Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!
SO many books have been getting rave reviews and popularity from the bookstagram community recently, and “The Dreamers” by Karen Thompson Walker has been getting the MOST popular during these past few months. Before the book was published, I requested it from Penguin Random House Canada since it sounded like it was going to be fantastic! And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.
Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?
This book was pure magic. The writing style captivated me from the very first page and immersed me into this small town that had been cursed with a strange sleeping disease. I loved how there was very vague foreshadowing written at some parts of this novel, which made it that much more intriguing.
The plot line was really interesting and flowed very nicely. While there were not many twists or turns, the concept of this book was very unique and unlike anything I had ever read before. The idea of a sleeping/dreaming disease spreading through an entire town seems like an otherworldly idea, so the fact that it was done on earth made it very interesting to read about. It makes you wonder what kinds of things can be born and spread throughout our society!
While we readers were not able to focus on a small amount of characters since there were so many we focused on throughout this story, I still found it easy to connect to the individuals characters and their storylines. All of there storylines were completely different from one another, and seemed to have a little bit of everything I love from different contemporary novels. Each character at one point or another had a random interaction/connection with another one, which I absolutely loved.
Obviously the setting and world building was a very large part of this novel. I how the book took us through many areas of the city, especially since all of the characters lived or worked around different parts of the town. The descriptions and world building were great, and made the story much more realistic.
The only thing I didn’t love about this novel was the ending. It finished very openly and didn’t really conclude anything. While I understand why it was done this way, I would have loved a full conclusion to this enchanting story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4/5 stars.
Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for the free finished copy!
Have you read this book or plan to soon? Let me know in the comments so we can discuss!
Good Night Book Owls!