Saturday, January 23, 2016

BBReview: "Dreams 1: The Dream Student" by J.J. DiBendetto

Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal/Romance/Suspense
Publishing Date: March 18th, 2013
Page Count: 280
Source: Sent for review
Format: Paperback

Description from
What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams? If you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets…without them ever knowing?

Sara Barnes is about to find out. She thought that all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman in the next dorm who’s got a crush on her.

But when she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates…and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get Sara killed.

“Dream Student” is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.
Dream Student was about a very interesting topic, seeing other people's dreams. I think the topic of dream traveling is extremely interesting, because it's one that hasn't been completely fleshed out, like vampires. My only problem with books on dreams is that they (dreams) are unreliable. I mean, if someone watched one of my dreams it could mean something else to them than it does to me. This was my main problem with the book. On one hand she is watching a killer's dream, but on the other it's more of a psychic connection. If the girls being killed weren't in the news, then technically you could say the guy is just dreaming about killing people, but he might never actually do it. It would have been more realistic if she said that when she sleeps she relives things people have done that day or something. It doesn't really make for a good storyline at the moment, but it would be more believable than saying everything in his dream really happened. I mean in the other dreams she see's, she takes them as what people are feeling, not something that has already happened.

Another problem I had with the book was the time period the story takes place in. It was a small problem, but it just urked me because I think the story would have been stronger to me if it took place present day. I'm not saying 1989 - 1990 is in anyway too far in the past, but it just made the story too simplistic. The late 80's/early 90's wasn't much different than today other than style and technological advances. If this story took place in say the 60's, it would be stronger because the differences between now and then are much more dramatic. Besides not having smart phones, or cellphones in general, the story pretty much took place in present time. I just felt it wasn't a good style choice for me. I'm sure others will love it, but it just didn't do it for me.

Other than those two things I did enjoy the story. It was a little slow at times so, it wasn't an addictive page turner, but I still enjoyed the overall story. The characters could have been a little more developed, but for the most part I liked them. The only characters I had a problem with were the one's I was supposed to despise (i.e. her boyfriends mom and the bad guy). I would say this book was a solid 3 out 5 for me. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. There were flaws, but I still enjoyed the story it told. Will I continue with the series? Possibly.

This was a book that I didn't hate, but didn't love. Although the topic of dreams intrigues me, I find the topic to be a little unreliable. I don't think it's fair that Sara see's the bad guy's dreams as reality, but everyone else's as fantasies. I also found the time period to not be effective. If the story would have taken place later in the past or in present day, it would have been a lot stronger. I liked the characters and found them to be believable, but I still felt they could have been a little more developed. Lastly, the story didn't have enough action for me. It was slow at times, and I wish it would have been more of an addictive page turner. Even though I found issues with the book, I still enjoyed my time reading it and don't regret picking it up. This book was a solid 3 for me. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it, but I enjoyed it.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 3/5


About J.J. DiBendetto:
J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve university, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.

He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he's not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.

The "Dreams" series is James' first published work.

**The books description and info was found on Goodreads. A link back has been provided. All other work and ideas are of my own creation. This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.**