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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Claire Voyante, the heroine from Dream Life, is back in the newest book from Lauren Mechling.  Recovered from her frenetic first semester at Henry Hudson High School, she’s settled in to life as an undercover psychic dream-having fairly well. She’s got a quasi-boyfriend, some new friends, and of course, Becca Shuttleworth is her best friend.  But when Becca starts hanging out with her old friends,  Claire has a dream of a girl raising a gun at her friend’s head, and decides to to investigate.  It’s then she learns Becca’s secret: She’s joined The Blue Moons, an ages old secret society of girls who perform random acts of good all around the city.  But their altruism doesn’t go unnoticed..a rival group is targeting The Blue Moons, intent on exposing their identities. At first it seems like simple cattiness, but could it be something more?  In the romantic department, Claire’s luck is lackluster.  Like Becca, Andy’s making excuses not to see her too.  If she’s so psychic..how come she didn’t see any of this coming?

In my Dream Girl review, I called the book a “delightful pastiche.”  In regards to Dream Life, I’d think of it more of a dessert, too rich for some, but still simply satisfying.   My favorite aspect of the first book, the dialogue, came back just as strong and enjoyable.   It’s not just Claire’s sarcastic observations filling the book with humor, warmth and real moments, but the adult voices as well, such as when Mechling writes the voice of Jon-Jon, a portly Southern gentleman who’s found himself at home on Claire’s grandmother’s couch:

“She’s catching an ice sculpture show,”Jon-John said lazily. “I had to pass on the opportunity, I’m a Southern boy and the only ice sculpture I like is in the shape of a cube, in a glass of bourbon.”

Once again, I could find several passages I love, but I’d rather have you read and react to them.

All of the characters, from the new to the returning, have a distinct voice.  In particular, the Blue Moons. I loved how they varied, and the unique traits they had, such as Sill’s Veronica Lake-inspired hairdo. A simple element in a large plot, but it’s just an example of how Mechling weaves contemporary, mystical, and vintage elements in for a compelling story.    Reading Dream Girl isn’t essential, but will enhance your enjoyment of the characters and the world in they inhabit.

Take a look at the fantastic trailer for Dream Life below!

Copy for review provided by the publisher.

Title: Dream Life
Author: Lauren Mechling
Date:  January 12, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte
Pages: 336
Format:  Hardback
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