other half of the story, the normal non-magic half, the part that's all about Liv and Mia moving to London and navigating the slightly bizarre politics of their new school. Once both come together, it makes normal life for Liv a bit more interesting and dreaming slightly more dangerous. Neither overtakes the other, it makes the book feel like a contemporary story with some fantasy elements.
The voice and tone seem a little young, but I felt the same when reading the author's Ruby Red trilogy. I'm wondering if it's more of a European YA trait. Liv sounds a bit young, but I didn't necessarily have a problem with that. Not all teens are mature and all-knowing. Some still have that cling of baby fat on their cheeks, that sense of innocence in their words and their actions. I would definitely recommend this to fans of the author's previous trilogy.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Macmillan through NetGalley/through Raincoast Books.)