Dream Me by Kathryn Berla

Title: Dream Me
Author: Kathryn Berla
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Source: Netgalley

From Goodreads

Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…

Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.

But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?

Can a dream become a reality?

It’s kind of hard to review Dream Me. I really did not enjoy this book so it’s kind of hard to describe it. I guess I can just break down the description. I have to admit that I skimmed the latter half of this book, but still feel like I missed absolutely nothing.

“Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…”

Okay so right here I am thinking ‘oh this is cool, he’s from the future earth and it’s dying and he somehow he dreams of the past. Maybe he has some sort of magical powers that lets him see things from the past. And cool he can time travel how awesome…wait…he lives in her dreams? I don’t know what that means, but maybe it won’t be weird.’
We only get to see a brief glimpse of this future earth and it’s a terrible glimpse. There isn’t a whole lot of world building, there’s an attempt to describe the world that he lives in, but it isn’t very rich and skims on the surface of what it’s actually like. I think that fleshing out Zat’s world, showing him interacting more with people that from his own time, letting us learn who Zat really is could have done a wonder for this book.

“Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat.”

Okay let’s look at this; this introduction here tells me that there are going to be alternating POV’s in the book. Okay cool, I’ve had really great success recently with these kinds of books recently. We meet this girl named Babe and learn about her background and based on her father’s career I thought this took place in the near future, but then nothing in this book really follows up on that. The highlight of the book is honestly the description of Sugar Dunes, Florida. It seems to be the only thing that is described in depth in this book.
The two different narrations don’t really work in this book, they are uneven and don’t shine for either character. We spend most of the time with Babe, but everything is so superficial and I never ever get a sense of who Babe really is. She comes off as really juvenile and immature and her conversations just don’t feel natural. We don’t get a sense of her beyond the surface. Fleshing out both of these characters would have brought the book to life.

“Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.
But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?
Can a dream become a reality?”

This is where the premise of this book becomes way too strange for me. Zat is a time traveler who really just takes over people’s mind hence showing up in Babe’s dreams. He invades her mind without her knowing or her approval and then she ends of falling in love with him. This is not okay with me. It rubs me the wrong way and it creeps me out. It’s no different than her being held against her will and then falling in love with the man who does it. He should not have just entered her mind without her knowing and honestly even if she gave permission, the fact that she doesn’t even understand the future’s method of time traveling would have made it super unrealistic and weird. Even the ending of the book when he shows up for real is strange and it doesn’t work for me.

The best stories, no matter what their genre, are grounded in reality. They show real struggles, real emotions, and real decisions. This book doesn’t do that. If it tried, then it failed. There are other things that I disliked about this book, but I will just still with the ones already listed. This is not a book that I would recommend.

Waiting on Wednesday April 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

(I love that cover!)

For fans of Jandy Nelson and Jenny Han comes a new novel that asks, can you possibly know the person you’re becoming if you don’t know the person you’ve been?

Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again?

Top Ten Tuesday April 25, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week our topic is top ten things that will instantly make us not want to read books. I am going to do this list based on books I never picked up and books I did pick up but couldn’t finish.

An Unbelievable Premise.

The most important thing in any book is for it to be grounded in reality. If your book doesn’t have realistic characters with real struggles, even if it’s a high fantasy, then it will not work out.

Weak Writing

You know right away when the writing isn’t strong. The story the author is trying to tell us could be really amazing, but if the writing isn’t there then the story isn’t going to come together in the right way.

When Characters are Juvenile

Yes, this is young adult fiction but that doesn’t mean that this needs to be written for a young comprehension level or with characters who don’t match. I recently read a book that felt like the author was giving her view on teenagers (whiny, emotional, not good enough struggles or ability to comprehend the world around them) instead of writing teenagers as actual human beings. When you are an adult writing about teenagers you should be writing them as if you’re right in the middle of them, not someone who is so far removed from being a young adult that the entire story comes out mutated. Young adults are young, but they are also strong and are going through so many things and should be written strongly and not as if they are being scolded.

When Multiple Narration Doesn’t Work

When there are multiple points of view, but the voices don’t change with the different characters. If you’re going to do multiple narrations, then I should be able to tell each time it shifts and be able to tell distinctly who is speaking to me.

