Dreamology by Lucy Keating

tumblr_o3u5gmADuQ1qdlytco1_1280Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Published by Harper Teen on April 12, 2016
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: Yallfest

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2.5 Stars, Completed August 5, 2016

– read the bold text only to avoid SPOILERS –

I feel pretty bad about this rating because it seems like the majority greatly enjoyed Dreamology; and there were certainly moments where I did, too, but I also had issues with the characters and romance which prevented me from overall truly being fond of the standalone.

…dreams and reality are far from the same.

In Dreamology readers are introduced to Alice and Max, a cute pair that, like many couples, meet everyday… but only in their dreams. Then on the first day of class, Alice walks into her new school and notices a boy exactly like Max. Though he is indeed the one and the same, the real life Max is different from the dream Max that Alice has known practically all her life. And as they get to know each other’s true personalities, they have to face a number of obstacles before they can be a real couple-one of the biggest being that their dreams are bleeding into reality. To prevent from going mad, Alice and Max will have to decide whether they want to put an end to the merged dreams.

I do have to praise Lucy Keating because the imagery used for the dream chapters was so whimsical and vivid. In fact, the surreal qualities sort of reminded me of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland-in a good, tastefully inspired way. (Also, it’s cool that our protagonist is named Alice. Some more parallelism!)

As I alluded, I really liked the incorporation of the dream segments, which were distributed to be nearly every other chapter. Readers would think that they’d get disinteresting or humdrum quick, but each were equally as entertaining as the last.

My problems lied more so in the real life parts, which was the larger part of the book.

Max and Alice’s romance seemed like an entirely new form of instalove because the girl falls in love with the boy from her dreams, which I did anticipate and was totally okay with because this is after all the complete storyline of the book. However, Max and Alice’s relationship moves on unnaturally fast. Arguably, Alice actually has known Max her entire life since they both started having the playful dreams as young kids, but even Alice admits that the real Max is quite different from the dream one. Their relationship felt kind of unnatural-and at times forced-to me because of quick progression (from meeting in real life to falling in love with each other).

Another drawback I encountered was the lack of depth within the characters; I had a difficult time emotionally connecting with them.

First, I strongly disliked Alice’s character. She was impatient, overzealous, and way too Max-crazed (too early on) for my liking. The bulk of the beginning of the book was her feeling betrayed that the in real life Max already had a girlfriend. She couldn’t wrap around why he would date someone other than her. But, I mean, for the longest time both of them acknowledged that their dream counterparts were, well, part of dreams and not real anyway. I mean just because something happens in a dream doesn’t limit or dictate what someone does with his/her real life. However, conversely, I guess I would have been able to see Alice’s perspective on the matter more if she and Max knew they both existed in reality from the beginning.

As for Max, personally I found him void of much personality. He didn’t standout among other fictional boys I’ve come across and was completely forgettable. I couldn’t really see why he was so crushworthy to Alice or Celeste, his girlfriend. But who knows, maybe other readers found him cute or his indecisiveness endearing. Attractiveness is different for everyone, I suppose.

Also, since this book predominantly focuses on the romance than any other element it’s important (for me) to be able to like the couple together, but in addition to finding Alice and Max’s relationship odd and detached, I also couldn’t help myself ship them individually with the second leads. Second lead syndrome was overpowering in this one. Oliver had less time with Alice (if you include the dream states) but he gave the most effort in getting to know and being there for her in real life. Also, Celeste was such a genuinely nice and amiable character, it was pretty sad seeing how she was treated by both Max and Alice.

And yes, earlier I did type leads plural, meaning there was a love polygon involved. It wasn’t an obnoxious one, but it also felt unnecessary. To be honest, I wouldn’t have minded keeping Celeste as part of the romantic plot, but with Oliver, too, it was a little overdone that each lead has two love interests vying for their attention.

