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Review: Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dream a
Little Dream

Kerstin Gier
Translated by Anthea Bell

Series: Silver #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Hardback: 366 Pages
Publication: April 14, 2015
by Henry Holt and Co. BFYR

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals.

The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . .


The intriguing premise is what drew me to Dream a Little Dream. The mystery of what supernatural forces are at work is what kept me reading. Though the plot has potential to really delve into the mysterious and fantastical elements working in the dream world and the supernatural rituals that the four boys appear to be doing, it focuses more on the day-to-day happenings than the dreams. While this is different from my typical UF read, I found it refreshing how the novel kept me questioning what was caused by supernatural forces and what was caused by coincidence.

That said, I felt like Gier was more interested in exploring the relationships among the different characters than the supernatural elements. Not only is more time spent in the everyday world, the heroine Liv spends quite a bit of her time thinking about romantic / high school clichés and how she is above all that (until she isn't anymore)—so much that it got old fast. Real nerd girls may think that from time to time, but most of the human thoughts tend to drift to what we do like. The romance also came out of nowhere. Liv has barley met the guy, they only hang out in dreams from time to time, and he hasn't given out much information about himself. Up until the end, I was pretty sure that the romance would head in another direction.

It doesn't help that the characters are all pretty much one-dimensional and without much substance. The character that I found to have the most depth, even more so than Liv, was Grayson. He is the only character that seems to have any sense (as a couple characters point out), he shows a variety of emotions (especially when he's worrying over Liv, though the reason behind his concern isn't fully explained), and there are multiple dimensions to his character (most notably revealed when he tells Liv what he wished for). That said, even Grayson didn't have much character development. No one person beyond Liv is given much page time. When they do appear, most of the focus is on clichéd scenarios that appear in too many YA novels instead of fleshing out their characters. In the end, I can tell you about who the characters out, but I can't say what drives them. What makes them who they are.

The plot was also lackluster. One reason is that the novel tends to gloss over the details. While the dialogue wasn't terrible, there isn't a good balance between dialogue and details. The scenery and the characters' behavior isn't really given during scenes. In fact, much of the characters' behavior doesn't make sense. It doesn't seem like Gier gave much thought into the meaning and motivation behind their actions. For example, I can't see Grayson being so focused on texting that his father's announcement at dinner didn't register much response from him. A normal high school student wouldn't definitely react or at least show some emotion. I also couldn't feel Liv's presence in the narration. While she does have thoughts, they are distinct from the backdrop, from the characters actions and the going ons at the time.

There is one more thing I want to note. Liv repeats (much too often) her line on how she knows kung fu. Girls, there is a difference between knowing kung fu and being foolishly courageous. Merely knowing some form of martial arts is not the solution to everything.  For example, it's plain stupid to follow two guys you barely know (with at least one more on the way) into someone's basement on the basis that you can defend yourself with kung fu. Isn't the point of self defense also to know how to avoid dangerous situations in the first place?

Despite the seriously clichéd turn of events, Dream a Little Dream is still interesting enough that I'll be checking out the second novel in the series. My questions going forth into the series are: (1) will the romantic interest change, (2) what is the supernatural power at work, and (3) why are these peoples' dreams connected?

A review copy was provided by Macmillan for review

Rating: 3 stars

  1. Dream a Little Dream
  2. Silver #2
  3. Silver #3

Similar Books
  • Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
  • Kissing
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4 comments on "Review: Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier"
  1. I have this one waiting on my TBR for me. I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to want to check out the sequel :)

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  2. I definitely felt different than you about the characters. I REALLY liked them and have in all her books. But I do agree a bit about the romance. I don't think it really bothered me for some reason, but I feel it should have. It did kind of come out of no where. I still loved this book though. I think there's just something about her writing and her characters that I can't help but adore. Thanks for your honest thoughts on this one!

    1. I'm glad that you like the characters, Candace. I agree that there is a compelling quality to Gier's writing. It kept me reading when I would have otherwise dnfed the novel!


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