What Dreams May Come
Author: Beth M. Honeycutt
What Dreams May Come is the debut effort of author Beth M. Honeycutt. The first in her In Dreams series, it is a sweet, young adult romance, and in my opinion, probably on the younger side of teens than adult. I think its target audience is about twelve or thirteen even though the main characters are sixteen or seventeen. Parents can rest assured that it is comfortably clean.
The concept of the story is strong one. I won’t spoil it by telling you what it is, but it involves dreams and was original enough to hold my attention. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a great deal of plot to go with it. If some of the over-done swooning were removed, it would have been better suited to a novella or even a very tight short story. With a print length of only 246 pages, I thought there were many places the narrative could have been expanded to show us more and develop more of the peripheral characters to enrich the promising base plotline.
The narrative actually has the ring of Twilight fan fiction. It begins in a meadow, the two main characters, Ellie and Gabe, challenge each other and bond in science class, the heroine is socially awkward, and is constantly hiding behind a “veil of hair.” It’s also desperately one-sided. Ellie is being bullied when Gabe comes to her rescue. Gabe has been through hell in the foster care system and abandoned by his parents. Not to diminish the very real harm of bullying, but in this narrative, Gabe’s problems are downplayed so he can be highlighted as Ellie’s hero. Nowhere does she seem to do anything for him except exist.
Finally, I found it regrettable that Honeycutt gave her interesting story such a common title. There are multiple books with the same name, including a very well-known 1978 romance by Richard Matheson. It was made into one of my favorite Oscar winning movies starring Robin Williams. (Super intense, visually symbolic story about a love that can withstand a trip to hell and back, literally. Have an entire box of tissues next to you if you rent it.)
Despite my issues with some of its construction, I definitely liked it and I strongly believe the next books in the series will only improve as Honeycutt develops as a writer.
Reality is overrated. Or so Ellie Cross has always believed.
Ellie is an ordinary, nothing-special girl who feels invisible most of the time. She’s the kind of girl who would loan her lunch money to anyone, but she’s definitely not the kind of girl to get noticed. Well, except by her mom, who constantly nags her not to be such a dreamer, and the class bully who makes her life miserable. It’s kinda grim for a girl who’s already painfully shy and all-too-aware that she “takes work.”
But Ellie has a best friend, someone she can turn to whenever she has a problem. Well, some might call him an imaginary friend, since they’ve never actually met outside of dreams.
And, sure, Ellie knows it’s kinda weird to have a friend no one else can see, but since her real-world friends currently number one, she figures an imaginary friend can only improve her social life. Even better, since he isn’t real, she can tell dream-guy-Gabe anything, without ever worrying that he’ll ditch her for someone cooler or embarrass her by blabbing her secrets. And so what if she happens to have an itsy-bitsy crush on her reality-challenged friend? Who’s it hurting, really?
But things are about to get complicated, because there’s a new guy in school—a guy with hauntingly familiar eyes. A guy who knows things about Ellie that he shouldn’t have any way of knowing…
Release Date: May 28, 2014
Series: In Dreams #1
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Book Source: Publisher/Author
What Dreams May Come (In Dreams #1)