The Dreamer, Volume 1
(Canada ) - (US)
Pages: 160 pgs.
Finished: Dec. 21, 2009
First Published: Jul. 28, 2009
Genre: historical fantasy, YA
Beatrice ... I thought you were dead.
Acquired: Received a review copy from the publisher.
Reason for Reading: this book is a cybils award nominee.
Summary: Bea Whaley, 17, wakes up one morning after having a dream where she meets and kisses a young man. They are both dressed in old-fashioned clothing and when Bea awakes the dream feels so real. So real in fact that she can't get it out of her head all day. The next night she picks up her dream where she left off and figures out that she is in the American Revolution and the man is Allan Warren part of a military group called the Knowlton Ranger's. They have rescued her from kidnap by the British and are trying to get her home. Though she isn't helping matters as she has become fascinated with the handsome, God-fearing, courageous Allan Warren who seems to be in love with her, only they've had some fight he won't tell her about as she remembers nothing prior to her entering the dream. When she wakes into her own real life she tries to go on with things as normal but the guy she's had the hots for, for four years suddenly asks her out and she's not that into him all of a sudden. All she can think about is Allen. She falls asleep in class, she can't get to sleep at night and takes her mother's sleeping pills missing a day of school as she oversleeps. The dreams are not simply dreams to her anymore they feel so real ... and perhaps they are.
Comment: This is a fabulous story! The relationships between the high school kids is real, their dialogue is spontaneous and true to life. Bea is a character we get to know very quickly; she's friendly, kind, perky, one of the popular girls at school. But she has a temper and sense of indignation that comes out when her cousin's teasing goes too far. As she enters the 1776 era, she takes her 21st century girl attitude with her by refusing to be shuttled around by the men and 'taken care of'. She takes charge of her situations and at the same time she is quite charmed by the gentlemanly behaviour of the men towards her as a woman, and the chivalry unheard of in the 21st century does help warm her heart to these men of yesteryear.
I have one slight problem and that is with the cover. Why the obvious cheesecake pose? The illustrator does love to draw cleavage in the story, but this female on the cover is not a character in the book, nor does our main character ever dress up in full military uniform. The art isn't even characteristic of what can be found inside which is much more realistic and angular. It just seems to be a cheap shot at a cheesecake illustration to get men/boys to pick up the book, which feels strange coming from a female author/illustrator.
A rollicking good, fun book with lots of adventure and derring-do. Action all the way through. The dream sequences fill most of the book, but there is also enough of a parallel story going on in her 'real' world to bring a cohesive two part plot to the table. This is a book that will appeal to all, the strong spirited female character will satisfy girls and the military action of the war will satisfy the boys. While ultimately a love story, this is not a soppy romance, but oh so much more. Highly recommended.
For those who like to read online this is a webcomic available at http://www.thedreamercomic.com/. Volume 1 covers chapters 1-6. I don't like reading these things a chapter at a time, so I'll be waiting until Volume 2 comes out in hardcopy before I continue on with the story.