For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does — they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant…
If you had stopped me around page thirty, I would have most likely slammed this slim novel. Mostly because of choppy sentences, repetitive use of the protagonist’s name, gratuitous time skips, and the implausibility of it all. But…
I wouldn’t have given the book enough time to settle and the resulting regret for being so harsh wouldn’t have sat well. Don’t get me wrong, those things I listed above are definite detractions, but the story does make up for them in other ways. And, turns out, I know exactly when the tide began to change: Page 72. Not that there’s anything particularly spectacular that happens on that page; it was just then that I realized that the characters had drawn me in.
The romantic element, which is subtly stated but charged with emotion, propels the story forward. Janie and Cabel are well matched, and, well, as inarticulate as it sounds, there’s just something about them together. I think most readers will respond to the rhythm between them; I know I did. The awkwardness of being in high school is present in spades, but through Janie’s interruption of dreams we get to see each character on all sides; it kind of disarms the stereotypes and reveals the problems that all teenagers face and most often hide.
I would have loved for this novel to have been fleshed out a bit more; things were tied up or resolved pretty neatly, and, too, most of the dreams seemed like standard stuff. There is so much potential here and that’s why I have great hope for the sequel, Fade, which I will most definitely be reading. As it stands, I’m really glad I saw this one out, and I’m more than willing to put aside the negative in favor of the positive.