Social Commentary Fails

When it’s too obvious someone is trying to make a social commentary and it fails. You all know these books are going to be terrible and probably offensive just by the description. Someone tries to make a comment on something and they think it’s a great idea and somehow in the string of people who touched this book on its way to getting published no one else noticed this.

When the Point is too Preachy

This one goes with number five, but books that are trying to make a point and it’s really obvious. Your book should make a point and when I’m done reading it I should know what it is, but it shouldn’t be shoved in my face the entire book. There needs to be a point to YOUR point. You need to show me why this thing you want to teach us is important and show how it comes into play in everyday life. Books that teach a lesson are fine, but there should be a good story with it and not just be a scolding the entire book.

Terrible Cover

They tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but I think many of us are guilty. The cover is really the first thing we see of a book. Most of the books I read are ones I’ve heard about from other people, but don’t know much about. I usually purchase books solely on recommendation and good word from bloggers on Twitter or from authors I know I’ve loved in the past. Really with the exception of books I request from Netgalley I do not read any of the description of the books. I want to be completely surprised when I read books so unless it’s something I’m searching for to request then I don’t read anything on the book. Understandably covers have become really important to me. If a cover is really low quality (you know the ones I’m talking about) then I feel like the quality of the book itself would be low. As much effort needs to go into creating these covers as writing the book. The cover should show how amazing the book is.

Bad Plot Points

When a plot point just doesn’t make sense. This one calls back to number one, but there are some books that make sense in every single way except for one. I DNF’d a book last year that started off so well but about 1/3 of the way through the book something really weird happened. I tried to continue on in the story, but I just could not get over what she was trying to get us to believe and had to stop reading it. You can have an amazing book (and that book had favorable reviews) and one thing can ruin it for people. Unfortunately, it’s really hit or miss at that point though because some people are going to love it and think it’s brilliant and some people just aren’t going to get it.

Too Long

When a book is too long. Young adult books over the past few years have been getting progressively longer. For most of the books that’s great! But for some it just means the first 300 or so pages are so slow! I read these books and I get to that 200-300 page mark and wonder why things aren’t happening yet. Yes, I love the fact that you’re spending time setting up your world, but I need more action. I know the climax is going to come in that last 100 pages at some point, but I still need some sort of action in the first 300-400 pages.

When It’s Just Bad.

Sometimes a book has so many things wrong with it you wonder how it was published or why you decided to accept a review request from that self-published author. We live in a publishing world today where self-publishing is so accessible and easy for people. I have read some absolutely fantastic self-published books. Most of those authors spent time and money having it professionally edited and marketed and actually put in the effort the story deserved. Then there are people who wrote a book, decided to ignore the advice of all the beta readers (or maybe those people were liars) and publish their book without putting in the effort to edit it or make sure it made sense. These are the books that turn people off from self-publishing and it’s sad that there are so many of them that they ruin it for the people who actually tried and have talent. This doesn’t only happen in self-publishing though; it happens with traditionally published books. I finished a book recently that I purchased solely on the recommendation of a publisher’s tweet and it was a terrible book.

 

What are some things that drive you guys nuts in books?

 

 

 

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

I am taking part in a new meme hosted by What’s Beyond Forks? where we take a book that’s been on our TBR list and we review it!


Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Publication date: February 25, 2014
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

I have been on an unusual contemporary kick recently and so Better Off Friends seemed like a good book to read. I actually saw it on Twitter and went faith that it would be a good read. Unfortunately, I was mistaken.
I really wanted to love this book. Like I REALLY wanted to enjoy it. This book is about two friends who met in middle school and are instant best friends. I had no idea when I started the book that this was going to start off in middle school with preteens. Honestly I did not need to know that much backstory. A simple flash about the moment they met would have been enough or even just a comment thrown into their conversation.
Such a huge chunk of this book was needless and it almost turned me off completely. I went onto Goodreads to see if they ever got to high school and when I discovered they did I decided to keep going. This book has its really great parts, mostly the banter between Macallan and Levi and that was something that held me on through most of the book and I thought that the instant messaging/texts between the two were a good shining moment.
The language and personalities of these characters does not change throughout the book and that was such a huge issue for me. I would expect growth from a book that spans so many years, but there was none. The character’s issues were immature and not what I’ve come to expect from the YA books that have become so popular. Young adult novels get more sophisticated every year and in order to keep up they all need to be written on a high level and this book was just not up to standard. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone unless you have some time to waste.