But despite these faults, there were, as I said, parts that I did still like. What I really enjoyed was Alice’s relationship (or lack of relationship, I guess) with her mother. It may seem like the absent character trope was exaggerated because how can a mother abandon a kid in the manner Alice’s mom did? But I feel like having such a detached and unmaternal figure isn’t too unimaginative, and that part was very realistic and even relatable for me.

Anyway, I expected to swoon over and be swept off my feet by Dreamology, but, alas, I wasn’t really impressed because of the lack of character complexity and characterization, rushed romance, and love polygon. (Though I didn’t really elaborate, the ending was also tied up a little too conveniently neat to be believable.) Overall, a book with a charming premise full of potential that fell flat for me but may still be a fun, fast read for another reader.


Quotes were taken from an uncorrected advance readers copy.

Thank you Harper Teen (and the EpicReads booth at Yallfest) for giving me the opportunity to read and review Dreamology. In no way did this affect my reading experience or honest review.

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23 thoughts on “Dreamology by Lucy Keating

  1. Lais says:

    I was very excited to read this book, but after reading your review, I feel less hyped up – which is great, actually. I think having high expectations for a book can be very dangerous. I feel like I may not love the characters as much, but I’m still curious about the dream-reality parallels.
    I have a lot of vivid dreams at night and, sometimes, I dream about the same place more than once. When I read the synopsis, I was intrigued, because I could relate to the main character. I don’t dream about a boy – I dream about places, but I think it would still feel the same. Okay, I’m totally rambling right now, hahah.
    Great review, Summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Lais! ^.^

      I know exactly what you mean; I may have fallen victim for the hype with Dreamology. It’s not too, too popular but all of my GRs friends that had read it adored it, so I guess I was expecting to, too.

      Dreams are an intriguing concept, aren’t they? I dream nearly everyday, and I love how reality and our imaginations are taken and warped together to create such surreal elements and scenarios.

      Like

  2. Alicia @hashtaglovebooks says:

    That is unfortunate! I haven’t read many reviews on this and this definitely gave me a good insight into what the book is like and by the sounds of it, it doesn’t seem like my sort of thing! I’m glad you posted this review, I don’t want to waste my time on bad quality books! Great honest review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cw @ readthinkponder says:

    Wow, great review Summer! Thorough and eloquent as always! c:
    I’ve seen this book around, but actually haven’t read the synopsis – now that I’ve read your review, I’m intrigued. I might just give it a go though. So, I can’t say much until I read this book – so I’ll read it and then get back to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Ah, thank you so much, Chooi! That means a lot since you’re one of the book reviewers I look up to. :’)

      Hehe, looks like a sound plan. I also think I’m the black sheep with this opinion anyway. If you do pick it up, I hope you like it more than I did. ^.^

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lois says:

    Love polygon, no thank you. That is the ultimate warning sign. I don’t think I could cope with that, especially with how the extra parties are usually treated by the protagonists. I’m sad to hear that the romance is so central to the book. I love a good romance but with a concept as imaginative as dreamology I think I’d prefer to explore that concept a bit more. I might have to give this one a pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Sigh, I hated that I didn’t enjoy this one as much. The premise was so intriguing and had heaps of potential, but right, it didn’t explore the dream elements enough. :/ Love triangles don’t bother me if they’re done well, but when there’s 4+ people involved… yeah, no.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books says:

    Damn… I have such high hopes for this book. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it but I think I would still give it a try. But the lack of depth in characters sounds like a major problem. Nonetheless great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emily | RoseRead says:

    Excellent review! I’ve heard similar things, that it wasn’t as good as it could have been and it was a bit disappointing. I might still read it, but it’s not on the top of my list, lol. The cover is just soooo pretty, and I’m such a sucker for that, it’s terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Emily | RoseRead says:

    That’s too bad that is wasn’t great. I was attracted to this book by the cover. I’m such a sucker for cool covers! I’m still a bit interested to read it, but probably going to get it from the library instead of buying it (even though its gorgeous shelf candy).

    Liked by 1 person

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