Release Date: March 14, 2011
Publisher: Young Rebel Publications
Review Source: eBook from author
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
DREAMWALK is a romantic mixed beat of time travel and mythology for both teens and adults. After the death of her mother, Chloe Hawthorn is haunted by terrifying nighttime hallucinations. Determined to take control of her dreams, she uses them to find Shane Anderson, a charming and troubled musician whose online videos have been holding her in thrall. She finds him in the Dreamtime, sweating out heroin detox in a run-down rehab center.
Chloe sets out to find Shane in the waking world and discovers her dreams have been taking her into the past. Horrified, Chloe realizes Shane doesn't survive his addictions. In order to save him, Chloe must master her Australian mother's legacy — the secret of walking the Dreaming through time. But what price will Chloe pay for this Dreamwalk and will she save Shane only to lose him forever?
This was a very interesting and thought provoking book, some of which I liked very much and other parts, not so much. Sarah MacManus writes in an almost dream-like fashion which suits the story perfectly. Her words are so easy to fly through as you try and figure out what might happen next. I also loved the narrative style of the story, as it is told from Chloe's perspective but is interspersed with Shane's journal entries. Being able to get into the heads of both main characters was rewarding, and I think the whole style of the narration was appropriate for the story being told.
My favourite part of the book was the beginning, or even the first half. The story being told was an interesting one; I liked Chloe and I wanted to see what would happen next. However, as Chloe became involved with Shane in the dreamtime I felt like her character changed a lot. The relationship was very sudden and rushed, both emotionally and physically. Chloe quickly became dependent on Shane much like he and other characters were dependent on drugs. Perhaps the juxtaposition of these two things was done on purpose, but it was definitely unsettling.
The latter parts of the book were quite hard for me to read, mainly because of all the drug use (which was described in detail), but also because of the dreamtime scenes. I found the whole concept of dreamwalking and all the scenes with the animals quite confusing. Maybe it's just me, but it was all a bit new agey, and therefore not to my liking. My main contention with this book, though, is Chloe's decisions toward the end of the book. She really disappointed me. I understand that issues aren't always black and white, but I feel like her choices really robbed her of any role she might have had as a hero or a saviour.
This book is quite dark and almost disturbing in places, however I understand that drugs and other issues do have places in stories sometimes. Just because I found it hard to handle doesn't mean that it wasn't appropriate for the story itself, though I would definitely only recommend this to older teenagers and adults. While this book wasn't my favourite I can appreciate the gripping story that it has to tell. Sarah MacManus is a talented author, so if you're looking for something grittier that examines questions of time and the dream state you'll definitely want to pick this one up.
Find Dreamwalk by Sarah MacManus on Goodreads, Amazon, & through Young Rebel Publications